It started like any other working day. With the frenzied vibrations of an iPhone set perpetually on silent, desperately trying to raise me from a slumber that I very much do not want to be raised from.
Gammy-eyed and groaning inwardly I reach out and pull it under the covers. It continues to buzz at me like some kind of demented wasp as I struggle to bring the screen into focus so that I can hit the snooze button, rewarding me with another fifteen minutes of blissful nothing.
Six thirty in the morning.
Six forty five.
Every morning me and my phone engage in this battle of wills. A stubborn duel that can only ever have one outcome: Me rising from my bed like some kind of slumbering troll fifteen minutes before I need to be in the car and on my way to work.
Clothes are liberated from the spot they were casually thrown the night before and groggily clambered into. The toilet is filled and flushed as I sway in gentle circles on the spot. Teeth are brushed. Hair is artfully and quickly messed up and waxed. No need to shave. That happens in the shower and they are only for evenings.
Sometimes, as I pass through the kitchen, there is a lukewarm cup of coffee on the side. I don't know where it has come from or who it was originally intended for. Either way the outcome is the same. This morning it was there.
Slightly caffeinated I fall into the drivers seat of my car and slam the door behind me. Iced up. For fucks sake.
Anyone else at this point would probably get back out and scrape the windscreen. Not me though. I hunker down and turn the heating to full before directing its not-yet-any-warmer-than-the-air-i'm-sitting-in blast at the offending frozen water before I stuff my hands into the pockets of my hoody, pull the hood over my head, and wait.
I wonder sometimes why I do the things I do. In fact it's subject to a heated inner debate that rages daily within my odd little brain. I imagine a gleaming white Roman forum with both stacks of seats packed to the rafters with shouting variations of me. One side is dressed in ill fitting hoodies, star wars t-shirts, cargo trousers, torn jeans, knitted bobble hats and untied multi-coloured shoelaces belonging to trainers that cover inadvisedly matched socks. Their hair is unkempt and fluffy and a closer look would reveal dilated and shadowed eyes that hadn't seen sleep for days.
The opposition are different. Blazers over shirts tucked into belted black trousers. Shined and new shoes on every foot. On every head the hair is reasonably short and styled and the faces fresh and eager. They seem to heavily outnumber their counter parts. But they are definitely not louder or more convincing.
All the while a lone figure sits in between them all. Bored, he checks Facebook on his phone for the millionth time and wonders how he ended up in such an overblown metaphor.
As I sit there shivering like some kind of desperate homeless person waiting patiently for those first tiny holes in the ice to appear, I ponder the growing pile of fish and chip boxes in the footwell of the passenger seat. I'll definitely throw them away when I get home tonight.