When you can, but also fully cannot be arsed…

I had an early night last night. I woke up on time and cracked on with my morning. I took a shit, had a shower, got dressed, and then I made my lunch for the day: Corned beef, goat’s cheese and coleslaw on seeded batch if you’re interested – I recommend Coleman’s Mustard Sauce for the best results. But from the moment I woke up, a new idea for a short story had begun tossing and turning in the spare half-bedroom of my mind. ‘Fire & Forgets’ I’m gonna call them: 1,000 words or so, written in one sitting so that I can’t over-think my way out of not publishing them and let them fall into the ether…

‘Fire & Forgets’ I think I’m gonna call them: 1,000 words or so, written in one sitting so that I can’t over-think my way out of not publishing and let them fall into the ether…

I couldn’t knuckle down and bang it out in this morning because I had a job to go to. Fair enough you might think, and you’d be right; it’s hard to knock out your opus when you can’t pay the electricity bill needed to power up your computer. So I let the idea marinate. On the way from my front door to the Tram Stop, I fleshed out the main character. I thought about her life, her interests, and her needs. On the way from my local Tram Stop to the one closest to work I sketched out the themes of the story; what I was actually wanted to say with the piece. By the time I had reached out my office, I had worked out the plot, added supported characters, and reached a conclusion satisfying enough to equate with the amount of time I was willing to invest in such a simple idea.

On the way from my front door to the Tram Stop I fleshed out the main character: I thought about her life, her interests, and her needs. On the way from my local Tram Stop to the one closest to my workplace I sketched out the theme of the story; what I was actually wanted to say with the piece. By the time I had reached out my office, I had worked out the plot, added supported characters, and had reached a conclusion satisfying enough to equate with the amount of time I was willing to invest in such a simple idea.

Boom! Job done!

By nine-oh-five I was ready to go home, chill for a little and then get my arse to work. Three, maybe four hours later I’d be finished. Another piece that I’d never ever read again, but could at least look upon on in future days and say well at least I got it done!

And then suddenly, as if from nowhere: a wild Life appeared!

Work was fine, I guess. Not my best ever day, but no more annoying or soul-crushing than any other. I got through it without incident, as I had done a  few thousand others before. But Some how  – despite packing all of the necessary clothing that morning – I had forgotten that today was the first gym day of the week. My first day back in a couple of weeks as it happened, after almost a month off spent partying all over the country. I almost talked myself out of going but decided in the end that I was using the story as an excuse not to break ground re-attending to my rapidly declining fitness.  And I stand by that decision for what it’ll be worth in the medium, let alone long-term…

Then there was the errand…

At some point,  during the course of your typical group chat conversation, I’d arranged to meet up with a friend. Not for the entire evening – just quickly enough to collect on a debt that surely see me through the last few arduous days until payday (Fuck! I miss getting paid weekly!). In the end said plan fell through, but it delayed me by half an hour or so. Maybe less…

No big deal.

When I arrived home I noticed that I was not massively – but enough to be worthy of note – a bit agitated. I would like to take this moment to add – not in asterisk or parenthesis – that I did not have to be alerted to or warned of this fact; I came to that conclusion on my own, in a very timely and dignified fashion.  ‘Cause I’m a grown arsed man,  and that how we do. *

*(I swear down, this is true… Please believe me!)

I live with my mother (judge me if you like, then have a quick look at the average rent prices in London… Yeh… Thought so). I detailed my disposition to her and she did that thing that mum’s do: reminding you why you still love them, even if you do want to shoot them out of a cannon 99% of the time. I chilled in the garden for a bit, caught up on my YouTube videos and then followed up on a conversation from earlier on in the evening:

Me: What were you planning on having with the steaks?

Mum: I dunno… We still have those potatoes?

Me: And those sweet potatoes…

Mum: Yeah…

Me: I’ll grill the steaks and do mash?

Mum: Okay.

It’s not that it was specifically my turn to cook. In fact, I’d done dinner the last two nights in a row, which in a house where one person is retired and the other works Monday to Friday is as a matter of pragmatism, quite rare. And she’d had no idea about the story I’d already had bubbling all day. What she did know, however, was that while she could easily grin and bear pretty much anything I put on a plate, I am a particularly fussy bastard when it comes to this one particular cut of meat. Calling myself a ‘connoisseur’ would imply a certain level of expertise and knowledge I do not possess, so let us just accept that I’m a prick about some things and move along with our lives, okay?

So I cooked. And we ate. And then the day finally caught up with me. By this point, it was well past eight o’clock. I accepted with little argument from my sub conscious that it wasn’t going to happen. I hadn’t lost interest; I just knew I didn’t have the energy left in me to give the idea the attention I thought it deserved.

Think it deserves.

So here I am: making excuses with a piece that is at least as long, if not longer than the one I had intended to write when I woke up this morning…

Fucking life, man.

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