Tag Archives: bored

Daily Warm-Ups – A Mouthful of Banana

This is the first in a lengthy series of creative writing pieces based on photographs of dead people. I have been known to frequent estate sales and purchase neglected photographs of the recently department. They’re very good mental stimulants for my writing, and I love the idea of a memory that was saved from the abyss, and interpreted without prejudice or any sense of context beyond its own borders.

I know that it’s weird, but to me there is something endearing about giving fresh life to an expired thought.

Bill and Carson

‘Bill,’ said Carson as he peeked his head around the door, ‘is now a good time to chat?’

Bill looked up from the piece of paper on his desk and turned to Carson, who was now standing in the open doorway. He’d been staring at the same sentence for the last two minutes, and the same piece of paper for the last ten. His eyes gave a clumsy flutter, as if his eyelashes were sweeping the text away. He nodded to the old man in the doorway, and smiled.

Carson walked through the office, taking in all of the jumbled piles of paper and scattered half-thoughts that decorated the surfaces. Bill carefully slipped the piece of paper into his drawer and snapped it shut. Carson gestured to the empty seat across from Bill’s seat. Bill smiled and shook his head.

‘Uh, okay. Bill, this uhm,’ started Carson, shuffling awkwardly from side to side as he looked at the piece of paper in his hand, ‘this uh, request, you made for changes in office policy. You obviously understand that this is grossly unacceptable right? I mean, you understand that right?’

Bill smiled and leant back in his chair. Carson looked to the door. He fumbled again with the paper. He moved towards the desk.

‘Listen, is everything okay at home Bill? I mean, I don’t mean to pry, but you can tell me. I’ve known you for, God, going on eleven years. This,’ he said, holding up the piece of paper in his hand, ‘this isn’t you Bill. You’re a good man. Is Marcy okay? And what about little Lewis? Is everything okay at home?’

Bill held his stare as he leant back further into his chair. He slowly put his hands behind his head, and raised his bare feet up and rested them on his desk between a pile of documents and coffee cup filled with rum. Carson let out an awkward cough. He ruffled the paper and looked back towards the door. Harold, the aging security guard peeked his head around. Below the desk Carson held out his hand to halt Harold from coming any further.

‘Bill,’ he said as he took a deep breath and puffed out his chest, ‘you’re my friend and all, we go back, but we’re gonna have to suspend you with immediate effect. Like, immediate effect. Do you understand?’

Bill’s smile came apart and his teeth appeared, glinting between his lips. He leant forward in his chair and opened his desk drawer. Next to the piece of paper was a banana left over from his lunch. He grabbed the banana, closed the drawer and reclined back again. He peeled it and took two large bites, devouring the entire fruit, leaving only the little heel and the flaccid yellow skin. He tossed the peel onto the desk between them.

‘Go fuck yourself Carson’ said Bill, with a mouthful of banana.

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Exemption – Part One

“I have another interview tomorrow” I said to John. He was sat across from me.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. A call center.”

“Jesus. It’s come to that?”

“I know. I know.”

We were round at his house. His flatmate was out somewhere. I liked John but I found him sort of depressing. My flatmate Graham and I called him ‘The Mood Hoover’. He was downer man, no doubt about that. But a good guy. He served a purpose.

“Have you found anything?” I asked, looking up at him as I licked the Rizla and spun the joint up.

“Nah man. Haven’t been looking. What’s the point? I’m only going to find call centers.”

He just sat, slumped, on the couch, gazing at the TV. I tried not to look at it. But everywhere I looked there was something that depressed me. There was a coffee table between us in the middle of the small room. It was covered in shit. Dirty old plates with ketchup dried onto them. A mug that had a mouthful of tea left in it, the milk curdling and rising to the top of the brown liquid like ice caps. There were nightclub flyers with rectangles ripped off them strewn across the table, roached for the thousands of spliffs smoked in that room. I saw the bills from British Gas, the Glasgow City Council and Vodafone sitting on the magazine rack under the surface. His big bag of grass was sitting on top of the bills. There must have been five ounces sitting in there.

“There’s nothing out there” he said, looking at me after I lit the joint and leaned back.

“I know. It’s pretty fucking barren isn’t it?”

He nodded, watching the joint in my hands. I looked around the table for his ashtray. He watched me looking. He watched the joint looking.

“Just use one of the plates” he said. I looked hard at the crusty plate before leaning forward and flicking the ash onto it. I would have preferred to use my own hand. “I stopped looking a while back.”

“So how much are you getting on the dole?” I asked. I knew it couldn’t be bad if he could afford rent, weed and ketchup. Well, the weed paid for itself.

“Well it’s not just the dole. I get a hundred pound a week from them. I get council tax exemption. I get disability.”

“What? Disability? What the fuck’s wrong with you?” I asked, holding out the joint.

“I’ve got M.E.” he said, reaching out for the joint.

“M.E.?”

“It means I’m always tired.”

“Always stoned I think is what it means” I said with a laugh. I leaned back in the arm chair again. That weed was really strong. I could see how it could keep you out of the workplace. I felt like I was sinking into the chair. I tightened my grip on the arm rests.

“Naw man. I’m fuckin’ ill.”

“Yeah” I said looking back at the TV. There was an Xbox 360 under the TV. There were unboxed CDs spilt across the floor. I wondered how many disabled people in the UK had an Xbox 360 to numb their pain.

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