Some fiction about the anxieties of Monday
You know how it works. You wake, get in the shower, brush your teeth, chuck on some clothes, grab some toast and your bag, and rush out the door. It’s like any other Monday.
At the train station there is a man you don’t recognise from the normal 7.13 commuter crew, smoking at the end of the platform. Despite the weather he is wearing a heavy coat and has curious slicked-back hair that is thinning. The slick-back is a statement of defiance. Fuck you baldness. I’m proud. The acrid smoke stings your nostrils and you cough, half-delighted as your long forgotten nicotine receptors are prodded, and disgusted because, well, smoking is disgusting.
He looks at you.
You look at him and turn away. Focus on your iPad or iPhone, or god forbid, your Phablet.
He continues to stare. You know he’s staring because you can feel it. Your neck is getting hot. Don’t stare back. Don’t look up.
You look at the electronic display to see when the train is coming. Two minutes.
He’s still staring.
Was his coat dirty? It looked dirty. He probably slept at the station and collected cigarette butts to roll up a giant second hand cigarette. That’s why it smells so fucking horrible. You hate smokers.
You look back. You can’t help it.
He is staring past you at the electronic display.
The train ride is uneventful except for some bloke sitting next to you when the carriage is empty. Right next to you. There are 36 empty seats and he has to plonk his arse right next to yours. You can smell his hair product. It’s cheap. You put on your sunglasses to fix the situation. No one talks to a commuter with sunglasses and headphones. No one. Fuck the quiet carriages, there should be a carriage for people with sunglasses and headphones. No headphones or sunnies? Get to the front of the fucking train.
At the office the coffee machine is broken so you grab a coffee from the Italian place up the road. You’re sure that the name means squealing pig in Italian. Either that or giant fraud. Gianni, the barista speaks in an Italian accent but you’re positive you heard him say, no worries mate in an accent as broad as a Bob Katter loving Queenslander. Or maybe he didn’t. Better to be charitable. Ciao you tell him as you walk out with your coffee, wincing slightly.
Only wankers say Ciao.
On Facebook some chick you went to school with has posted a motivational picture of a whale and its calf with a message about how true love is motherhood and being free….blah blah blah. You really should unfriend her. And get off Facebook. It’s so middle-aged. All the cool kids are on Instagram, engaging in a different type of techno-narcissism with selfies and food. Somehow it’s ok to take a picture of a beer and a glass in a different bar at 6pm every day and not be called an alcoholic. If you said, I have a beer every day at 6 o’clock to someone they would think you were an alcoholic. On Instagram it is ok to be an alcoholic. Possibly mandatory.
Back to the beige desk. Some clown from level 15 wants a simple job that they could do themselves done. After debating whether you should send them a snarky passive-aggressive reply that they can do it themselves and were they at training, you do it. Snark is so much work.
The day passes. Monday.
After work you work out to Justin Timberlake’s new album. Or that’s what you think it must be. He hasn’t been around for ages and looks like he is going bald. Sucked in clever-boy. That’s what you get for humiliating the homeless in LA. Baldness. You make a mental note to buy a Big Issue from that morbidly obese lady who sells them near Flinders Street. Rich good looking people are fucked.
The dinner is cold when you get home but you thank your house mate for leaving you some. Bitch. Doesn’t she remember the mushroom risotto you lovingly made and then waited to eat with her. She stays in her room and you look for cowboy boots online while watching Django Unchained. Your brother in law downloaded it last week and gave you a copy. It’s probably stealing but, well, who cares. You’re surprised to see John Jarratt in one of the last scenes. His Australian accent is incongruous amidst the southern drawl you heard in the movies first six hours.
Just another Monday. Time for bed.