I wake up to a classic rift from ACDC’s Angus Young as my radio clicks into life, filling the room with the sounds of Planet Rock.
As my brain slowly spins up into a state of consciousness, the song comes to an end and the DJ introduces the news. Now able to pay attention to more than basic melody and rhythm, I start to comprehend the words that the news anchor is broadcasting. Within seconds I start to recognise the familiar tones and presentation of some bad news or other.
Not the way I want to be starting the day…
In some form of urgency I roll over and blindly feel around for the radio and the power button to mute the anchor before she can get to the grisly details of whatever has transpired.
With a positive click I press the power button and mute the radio.
Must be a week day if the alarm’s gone off… Thursday… No meetings this morning, take it easy.
Now aware of my body I start to remember the aches and pains from yesterday, and the day before, and so on for… I can’t remember how long. Pushing myself I swing my legs to the edge of the bed.
One thing at a time, let’s get some breakfast and watch some TV. Friends, that’s what we’re watching at the moment.
With the pep talk out of the way I head into the kitchen and quickly distract myself with a bowl of cereal, a cup of tea and the television. It’s comedic qualities working a treat to keep myself from any self-reflection whilst the tea washes away the taste of yesterday’s whiskey.
As the credits roll and I polish off the last of my tea my mind starts wandering, digging up the thoughts and emotions from yesterday. As urgently as I’d turned the news off I shut them out.
Rising to my feet I return the empty pots to the kitchen and head back to my room. Closing the door behind me, the next twenty minutes are a mixed bag. Exercising my bad shoulder and following it up with a routine of exercises, I’m left with my body sweating and my mind spinning with emotions. Channeling pent up anger and frustration into my muscles I force myself through the last of my routine.
Dropping the weights onto my bed, I take a deep breath and a sip of water. My mind calms and I can see myself in the mirror. With my torso exposed I can see my chest rising and falling heavily from the exertion. It’s a pleasing sight to see – knowing how I used to be ashamed to see myself in such undress – as I admire the ability to visibly flex my tired muscles.
Eventually I find myself looking into the reflection of my own eyes, though they seem distant, almost a stranger to me. Staring into the hollow green eyes brings back the person I was the previous day, despite the internal struggle to keep them out.
I remember now… At least I got this far.
My head drops as I break eye contact, my counterpart now integrated into my psyche.
Heading off to shower, I attempt to wash the invisible force weighing down on me off to no avail. My muscles – no matter how much I pushed myself – could help in this endeavour.
Trying to take pride in my appearance to hide the shadow within, I prepare myself for the day.
You know, you do clean up quite well… or do you? Others don’t seem to notice, so maybe you don’t.
Snapping out of the conversation before it can get much further I grab my bag, and head for the door. As I touch the handle it’s as though a flash of anguish and memories flood my mind, washing away the small part of me that’s trying to hold back the waters.
Finally relegated to my fate I turn the handle and head out of the door.
It was nice whilst it lasted.