Maybe I should have seen it coming. Yesterday was hard and exhausting and sleep was spare.
But I make lists. I need to know what I am doing on any given day. I have to see it through. Tick off the events and accomplishments as I go along.
But (that word again) I kept changing it, kept forgetting things, not on form not on top. I’m a man a father a boss a graduate a nurse I should be in charge. “Get a grip”.
Bus to town, step off, facing crowds normally that’s fine- I have a target I just make my way there, do what I need, smile, say thanks see you next time, and move on.
This time I just forgot. What the heck was I going to do? So many people and the oppressive humidity. Head and heart misbehaving.
“Go somewhere quiet and familiar, gather your thoughts”. Yes, that’s a good idea. Indoor Market café. Make your usual order according to the script “Hi”, smile, “coffee and a teacake please”. Hand over sum of money. Receive comestibles and smaller sum of money in return. Smile again, a little ad lib “cheaper than Starbucks”, she smiles then I’m back to script: “thanks very much”. Good, empty table.
One conversation on a table behind me. Babble. Another over my left shoulder. Babble babble. Another one I can’t place. Babble babble babble. A general drone under them of people exchanging money for goods or vice versa and making remarks accordingly. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaabble.
Conscious of starting to sweat with the humidity. Look ahead and there is a slowly flashing electronic sign of about ten letters (for a second) and maybe six letters in alternating seconds. No point looking away I know it’s there now. Can’t read it. I can see the letters but I can’t read it.
And my anxious thoughts about the impending show, the impending wedding, the impending new job, the impending this, the impending that, were melting into each other and blending with the layers of chatter and the lights and degrading like old butter pats in the sun turning into one wordless super-thought called “everythingisgoingtoshitandthereisnothingicando”. “EVERYTHINGISGOINGTOSHITANDTHEREISNOTHINGICANDO.”
My mobile was in my pocket, rescue was there, my headphones and songs, I could be listening to The Albatross or Summer Somewhere or The Awakening but I was paralysed knowing I would have to search my pockets, cram my hand, just couldn’t move it just seemed too…..much…effort. Head and heart still misbehaving now my stomach decided to join the mischief.
I know it is Stockport Market and no one has ever died there (I guess) but right then it was becoming the 9th Circle of Dante’s Inferno. If I did not act I would be stuck there, surrounded by oblivious traders and shoppers but lodged in Satan’s stinking mouth.
OK you can’t stuff your hands in your pockets but can you stand up? Can you walk? Can you get to the exit? Easier than clumsy pointless fiddling, does not involve fine motor skills. It’s just straightening your legs and putting one in front of the other. If you don’t “everythingwillgotoshitandtherewillbenothingyoucando”.
Past the blurry shapes of stalls and the humans into the outside and Mother Nature to the rescue. Rain. A cold compress for the brain. Not just a drop or a drizzle, one of those cold monsoons we seem to get in the North. I’m stood feeling the relief while the market muggles run around looking angry, like it was somebody’s fault. Running with one hand on their head, like that will keep them dry.
I’m back to life “back to reality” (remember that one 90s pop-pickers?) Even feel well enough to make a few minor purchases outside. Still not at full strength but grateful for the relief and taking full advantage. Get back home, I can smell the eggs I consumed 4 hours previously. Ugh. How is that even possible? And there’s no electricity or gas. OK short walk will fix that. Right. I’m at the kiosk emptying my backpack. No wallet. Back home again, have I lost it? What the heck am I going to do I’ve no gas/leccy its Saturdaybanksshutcan’tpreparefoodnotellyorlaptophassoemonestolenitmjgklglg oh right there it is. On the settee. Twit.
Maybe I should have stayed in for a bit.
Maybe I’ll write it all down and share it with the group.