I Don’t Like Mondays
I was reminded of this by Sabrina Ogden’s piece ‘Excuse me, have you seen my shirt?‘ in Pure Slush this week. What our minds get up to when we’re not fully a-hold of the reins!
I’d gone to work as usual but changed my route slightly with a view to using the outdoor parking area. So, tootling gently along and preparing to turn right at the appointed moment, I was mildly irritated to find that there was an obstruction accompanied by a degree of ill-disciplined vehicular negotiation (bad tempered spat) which conspired to prevent my egress onto the other lane. Never mind, it’s Monday morning, that’s likely it for today’s grot. I tootle on.
Missing that turn meant heading for the underground car park, a dismal affair at the best of times but, with the influx of new parties having permission to use it, it’s currently wearing an air of contained chaos alongside the obligatory grunge. My car and I plunge down into the murky depths. At the bottom, there’s a narrow-ish track with, to the right, some shops and to the left, a railway line. In fact the track is a lot like a station platform actually with all the random movements you’d associate with that environment. Vans juggling around bikes and bikes juggling around people. Everybody rushing. The buses come down here too to discharge passengers bound for the day care services above so wheelchairs and the occasional lurching individual unsteady on their pins but going like the clappers anyway appear, like those targets used by the military to see who’s inept enough to be the fall guy in a friendly fire fiasco. I pick my way along, keeping an eye on the drop to the left onto the rail line.
Suddenly, a van pulls in from the right and starts to move into my space. But I’m already in it – Oi! Any further and I’m taking the 8.45 to Victoria, assuming my unorthodox boarding strategy doesn’t impede its progress. I holler. Mr Idjit ignores me so I stop. This is one situation in which discretion is likely to be the better part of anything else going, unless you can get out and give the offending party an earful before he gets away. There’s a convenient jam ahead so I hurl myself up the road after the Twerp With No Ears. He has no ears when I berate him either but lets off a stream of invective a propos of whatever it is he thinks I want (or don’t want). As he hasn’t stopped to hear what it is perhaps this is some kind of routine for him. If it is, he’s going to win isn’t he? He’s more practised at downright ignorance with added volume than I am at righteous indignation on speakers from the pound shop.
I retreat and return to my car. Well, that was the plan anyway but there’s a flaw – no car. I trawl the locality, up and down, in and out of road-side establishments. Eventually I come across a man at a fruit and veg stall who knows what happened. It’s not good. It’s far from good. He’s been talking to a Detective Chief Inspector and now I get to talk to him too. I explain what happened and he tells me my car has been impounded so I’ll have to apply to get it back but it might be ‘a while’ because they’re investigating a murder that has major implications and my car is one of its casualties. ‘But I’m going on leave!’ I wail, with all the naïve optimism of a person whose winning lottery ticket just emerged from the heavy-wash-spin cycle as a bedraggled lump of papier machee. At this point, I notice also that the fire sprinklers have been turned on and that the new T shirt I just bought has become transparent in the time-honoured fashion of 1950s swimsuits. My car has been impounded in a murder case and won’t be released for decades, I am late for work and I am essentially naked in a public place. To say this is not turning out well looks like an understatement of cosmic proportions so what to do?
Well, wake up of course. They say some dreams take only seconds of real time; that one flippin’ took a life time’s worth of anxiety metaphors and, when I’ve got them all pinned down and translated I am SO going to have words with the local chapter of Psychotherapists Anonymous! They’d better have insurance is all I can say.
©suzanne conboy-hill 2008. First published on MySpace 12/08/08 writing as Bee Boomer