I wake up to a gentle tone, growing in volume and a mild chill to the air. My alarm is telling me to wake up, it’s time to get ready for work. Grumbling, I slither out from under the covers, one limb at a time, trying to cling on to the warmth of the bedsheets as long as I can. Blinking the sleep from my eyes, a cream blur is visible on the back of the door, a smudge of looming warmth, my trusty dressing gown is waiting. Pyjama bottoms adjusted, slippers on, a sweep of micellar water across the face. The dark journey to the kitchen begins.
The living room door is slightly ajar, meaning the cosy air inside has been allowed to escape overnight. My morning bastion of warmth has escaped me. I don’t have time for porridge today so I will break my fast with a bowl of Morrisons finest Choco Crackles. Bowl, cereal, milk, spoon, stir. My favourite chair moulds itself around me, cradling me with its softness, supporting my cat-like curled up position, helping me retain my body-heat. Press a button, tap an app, swipe a finger. I wonder whether Twitter’s trending tab focuses on how badly Trump has fucked up today, or whether another tragedy has ruined more lives. Chew, dunk for another spoonful, scroll, chew, dunk for another spoonful, scroll.
With breakfast done it’s time to perform this morning’s ablutions. The whirring of my electric toothbrush is like a small meditation session, being mindful of each tooth and its cleanliness. Application of antiperspirant complete, it’s time to paint the face. I’m feeling tired, so a quick sweep of eyeshadow, surprisingly well-applied eyeliner and mascara, my arm is already tired and I’m not sure I can make it to the wardrobe… A hefty sigh propels me over and I pick out my favourite jumper, jeans, and trainers. It’s chilly today so an under-jumper top is a must, despite the sweating that will inevitably occur when fighting to put on a bra.
Blinking rapidly doesn’t get rid of the gritty feeling in my eyes, so I resign myself to having a glasses day. Glasses and the fringe don’t mix well, so I twist and pin it back and grunt at the sloppy job, convincing myself it’s intentionally messy. Coat on, Kindle in the handbag, bus pass in the pocket. I lean over to my boyfriend and kiss him on the cheek, receiving a mumbled “have a good day” in response. Lock the door, descend the stairs, walk to the bus stop. Oh great, school kids on the bus; prepare thyself for an incoming headache. Press the bell, get off the bus, walk to stand one million and one, take a seat. I have eight minutes until my bus is supposed to arrive, which is plenty of time to read some of my book. A small peaceful smile settles itself on my lips and then my hair is ruffled. A one-legged pigeon just inappropriately touched me inside the bus station. It has the audacity to limp around my feet like it now owns me, bobbing its head around and coo-ing. Before I can stare more daggers at the belligerent creature, the bus arrives to whisk me away. A single-decker for a double-decker’s worth of passengers means it’s going to get cosy on this bus, but I get a seat, so I’m happy. The pigeon and I make brief eye-contact as the bus pulls away. The air between us is tense.
One stop, people on, more stops, people on, more stops, 90% of people off, my stop. A dash across the road, while the man is still green, leads me to Sainsbury’s. I grab three bags of cookies, double chocolate, milk chocolate, and oat/dried fruit if we’re being specific, and make my way to the person-in-a-hurry’s worst nightmare; the self-service till. A small scrap with an inanimate object later, I’m on the path to work to deliver the sweet treats to my coworkers. I’m not sure why when I could be eating them, but apparently, it’s normal to bring in sugary gifts for others when it’s your birthday.
I’m twenty-nine today. Where has the last year gone?