8.28 am. I am currently working out the purpose of this hat. All the strange chopping devices in perpetual motion suspended around it like antenna. It appears to be for cutting the boundaries between entities. Perhaps if I hug this security guard… Ah yes I have become him. I know the middle name he is embarrassed to tell his brother. I shall sit down and look at this beautiful view down the valley while contemplating my next move. Oh, is that my phone ringing?

8.30 am. Fuck. My alarm didn’t go off. I’m supposed to be at work. Exam starts at 9. “Hi it’s Aynan. Are you near?” “Hi Simon, I’m ten minutes away.” *Simon? Who is Simon?*

8.32 am. A large wooden door opens on a Chelsea street. A man emerges. His hair is sticking up. He wears the clothes he was wearing yesterday. He gets into a large blue SUV. The engine guns.

For eight minutes, nobody is safe in Chelsea. The squealing of rubber. Last minute turn decisions based on the road ahead. Twenty years worth of rat runs. This car is bullying even the black cabs.

8.40 am and there’s a parking spot right near the college. I’m into it.

8.42 am and I’m in the room before the students. I even had time to run into a loo and throw water on my hair. One of the exam team has had to set the room up. It’s not a good look for me. But saved by proximity. Only 6 candidates – extra timers. That’s fortunate. Yesterday I had hundreds. I wouldn’t have gotten away with it yesterday. Stupid vivid dreams. Stupid warm toasty bed. Stupid alarm.

The exam room has a fault with the aircon. Fans are on full cold. It is almost unbearably cold and I am mostly still in that room for two and a half hours. By the time the exam is over I am so cold I can barely think.

Lemongrass chicken broth at Pret, and a Chai Latte and then I’m driving to the dump again.

I unload. And then straight to the office to load up with lever arch files.

Then I seal up a load of envelopes, dismantle some desks, carry a load of heavy things downstairs.

Then home. Cook a quick sweet and sour chicken. Find a USB card and download tomorrow’s workshop onto it. Look through the PowerPoint as normally I run this over two hours for year ten but tomorrow they want it in like 40 minutes for year 9. It’s a good school though in Twickenham. I’ve been there before.

Bath. Blog. Bed.

I’ve switched on the blanket and I’m having a can of San Miguel just to try to dewire myself. My ears are howling tinnitus. I think I’m gonna have two spoonfuls of Actifed dry cough. It guarantees a good sleep and a good early wake, even when I’m still adrenalised.

Apart from the bath I didn’t stop. Oh tomorrow. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

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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