Before concentrating on me, like I was so optimistically saying I would yesterday, it’s been one more day of Carol related madness. 13 hours straight through, driving, loading, unloading, driving, humping, dismantling, carrying, loading, packing. I had a massive great big Luton. Of course the budget van hire place gave me one with a fucked tail lift. Nothing you can do about that on the job. At one point Tristan, Jack and I had to shove the lift up manually.
That massive great big freezing empty warehouse in Liverpool Street? Remember, where I spent the best part of a week stapling and painting. We made it look like Scrooge’s Parlour. People would walk in and go “ooooh”. We did a month of marvels in there. It was so full of life, so full of laughter, so full of Christmas cheer. Now the season is over, the year is turned, the rain is washing us clean in buckets. Scrooge’s Parlour is a great big empty warehouse once more. And as I was loading out the bags I saw my first evidence of rats. Just in time. As we leave, they come. Little fuckers. Too late. Just. But all the stuff is now loaded willy nilly into the playing space for Gatsby and our job is done for the day.
I’ve eaten nothing but 2 weetabix at half 8am. It’s gone 11pm. I feel fine but perhaps I should shove something down my throat before I fall asleep. It didn’t help that for most of the driving portion of the day it was windy and pouring with rain. I feel I’ve completed one of those appetite suppressing computer game marathons I used to be capable of in my late teens. Also I probably stink and there’s no hot water.
Feed angry cat, feed self, boil kettle, sponge bath, curse loudly, hot water bottle, bed. That’s the order of service. That and oil my beard. It’s itching like hell. I’d like to shave the thing but I’ve got two self tapes pending that I had to record with this dead dog on my face. If both of them come to nothing I’ll celebrate by liberating my chin and triggering all the “oh you look so young” flattery.
I was writing the above in an uber. At this point Mamriz the driver gesticulated at the road. They’re all flooded and there’s a gale blowing. It’s horrible. “What the hell is this?” he asks rhetorically. I put down my blog. “Tell me about it. I was in a Luton through this crap earlier. I saw two people between here and West Sussex that had lost their back end. One of them hit the central reservation. They were getting loaded into an ambulance. It’s worse now. I’m glad you’re driving not me. I’ve had enough of this shit.”
“I can’t wait for summer.” He mourns. We both sigh, as if we’ve been friends for years. Then we start naming summer things. “The light.” “The long days.” “You can wear your T-shirt.” Mamriz and I become companionable – nostalgic, like two old friends remembering the good old days. Like two lifers remembering the outside.
It’s a long way until Spring and we both know it. A gust of wind blows solid bits from a tree into his car, disrupting our reverie. He curses. “What time are you working ’til?” I ask. “Normally I work until two,” he says “but I’m going home after this trip. I’m not driving in this.” I don’t blame him.