Woohoo, the last day of work before I get a week off is finally here! And a gig in Edinburgh tonight and crackerjack timing required all round, really, and careful prep involving Not Having A Rucksack (in case some enormous punter at said gig falls over it and gives me dog’s abuse – I have seen this happen and it was awful just to watch. Poor wee lassie had it between her feet as well, couldn’t have tried harder).
I am so impressed with my organisational skills in sorting this out, especially since that’s the second night in a row I’ve had to get up and neck profens halfway through.
And, if I want to return to a room that is not towering with rickety, death-trap-waiting-to-happen mountains of files, I have… today to finish up the week’s work that arrived yesterday afternoon. Can it be done? If it can be done, will people notice I can knock out a week’s work in one day and give me more work?
Oh let’s give it a go, I feel lucky!
Not lucky enough, alas – I brought in a variety of muffins from the muffin-bin in the freezer, and gave them all away cos I cannot open me mouth wide enough to eat em. I was forced to subsist on lentil soup; calorie content round about fifty. So much for my diet, I am wasting away here! [You haven’t been to training for a fortnight, you are safe enough – Ed]
Your man from records finally came up to collect his share, right as I was racing the clock to get finished, which meant trying to make conversation at the same time I was bundling papers into files and trying to get em all logged out. I have no earthly clue if any of that went in the right order, I also have no earthly clue what I agreed to there, but since the last person to file in these was my Colleague I Suspect Is Up To Something, who doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of chronological order, screw it. And that’s Time and that’s me finished the week’s work in nine hours, go me!
Now just to mop the place down, write a note to my new cellmate who will be starting in my absence next week, put the out-of-office on and print off a crappy good luck card for the boss and return that tape I had half-finished for my Colleague of Skull Scarves and…
I erased that tape, didn’t I? I was being all neat and tidy and sorting the loose ends so I decided I would actually erase the damn thing, and there’s still two-thirds of a clinic on there. Or rather, there was. FECK.
To make matters worse, that tape just happens to be for the consultant I will be working for, as of my return. Man, he’s gonna be so bloody impressed with me, not.
As I was haring down the road, however, an idea struck me like a thunderbolt of yore. I only erased the bit of the tape I had typed – the rest of the tape is still intact! And my Colleague of Cakes had taken it away! I must call her at once and let her know not to put it with the spares!
Could I remember the friggin’ new area code for the new hospital?
But I got through, five mis-dials later.
Oh, I have found that part of the tape! my Colleague of Cakes said, being well ahead of my panic-stricken mind. It is safe! Go forth and enjoy the gig!
Yeah right, I can barely see straight for tension.
Now, my flatmate had invited me to go to this gig, somewhat to my surprise because it came out of the blue after over a week of her seeming incredibly irritated by me (and if you don’t even want to talk to me in the flat, why in the name of god invite me to socialise with you?) I was so surprised I agreed, in case it was an Olive Branch. But subsequently I realised this situation really requires a lot more than that to make us both happy, and gave her two months’ notice. So now, here we are. Awkward! So I offered to make my own way there and back and this was accepted, and fair enough. And yes, coming all this way was bloody idiocy on my part – and not cheap idiocy, either.
And yes, I did think of giving it a miss. But some hitherto-unsuspected part of me reared up and said, Coward!
Since I had some time to kill before Cheap Train Time (do they go out of their way to let you know off-peak times? Not that I can see!) I went for a cheap glass of red and sat in the evening sunlight, admiring the view and trying to absorb the knowledge that I have a whole week off. No good, I was still in red alert mode. Since when did everything I planned as a source of enjoyment become this big mission to be fulfilled Or Else?
This probably says rather a lot about me, alas.
But I walked into town, and I got on the Second Cheap Train, having missed the first cheap train by seconds and avoided getting the one to Dunblaine by mistake by the merest skin of my teeth. So, the hyenas of Transport Fails are already sniffing around my turn-ups, what! I must be vigilant!
I was not vigilant enough. I got a seat, I put me ears in, and I got sat next to and trapped by the obligatory Loud, Drunken Bastards. I think they were the only ones on the entire train too, what are the odds. Naturally, the one next to me was the worst. He had a laugh that started out as a bray, veered into a titter and ended up as a whinny; he clapped his hands like gunshots every time someone said something he found amusing (you will never guess what percentage of the conversation that took up). He completely drowned out Steven Tyler’s voice, at what turned out to be full sodding volume as well. And every time he hit the high notes, which was every few seconds, my tooth vibrated as if whacked with a tuning fork. I sat fuming, feeling the gum swell up in protest, and eventually my mouth filled with the taste of blood. Oh sodding marvellous.
He did quieten down around ooh, Haymarket. Because he reckoned he was going to be sick. Holy Jeebus, it is just gone seven in the evening and they’re drinking a carryout comprising Tenants lager. How in the name of god does anyone get puking-drunk that easily?
I fled as soon as he stood up to stagger towards the loo. Not being trapped next to that if I can help it!
It was then that I realised every other punter on the train was glaring at them too. Heh.
Well, I was glad to be out and into the relative silence of rush-hour Waverley station, hee. Until I remembered I am off to a loud gig in, ooh, five minutes. Oh god, this is gonna be challenging…
At least, perhaps, I will not run into my flatmate and her mates in the crowd. Because I wasn’t really sure whether by, ‘I think it would be awkward for everyone if you travelled with us’ she meant, ‘we are not sitting in a small car together’, or, ‘And don’t even think about trying to hang out with us, slumlord.’
Clocked her within seconds, five feet down the bar. Oh arse. Now, what is the polite thing to do here?
Hopefully, in this case, it was ‘bolt to the other side of the room, rather than say hi and have Awkwardness follow’, for that is what I did. I felt incredibly exposed, despite the dark and the gang of large men I hid behind.
But the support band were playing low, droney music that, while the furthest thing on earth from my cup of tea, was soothing to my tooth – along with the sweet, cold, beer. Ooh, it took the swelling down something beautiful.
And… Killing Joke, woo!
The intro set all me teeth rattling. And I suddenly realised that this had the potential to be a Thing of Beauty. Lo, the right side of my face responded to the drums, the bass pulsed in the radar-scope-shaped thing that is currently my glandular-fevered neck, the sore tooth chimed whenever the guitars hit certain notes, and I suddenly realised I had a whole new way to appreciate music. Also, to my amusement, that tooth that got put in back to front? Is out of key.
It did start to hurt after a while, however. Greatly. And I greatly feared the train back – if that was what I had to put up with on the train in, what would they be like at pub-shutting time?
God, I’m getting old.
Mercifully, the train seemed to be entirely populated by tired, sober people, terrified of the prospect of going home any later. The only disturbance was when some guys walked through the cariage and one said, Why not stop here? and the other replied, No, look at these tired people!
And I wimped out and took a cab back to mine. I know, I know, I am broke, and I am not helping myself and… ah sometimes you just can’t hack it.
The cabbie, on hearing of my toothache, wailed in horror and gave me a whole pile of prescription painkillers, plus the strict instructions not to take em till I was in the door, ‘so I’d know they weren’t roofies’. Awww. My faith in humanity is restored, and my chances of a decent kip are rising!