So I’m back at work. Slumped in front of the ol’ workstation. Viewing my Tippex and my stapler with the kind of hatred one usually reserves for one’s jailer. How dare they steeple up so smugly from the confines of my desk-tidy? Don’t they know I don’t want to be here? Don’t they know I didn’t want to come back?
One week off. One short-lived beautiful week. Already consigned to the dustbin of memory. Written off by virtue of having been lived and loved and replaced by the present. How can time move so fast?
And my workmates keep asking me about it. How was my week? Did I have a good time? My oh my, I’m looking well.
Torturers the lot of them. Turning the screw. Twisting the thumbnail removers. Gouging the flesh.
I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to talk about my week in the sun now that I’m hip deep in mire and sludge and greyness. I just want to get my head down. Get stuck into the tasks at hand. Grit my teeth and do whatever it is I have to do.
I let it all die away. The goodness. The memory of an alternative lifestyle. Another way of filling my days. I wait for the shiny memories to fall away, to be replaced by dull mundanity. Wait for the blinkers to settle back over my eyes. It’s easier that way, believe me.
I can do it then. Survive. Get stuck into the old routine. The same old same old. Kid myself that this flat-line existence is enough. Is a life.
Live for the weekends. That’s what I’ll do. That’ll get me through it. That’ll give me a toe-hold on the sheer glass-smooth face of utter tedium and desperation. And onwards I’ll climb. Upwards and onwards.
Onwards and upwards to the next holiday. The next week of freedom.
Just 4 weeks away. 4 weeks and then the sun will shine again.
No. No! I mustn’t think of it. Not yet. Not yet.
I have to keep going... have to keep going... have to...