Does anyone ever wake up and get out on the wrong side of the bed? A day which begins ominously, and then proceeds to go downhill? All the while you are feeling irritable and not refreshed from the night’s sleep.
Well so began my Tuesday. Recently I have had shoulder pain, when I wake up in the morning. No doubt this is entirely related to the position into which my body contorts itself during sleep. Being of a hypochondriac nature, my mind turns to more serious diagnoses. Old Arthritic Murphy. That has a nice ring to it, does it not?
This morning my shoulder was throbbing when the alarm clock from hell started shrieking its relentless siren in the direction of my groggy head.
With a complete lack of enthusiasm I emerged from my pit. I was fast in my actions. I always am. Regardless of how tired I am feeling I have this morning routine timed with a military precision. Any possibility of shaving a few seconds off my preparation time is rigorously explored. An extra twenty seconds in the scratcher of a morning is the equivalent of a whole hour’s sleep over the course of a year.
Recently I discovered that brushing one’s teeth could be done while in the shower.
Whoever said that men cannot multi-task has clearly never met me?
I raced out of the flat – I could either take the slightly longer walking route which would take my to the fourth stop on the bus route to work. Or I could take the tram to the city centre which would allow me to board the bus at the first stop. As I was feeling miserable I decided that the tram was justified.
As I approached the massive metal front gate to my apartment building – it is designed like Fort Knox – I heard the rumbling of the approaching Daniel Day (for people residing outside of Dublin, the tram system in the city is called the Luas. This is pronounced ‘Lewis.’ And the Dublin rhyming slang dictates therefore that the trams be named in honour of the Academy Award winning thespian).
I sprinted towards it, swiped my travel card against the scanning apparatus located outside the tram and boarded just as the tram moved off. The beep when I logged on sounded slightly different to normal. Who cared I thought. I was in situ. I would reach the grim industrial wasteland of my workplace on time.
What was this? Ticket inspectors. Who cares, I thought. I am an honest person.
I pay my way. I am not some scrounging layabout taking advantage of my fellow taxpaying passenger.
‘You heff not checked into trem,’ the ticket inspector droned at me when scanning my card.
I gave a smug inner chuckle.
‘I think you will find – my good gentleman, that I have.’ (I did not say these precise words – I am not some Edwardian toff from ‘Bridehead Revisited’ after all.)
‘You heff negative balance on card when you board. Therefore not tagged on. You pay fine.’
So the poisonous little functionary issued me with an on the spot fine of 45 euro. I was already late for work. Had I had more time I would have argued it with him. He looked like a human without any joy in his life, however, so I suspect that his well of human kindness ran shallow. I did not have to pay it there and then. Thanks to my provisional driving license I now possess official ID with my address on it. I can run, but I can’t hide.
Reaching my bus stop, I climbed into the bus, and went to my usual seat.
She approached. I willed her to walk past me. It was too late to start dribbling – which is always a sure-fire way of repelling companions on the morning bus journey. Not today however.
She sat down beside me and removed her phone from her handbag. Dialled the number (whether it is the usual number or not I couldn’t say) and began her deeply mundane discourse. Whenever she travels in the morning with me, she engages in a very loud, very intrusive, very piercing, very lengthy conversation. Sadly it is never engaging. She disembarks one stop before mine. I had to endure this ordeal the entire journey to work.
Tempting as it may be, I suspect that asking her to keep quiet would make me the villain of the piece.
I seethed the entire journey to work, glancing only occasionally at my travel companion.
I paused. I had never before noticed how luxuriant her moustache was.
It was quite an accomplishment I have to say.