Janet (j4) wrote,

You'd think that getting an extra half-hour's lunchbreak would be a good thing, wouldn't you, but what happened was that I was sitting in the common-room bit by the kitchen where I sit to eat my lunch and read when I want to make it obvious that I am taking a lunchbreak and not just slacking, that is, when I want to differentiate deliberate lunchbreaking from low-level procrastinating; and anyway, I was sitting there and reading, and I didn't have anything to tell the time by because usually I use my phone but I'd left it at home, and suddenly halfway through a short story about somebody who was reading a book I realised that having read half a book and being halfway through another it might well by now be time to go back to work, but I was determined to finish the story since it was only short so I read the rest of it quite quickly and with half an eye on worrying about being late for going back to work, as if anybody would notice or care, and then at the end of the story the guy who's reading says he's going to start reading the book again because it's not fair on the writer that he's read it and not really taken any of it in, which isn't the whole point of the story, but, well, and, well. So I got back to my desk and of course it was half an hour later than I should have been there, you knew that because I'd already spoiled the ending right at the beginning of this, but the thing was that nobody else was there either and everything was all quiet and stifled and fluorescent-lit and the bits of outside I could see through the windows were flat and grey, and my head was still all blurry with being full of story, and I knew I could have gone on reading for hours and maybe nobody would have noticed, and it felt like waking up when you've been napping in the middle of the day because you're ill, and not knowing what time it is and not quite being able to kick-start the whole process of caring what time it is or who it is you actually are again like that's something you can answer at the best of times.

There are times when you notice all this, and times when you don't. There are times when the greyness outside is just what you get for living in a country that has more weather than climate, and there are times when it's the winding-sheet you're wrapped in with all the weeks and days, and the thing itself doesn't change between the times, whether you notice it from one side or from the other or whether you just walk on past it without giving it so much as a nod. And me, with my headful of books and my movements still slow against the light? I wish that I knew whether I wished I could forget it or not, but to wish that is to walk against the flow of the crowd with your head turned down so far that it's only the rain that will make you look up in time to catch a faceful of tears.


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