9.25am. My bedside alarm clock says 9.25 am. It takes a second or two to set in, but then it dawns on me, all too real. The back of my neck and head seize up with apprehension, the blood rushes against my ears, and then there’s the fear. You see, my train also arrives at 9.25am.
Buckles clasping against waist fat, denim cutting off crotch circulation, tingly static against hairy thighs, feet throbbing painfully into tight laced shoe openings rending across tautly stretched foot-arch skin, water slopping messily into bottle, wetting hand with nasty cold. Angst and failure on every count, and it’s all happening in triple-time.
When you’re late and desperate enough, all thinking is delusional; Thus, as I see it, my train will come at 9.26am, giving me the rest of this thirty seconds to finish getting changed and another thirty seconds to get to the station.
In walks my mother, telling me that she’d like to make me some breakfast. She’s pretty concerned that I should eat, but I don’t have time to be looking at her, no less talking. So, instead I say a curt, dangerous ‘no thankyou’. I don’t want to betray the direness of this situation. She’s talking of fanciful leisurely breakfasts while I’m missing the start of another important tutorial and resisting the urge to scream “I’m missing my TRAAAAIIIIINNNNNNNNNN!!!!” right into my mother’s face.
The back of my head throbbing now with the combined pressure of holding in every natural instinct to shout and cry, while my simultaneous charade insists “It‘s all going to work out, It’s fine mum, it’s always fine”
She tells me to take a jacket. I grab it, and a banana, and leave behind my wallet. I boulder down the path out front hollering insanely “I’ll be back after..something…something…uni BYE”
Crossing the road pantily, the throbbing at the base of the head is worse now.
Why was I up so late last night?
You see, these aren’t accidental haphazard screw-ups, but conscious decisions.
I will have a Coles lamington and then mum’s cold, doughy, bland-ish pound cake to follow- says the Late. I will watch this Maya Angelou interview from what seems like 1991, with a guy called Armstrong Williams, the Late discerns. I will replay the part where she reads ‘Still I Rise’, and then I will watch her read ‘Still I Rise’ in a separate video, and yes, I will watch part 3. It’s going on 1.30 now, and I will watch a video of Oprah on Sirius radio, then I will have some more of yesterday night’s white moist chicken breast from the oven pan at 2.05am. Yes I will, decides the Late. I will also watch this Oprah bio after viewing her ‘We’re going to Australiaaaaaaaa!’ anouncement, as well as her subsequent personal greeting to Australia– decides the Late.
John Travolta is the pilot on the Australia plane.
I fall asleep all confused and irritable with You Tube’s violent content assault upon my brain and my vision. I wake up buzzed, tired, and bloated with a delightful combination both of cake and its delicious friend, chicken.
But I don’t like any of it, and so a strange other-me has formed itself, mostly out of regret. Like an annoyed spectator, witnessing all of the sad consequences of my own decisions.
I blame it on the Late.