Attic dust

Last night, while he was sleeping, our tiny little cat crept up to Tristan and … shat on top of him. The mercy for Tristan was that he slept long enough for the smell to dissipate into his dreams. He awoke in the morning to a damp hand. He then conducted himself heroically. Next time he comes round he won’t close the bathroom door behind him. But his stoicism was laudable. I put him to work today.

I was cooking breakfast. “So what’s the order of the day?” Tristan asks. I haven’t really thought about it. Its Father’s Day so I know he’ll want company. I’ve asked him to come and help with the stuff-mountain. He’s come and he has put his work hat on. “Make space, then fill it.” I offer.

After a slow bacony morning throwing things away from plastic boxes, the inevitable attic sort begins. My mother used to put things up there that she couldn’t throw away. They were still there, haphazard, with fifteen years of dust. Old blinds, broken frames, bits of timber, cupboard doors, boxes of junk, unwanted VHS players, broken phones. All in boxes in a dry and airless attic with a beautiful complete pigeon skeleton in pride of place that must be twenty years old. I have never experienced so much dust, once I started disturbing it. I was loading it down, Tristan was taking it out onto the fire escape. It’s a redundant fire escape that doesn’t go anywhere. There’s moving air there though. And this stuff was so thick with dust that I occasionally had to come down. One time I was actually sick from dust inhalation. I’ve never experienced that before. My nose, my eyes, and then I had to be sick into the sink and lie down and breathe for twenty minutes.

Then an improvised breath mask out of a scarf and back up to hell. It’s hell up there, but there’s a hell of a lot of space. Especially now. I’ve got everything my mother didn’t know how to throw away, in a shared space in my block – but not actually a fire escape. But there’s more room up there than I imagined. So out with the old, in with the new. This can be dealt with in January when i finish my run of work. This antique dealing is a fine sideline and needn’t be rushed. I’ve got a lifetime of being an actor ahead and now I can make pennies in the quiet times on my own terms, instead of ordering slow teenagers to polish cutlery for entitled parasites to lick their honey off.

Tomorrow morning I’m renting a van for a job. I can keep it here another day perhaps and get all the things done that have to be done. My fee will cover a second days rental.

I’d forgotten how much room there is in the flat. We’ve really made a hole in this huge massive job. It’s a few more days work to get things looking sexy as fuck, but I reckon I’m going to have a fucking awesome pad by the time I’m commuting from Oxford…


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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