I was on the bus, making a journey I had done so many times before. I past the powerplant overlooking the Amstel river. Erections of steel mirrored it the muddy waters. The bus continued further, and left the sight behind for new landscapes. My mind drifted away as I leaned on the window, my breath condensing on the cold glass. As much as I was trying to keep the past at bay concentrating on the future, I was unable to. In my outbox several emails awaited to be sent off, as soon as my laptop would hit the the wireless. Regret mixed with despair, as my eyes began to water. I hid behind a pair of large Marc Jacob sunglasses, purposely having taken a seat at the back of the vehicle.
Only moments earlier, checking in with the bus driver I had, in my internal confusion, forgotten my destination. As I stood there, letting other passengers passing me in an attempt to alleviate the situation, the bus driver grew noticeably irritated.
‘Don’t you know where you’re going?’
‘Yes’, I said ‘but I just can’t remember the name of the bus stop’
I fished out a long discarded bus ticket, in the hope of providing me with further assistance, but to no avail. All seemed futile until another passenger mentioned the same destination, exchanging money with the by now angry bus driver.
‘Yes, that’s my stop.’
I handed over my 10 euros and got 7 back. Walking down the bus isle I noticed a few stares. I reminded myself of my sunglasses, providing the most immediate need for protection, and pressed on.
The office was rather bustling and someone was playing music in an adjourning room. I opened up my laptop which was down to 4% of remaining battery and quickly attached a power cable. The wireless icon went from grey to black and I knew my emails would be sent any moment. As not bare witness to such an event, I went to the kitchen to offload my breakfast and lunch, destined for the fridge. I prepared my usual blueberry and raspberry mix whilst the coffee machine was working up a strong double espresso. My hands were full as I walked back to my desk.
The breakfast tasted bland and the coffee bitter, agreeing with neither carnal nor spiritual matter. I browsed casually over Aftonbladet’s news section, but my concentration level was down to zero. I clicked away and decided upon an entirely different strategy. My action list needed rapid refill after yesterday’s successful meeting, so I proceeded to add various items. Randomly, and not in any particular order, my brain was spitting out priorities. When even that came to an end, I continued with the emails left behind after this morning’s cull. There were exactly 9. I clicked F5 to check any responses, but non so far.
Fast forward. Thursday pass into Friday. I sleep little and wake up intermittently throughout the night. Nightmares plague me, and when the rays start to penetrate the bedroom blinds before morning has taken proper hold, I’m wide awake. Night has finally given in to day, and my torments has equally succumbed to relief.
My eyes are puffy, and I rinse them with cold water to alleviate the swelling. It doesn’t really help but temporarily numbs my headache.
The rest of the day goes by in a haze. The headache grows into a migraine and I stack pillows on my head to block out both noise and light.
He comes by later to check on me. Taking my hand, kissing my palm. I smile. Not because I have to, but because I want to. I don’t even wish to think of how we ended up here. I know I will have to….eventually, and surely that email will arrive. The bullet point one, where I aim to excel in my linguistic formulations, making that definitive point. But for now, I just want to let it go. Let it slip away into oblivion.
Before he leaves, he gives me a twinkle with his eye. I smile yet again, and then pull my pillow on my head. All turns dark and quiet…