Tales of the Urban Burbs #2
Utterly wasted from hefting boxes, stinking like a navvy and unable to wash, all my carefully constructed stress-disguising routines disrupted, I didn't take the sleeping tablet.
Why? I was physically worn out, and had the complete joy of not having to leave my duvet nest on the floor until ninety minutes later than usual. For ten years my alarm had detonated at six o'clock. I'd planned the first morning in detail - a different luxury breakfast cereal each day for the first two weeks, two pots of coffee, leave the house five minutes beyond the latest time, just so HippyBoss doesn't become too comfortable with this irregular punctuality.
I reckoned without the wide-eyed sweaty pitch blankness that keeps you awake and counting all night long.
I reckoned without the unfamiliar dark windows, the different route to the doorway, the foreign distance to the bog, the different precautions you need to take when alone in a ground floor flat. Accustomed to whistling winds in a relaxing cold bedroom, now the only safe window is one cracked open *this* far, locked that way, an iron trellis padlocked across it. I need to burn it into my habitual memory to close curtains every day, not just once or twice a year, now.
And the murky shape at the window at the window at three in the morning is NervousCat, trying to balance on the ledge.
But most of all, I reckoned without disturbed, uprooted, stressed animals. SilentCat makes her disapproval known vocally. Very vocally. At three minute intervals. All night long.
I surrendered to the knowledge I wasn't going to sleep a good forty minutes before the morning alarm, to get stuck into the coffee and to try a new, sensitive technique with Malice, my wilful and capricious water tank. Suddenly, she purred responsively to my caress; reeking an animal stench, I began to entertain wistful, wild, ambitious hopes of bathing in her febrile, generous warmth. Malice responded with heightened sensitivity to my demands - began to rumble passionately, running her fevered, steamy gushes of love and piqued desire.
Confident in my mastery of her devotions, I brewed another pot. Ambled insouciantly back to Malice's moist embrace. Allowed myself a shiver while leaning to break the surface of the spite she'd seeped from her tenderest parts for me.
Like a grave.
What could I do?
I bathed in it. I'm sure it will be healthy for me. Malice only wants what's right for me, what I deserve. It's not her fault I annoy her, make her do these things. Provoke her.
Next week I'll buy her a new jacket, a fleece. Make it clear how I feel. Not think back to the flexible limbs of my combi boiler, or his pliable responsiveness.
Remain stoic. And cold. Very very very cold.