I woke with a start at 6am this morning – from an apparently thrilling dream that I cannot remember. While contemplating the bedroom ceiling, and watching a spider attempting to kill a shield bug, something made me compare my wrist watch against the bedroom alarm clock. One was wrong. I smiled while remembering the story my Dad told me when I was young – that having two clocks in no good at all, because if one is wrong, you don’t know which to trust.
After quietly rolling out of bed I tiptoed downstairs, looking in on the younger children as I passed their bedroom doors. Both were spread at crazy angles across their beds, half-covered by crumpled and twisted sheets.
Downstairs the cats congregated in the kitchen – stretching, while trying to look disinterested as they figured out where to stand to cause maximum disruption until I fed them.
After a shower and a shave I set off for the nearest bus stop, and fiddled with change in my pocket while waiting. I was the only passenger on the bus for the majority of the journey, and became lost in thought as we made our way slowly out of town. Upon arrival at the bus station I thanked the driver, and set off on foot, rolling my shirt sleeves, and wiring myself for sound.
There’s something about walking the streets of a town before it becomes overrun with busy people, filled with their own self-importance. I could have caught a second bus, but walked the three-or-so miles to my final destination – listening to podcasts, and trying to ignore the part of my brain that was starting to ratchet up stress levels in anticipation of the day ahead. A cafe opposite the office provided a hiding place for the final minutes – I nursed a cup of cappuccino, and started to go over everything I had done on Friday – playing through the code in my head. Sometimes I can’t help myself.
Seven hours later I walked back across the car park, and began the several mile return walk to the bus station. Everything had worked. Absolutely everything. My fears were unfounded. I smiled at my own paranoia as I plugged earphones into my ears, connected them to my phone, and hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button in the music app.
The opening bars of The Pretender, by Jackson Browne filled my ears, and I smiled.