“That coffee was like drinking a pickaxe covered in shit”

The above comment was a spark from the short circuit of a brain so used to directed activity over the previous months now being slowly pulled apart by the gremlins of ennui at what I had previously called (in several Freudian moments) my old job, which crushingly has turned out to be my current one.

Yes, since stumbling half-cut and bleary-eyed off of BA256 from Delhi on a welcoming Spring morning the reabsorption of every poison of the suburban home-work-home-pub depression assembly line has been all too shockingly seamless. Funny how the existence I resented enough to take my fragile arse 4,000 miles to infernal heat, ammonia, traffic, shite, shouting and giardiasis hiding around every culinary cut-corner had become idealised to a haven of order, efficiency, cleanliness, manners and cocktail parties where everybody including myself could drink as much as they liked and yet still exhibit high wit and a knowledge of football. And funny how time flies past in this promised land as you’re in the middle of realising that such a dream was nothing more than a vitamin deficiency crying out for momma’s cooking and Guinness.

Nothing changes, or at least it seems that way. I had at least expected my office to have been buiding to have been pulled down and the staff flung around the country on the ongoing Civil Service management consultant-driven relocation binge, but I walked in after four months to nothing more than the same shabby, crumbling beiges and duck-egg blues, the same Van de Graff generator of a carpet, and to the same array of unused new-but-old cheapo workstations, that I walked past to sit down at my same old desk and proceed to cringe as the slow trickle of ignorant, polite-but-uninterested enquiries about my ‘holiday’ came in. And then I went to the watercooler to get a cup of chlorine water, just as I always did. That then, was that. Never been away.

The return to cuntsville was of course preceded by a week of the home-and-pub bit, as I shook off the jetlag in preparation for falling asleep on the tube twice a day. I should have known the place I’ve spent my entire life a little better than to expect anything to be different, but y’know, that vitamin deficiency just had me there…

Needless to say, I soon got to realise that whenever I asked anyone what had been going on then nothing more than the dispirited shrug of the shoulders that I’ve adopted would have sufficed for the answer. I begin to wonder whether I will ever be able to express just how different my life has been to who seem to be the newly-awakened inhabitants of the most successful cryogenics experiment in history. Sure, I sincerely believe that they’re interested when they ask and when I tell them, but somehow I fear testing their still-thawing attention spans with my garblings as I try to arrange my thoughts meaningfully while they’re gushing from my mouth in a wind-blown stream of high-pressure slurry, gargling and spitting like Rab C. Nesbitt after root canal work.

Partly, that’s why I’m sitting at my same old desk writing this tosh. Another factor was that they’ve finally got around to removing the card games from my computer, not to mention the pickaxe coffee which began the thought process by defying gravity and travelling to my brain to begin hewing a stone Buddha out of it. So, I’ve probably been unfair, and I ‘ve probably raped the grammar, syntax and spelling of this beatiful language along the way, and I’ve probably bored you to death in several future lives, but I’ve found that I just can’t see the screen anymore through what I now know to be the godawful fucking hangover that I fucked off to put off and is now giving me the headache I deserve.

21st March 2007.


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