The Rule of One

Waking up in the middle of a pandemic, how is my day going to be, spoiler alert, not an ounce of joy has been spent in writing this, but then again, you wouldn’t hold this against Camus, so why should I care.

Because it’s a bloody mess remembering those old days when I would look forward going to the pub on my own, knowing I’d find punters I know I can join for a drink, or two, or most likely more, cause even if a group is gone, someone else is going to jump on the booze train.

And get ready cause the booze train is about to leave the station in my room, Ecces, Salford, Manchester, direction: tomorrow’a hangover.

I think I could go somewhere to have a drink and read a book, I love to do that, don’t I. And then I think, is it worth the risk though, am I going to enjoy it the same, can I even go and occupy a whole table for myself, in a time where there are not many tables, and it feels like a game of musical chairs, and as per usual I’m the one left standing alone when the music’s gone.

And what the bar staff are thinking? I think they’re probably thinking why did I have to come on my own and occupy a whole table just for myself, and I think to tell them don’t worry, I drink a lot, but then again, I’m a slow drinker, I’m good on the long run, I can’t stay here for hours anymore.

And isn’t it what I think when working the bar myself, is he/she going to spend money for two at least, are the takings today going to justify me being here, my pay, my work, my job.

And everything feels so mechanical, take the order, deliver to the table, try not to stop in between, go to the door, do your track and trace, hand over a menu, show them the table, take the order, deliver to the table.

Order, deliver, order, deliver.

And the tiredness that jumps on you from nowhere, just because you’ve been standing there for 6,7,8 hours, hoping you’re doing something good, something of some worth, after those days spent trying to understand regulations after regulations, paperwork to file away, stuff to clean more and more, menus that go in the bin after they’ve been just barely touched.

Order, deliver, order, deliver.

Am I just getting old or is this pandemic just getting the life out of me one breath at the time, one, half-arsed lockdown at the time?

But back on the booze train, because I have some pretty nice stuff in the fridge, but does it even matter if I don’t share it with the world, is this even happening for real if I don’t post it on Twitter?

You spend enough time alone in your head, the borders of reality start to shake to the ground.

So go on, post the picture and say something about it, you’ve been drinking, studying and working beer for 6 years, you must have something to say.

Nah, nevermind, who cares anyway, I clearly don’t.

After all I’m already busy, busy as hell, trying to balance that heavy anvil sitting on my chest, on the gelatine pudding sitting right underneath, in my stomach.

And all that effort to try not to punch in the face every twat who gets on the tram without wearing a mask, and what about that woman that doesn’t want me to take her name and temperature, cause she think I’m a reptilian with a human face as a mask, trying to poison her with my laser gun.

I don’t think I’m a reptilian, but I’m definitely wearing a human face mask, and not even a good one.

And here it comes, two beers in, I feel it’s cigarette time, even though I quit 3 years ago, but that’s the rule of one, and the one deciding for this one, is, well, this one, so me.

Whatever.

Of course I meet my next door flatmate the moment I step out of the room, is he timing it? Is he actually waiting to hear me leaving the room to come out and very weirdly asking me ARE YOU OK, like, yeha mate, all good, and all I can think – and I will obsess about this for the next couple of hours – is, is my madness leaving my mind and producing weird noises that are clearly worrying/scaring my next door flatmate?

He must think I’m having a party here.

And indeed I am, but I’m the only one invited, so don’t you bloody rat on me.

Bloody thin walls.

So then might as well let my mind roam free on paper for a while, and by paper I mean Google Docs, but that doesn’t sound as poetic, does it.

Hoping people will read and understand most of these words, but also hoping no one will read, so that this piece of verbal diarrhea could go unnoticed and disappear like a fart in the wind.

Either way, I’m going to crack one open. A beer, that is.

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