Wood to the van

I remember now. That’s the thing they call “work”. My feet hurt. My legs hurt. My back hurts. My shoulder hurts. My hands hurt. I’m sprawled on the nearest sofa to the building I’ve been labouring in, gathering enough energy and blood sugar to get myself across town and into my bath.

I don’t have my own drill which is an oversight as there are lots and lots of stairs in the building and if you aren’t peacefully taking screws out of timber frames then you’re carrying the wood downstairs and hurling it into the back of a van. It’s like some perverse modern exercise class except you don’t have an insipid kiwi woman in jogging shorts shouting at at you on a chin-mic. Instead it’s a glorious tiny greek woman who happens to be one of my dearest friends so she can shout whatever the fuck she wants to me and I’ll just do it.

Occasionally Rich showed up with the van. Bastard has my job. He’s ferrying all the desks and bits with worth attached to them back to Davies Street. “There’s not much room left in Davies Street,” he confides in me after his first trip, in a worried voice. Oh I’ve been where you are, Rich. You should try the Bishop’s Stortford warehouse some time.

Carrying wood downstairs is simpler I guess, if more tiring. I’ve got a fortnight of this. Day one and my thumb is crushed. I’m curious to know what my shoulder does once all the codeine wears off.

I remember doing The Open Golf Tournament, restaurant managing while some arsehole South African line manager called Sean was trying to throw me under a bus for his incompetence while I was recovering from falling out of a tree and off my nuts on codeine. My dosage is much lower than it was back then but I’ve got the same level of total body and mind exhaustion at the end of the day. I’ve ordered a beer but I’ll have to sit up in order to reach it and my stomach muscles don’t want the work. Thank God all the humans working in the building I’m working in are lovely. If there was a Sean I’d have dropped a fridge on him by now on purpose and now I’d be staring down a long relaxing jail sentence. I put up with him because the money was excellent at the golf. For this I get less per hour than my waiters did before tips, and they were all fresh out of school.

Nothing wrong with a good honest day’s work, whatever the rate. It’s all money in instead of out, it gets me fit and it keeps me out of trouble…

Right. Time to sit up, to consume this single pint and to fight my way home on the tube. There are sausages in the fridge. And I’m going to need to be bathed and in bed asleep full of sausages before eleven if I’m going to survive this fortnight.


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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