Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A bitter man rots from within

I don't like to lament my own misfortune and I certainly would not wish to write the day off as "one of those days", but this ethos of mine has certainly been tested.

Tired and crabby I didn't get out of bed until it was painfully clear that I would be late for work. Resigned to the fact that I would be tardy, I relaxed into my morning schedule of having a wash, and trying to find a pair of matching socks from the massive pile of odd socks I have now accrewed in our spare room. Upon leaving the flat, I stepped foot into the middle of a hurricane, and for the first time since parting company with my beloved Audi, I felt the pangs of unhappiness as I walked past the spot where I used to park it. It was also the third day in a row that I'd forgotten to collect my Family Guy season 5 DVD from the local Post Office. Lisa reminded me of this fact from the comfort of the shelter provided by her umbrella.

As we walked closer towards our train station we both knew something was amiss as hordes of stiletto clad office types headed towards us, their heels loudly clacking on the pavement as the metallic point of their shoes stabbed the concrete. Lisa was first to react to these commuters headed in the opposite direction to us. "I bet the train's cancelled" she said. Fortunately, a fellow commuter who must recognise us as fellow train passengers confirmed that indeed the trains weren't up and running. I shouted "for fucks sake" loudly, and Lisa gave me a look of disproval.

We wandered over to the bus stop and a large crowd of disgruntled commuters greeted us. I shouted "For Fuck's sake" again, and ignored Lisa's glower.

The only money I had on me was and weather worn £10 note, and I remarked to Lisa that I should change it in order to get on my bus. Lisa's response was caustic to say the least and indicative of the number of occasions we have 'disagreed' over this issue. By her reckoning, I should feel no guilt to handing a bus driver a £10. but I feel ill at ease when I hand over a £2 coin to bus drivers, so this was not an option.

She suggested that I break into my note in the local paper shop, but having become quite experience in these matters, I rolled my eyes and informed her that I will be going to Tescos.

Predictably this was met by a look of confusion.

"Why not just go the this shop? You won't have to queue?"
"pah! There's nothing I want to buy from this shop….I'm going for it!"

And I darted into the supermarket.

I noted to myself just how full of produce the shelves were, compared to the bare shelves that greet me when I usually frequent the shop after work. Usually in these circumstances I find the acquisition of fruit or croissants to be most favourable, however due to a pledge to make Lisa breakfast I was rather full and decided that a tin of soup would be the purchase of choice. The woman working behind the kiosk in Tescos didn't say anything to me but looked suspiciously at my limp tenner.

For a moment I thought she'd inform me that it was a forgery. I had time to contemplate what would happen and if she was to retain the incriminating note. Alternatively she may in fact be quite generous, realising that I was an innocent part of some nationwide counterfeiting scam. She didn't, and with Tin of Baxters healthy choice Tomato & Brown lentil Soup thrust into my pocket I beat a hasty retreat.

Lisa waited for me outside and I held the tin of soup aloft as if it was some grand accomplishment. Obviously it wasn't, and she wasn't impressed by me doing so. Whilst I had been in the supermarket, she'd noted that the busses, due to over crowding weren't stopping and suggested that we walk down towards the stop near the T.A. I disapproved of her plan, but followed her all the same.

Suddenly a 60 Bus appeared. I ditched Lisa shouting "I've got to get this one, see you tonighhhhtt!" as I ran back toward the stop from whence we'd came.

Not many commuters were boarding the bus, and I noticed whist I queued that the bus was empty.

I over heard a confused gentleman ask the girl behind me in the queue if this bus went to town. It didn't and she told him so. She had a thick Northern Irish accent, yet appeared to be wearing a Muslim headscarf. I thought this was unusual, then immidiaely felt bad for assuming that there was no Muslims in Northern Ireland.

Her colleague asked her why she was getting this train "I'll get off on Croxteth Road then on into town from there" I thought for a second, the decided that I should do the decent thing.

"This bus doesn't go the Croxteth Road" I said.

"So it does" she replied sharply

"erm, no, it goes down Smithdown road"

"No it goes down Croxteth road"

"Okay, just trying to help" I said in a manner which she would have understood that I was annoyed.

I boarded the bus shaking my head, paid for a ticket, found an empty seat, wiped the condensation from the window with my sleeve and let off a long depressed sigh. I called work to inform them of my predicament.

The Irish Muslim got on the bus soon after me, and took off her head scarf, which as it turned out was just a 'normal' scarf that she was wearing in a most unorthodox manner due to the harsh weather. I scoffed at her to myself.

As the bus jolted forward, I smiled to myself thinking I would give her the "I told you so look" when she realised the bus went no where near to Croxteth Road.. I debated whether or not I should stick my fingers up at her, or mock her bay wrapping my scarf around my head too. Either way, I would be triumphant, and she would be left stewing in her own bitterness as she regretted the unsavoury manner in which she dismissed my offer to help.

I listened to my MP3 player as the buses weaved its way around the Park before making an unexpected turn from Aigburth Drive onto Croxteth Road. "For fuck's sake"

She got off the bus, and as the bus departed our eyes locked and she gave a faux smile and all I could do was stew in my own bitterness.

The remainder of the journey was long and arduous, and I started to feel nauseous. "You don't get this on the train" I pondered.

I noticed whist in the mother of all traffic jams by the Old Swan that it had stopped raining which perked me up, but only momentarily.

When we arrived at Merton Road, the bus driver reminded me that this was my stop. I was impressed that he'd remembered me, but felt aggrieved as I'd realised that I if I'd stayed on the bus, the next stop would leave me closer to the office.

Upon arriving at work, I was informed that my vital role of the day was to over see the photocopying of some cabinet documents. Great.

The photocopier as usual snarled up everything that was put into it and I've spent the majority of the morning burning my fingers whilst attempting to retrieve jammed pieces of paper from it innards.

To confound matters, Phil, who only joined the office in March and the only person that I kind of out rank informed me that he's got a much better and well paid job as an administrator in a Catholic School in Southport !!!! "FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!!"

I tried to look pleased for him and didn't mention that I had applied for that job and heard nothing back. I asked if he was Catholic and he said he wasn't. Even better I thought! tonight i think I'll decide what form of self harming to partake in.

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