I’ve been toying with an idea in my head for a number of weeks. Just letting it rattle around and not write it down. It became a bit of a mantra for me during waking hours and haunted my sleep. Once I wrote it down it killed the noise and created a beautiful silence.
I’d been playing… well… you’ll see.
“On the day we all died I had a usual morning, woke up and hit the button on my clock as I usually do. It’s an hour fast and the snooze button allows me five minutes extra. My wristwatch is also slightly fast- time needs to be triangulated in my flat, it’s like everything else, something of a struggle. I collected up the clothes I wanted to wear for the day and set about ironing them whilst I waited for the kettle to whistle on the gas stove. I think the kettle is one from my childhood holidays. It’s got a familiar comforting whistle. I’ve learnt all the little noises it makes in preparation to sing loudly. Breakfast was a quick cup of coffee and I had a bath.
Walking to work on the day we all died there was the usual levels of traffic, school kids hurrying, nothing to indicate what was going to happen. Work was the usual round of meetings and dealing with queries. I sent the usual chatty email to my parents and friends. Nothing significant was said, we didn’t realise these would be the final few times we’d talk. Had we known that we would probably weigh our words differently.
I should have noticed that walking home was slightly different, emerging from the basement of the building I should have noticed the traffic. There was a buzzing helicopter in the background and a couple of sirens but nothing so eventful that I would have noticed it. I’d downloaded a couple of podcasts from the BBC and was doing my usual zone out flow time at the end of the day. I’d blogged a couple of times during the day and needed some space to think. I did notice there was a single solitary child crying in the street but that’s not totally unheard of in Birmingham. It happens from time to time. I should have paid more attention to the signs around me. I should have noticed that cars were full of people, families on the move, I think everyone thought they could escape it. Their children pressed their faces against the glass as I ambled home. I must have looked foolish or suicidal. I imagine their voices questioning their parents; “Where’s that man going, mummy?” or “Does that man know what’s going on?”. I was heading home, home to die and I didn’t have a clue.
I went though the usual routine when I got home, bag down by the door, leaf through the post. Recycle the stuff that’s boring or annoying and then make a pile of stuff to deal with later. There’s the appearence of action but a lack of actual action. I cooked a pizza. Drank a can of cola. I was being lazy. Had I known… well… I’d have maxed out my card on an expensive meal. That makes me wonder how many other people tried to keep reservations on the day we all died.
I didn’t get any farewell text messages or phone calls. All was quiet. It was just another beautiful evening where I sat and did some reading. I must have died mid page as I don’t recall there being any pain or struggle when I died. It was just something that happened.”