Long day on the van

It’s half midnight. I just got home. I walked out the door sixteen hours ago and since then I haven’t stopped working. More than half of it was spent threading a van the size of Denmark through London traffic. Lunch was a sandwich and a packet of crisps behind the wheel. Supper is a banana. I’m running a bath. I need it.

My nephew was with me and dammit I’m proud of the lad. He has worked at KFC and works checkout at Sainsbury’s but I thought I’d try him out on a day in the van. It’s unpredictable work, mostly due to the vagaries of London traffic. Today has been much longer than I hoped and anticipated. But it’s been fun. Morale was always high. Our little van community covered a lot of ground, and talked a lot about movies in the process. Nick knows a great deal about movies it seems. So did Chris, the other passenger. I was likely the least knowledgeable despite having been in a couple and I could only hear half of it through the masks. There was a pretty constant stream of opinion and many many facts as we drove. I’m drained now, but elated – as you often feel after a day of graft.

The driving wasn’t the tricky bit. It just took the most time. We were moving all the bits and bobs of a theatre company, from a big abandoned gym in Croydon and into a crypt in Bethnal Green. The things we keep to use in theatre… It’s ridiculous. Huge old CRT monitors and fax machines. Ammo boxes full of rope. All the furniture that nobody else wants. Mannequins painted up to look like burnt corpses. And flats. Lots and lots of many many heavy heavy flats. Nicholas hadn’t hauled flats before and there’s a technique. I tried to teach it to him as we went. He had enough practice to improve by the end but there were a few drops. It’s amazing being eighteen though – you’ll take anything on. He did, and so long as I don’t get murdered by my sister in law for returning him at midnight then I’ll see him again tomorrow. We will have to finish by midnight tomorrow anyway, because lo and behold they’ve only gone and put us back in tier 3.

Apparently, after we left, the vicar went down to check the crypt and see what all these strange people had been loading in while she’d been having her tea upstairs. Perhaps we should have told her about the burnt corpses. Thankfully nobody was arrested.

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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