Sunday, 6pm. I haven't left the house all day. I got up late and did French toast for lunch, started playing my xbox and here I still am. Not only a stranger to the outside, but also to clothes. I put the controller down, get dressed, gather up The Picture of Dorian Gray and head to my local by way of the newsagent. I haven't showered or washed since Friday night.
It is bitterly cold outside but the pub is warm, if loud, and fairly busy although there is a table free so I stay. I order a diet coke and sit at the free table and place my paper down. I lament at the growing redundancy of newspapers as the last sections are "sport" (in the UK sport is a euphemism for "football") that I have no interest in so never read. It seems to me that there are two kinds of men…one who reads a newspaper from the back to the front, and me. Leaving the professional lives of footballers to face the table, I turn over the first, second, third, fourth and fifth pages of the front of the paper as they are adorned with the personal lives of footballers that I have no interest in.
My paper spent, and me no more educated, I sit still for a while and listen to the music that, for once, is quite pleasant, if a little loud. It feels like that special effect you see on TV where the protagonist stays still while the world flurries past in a stop-motion blur. To my left are a group of musicians that are killing time waiting for their gig to start at the venue next door. To the right of me are a group of men, standing up in the glow of the television that broadcasts sport. Having lost the power of speech, everything the say must be shouted and enforced with fists on tables and unreasonably loud and raucous fake laughter. If they can address someone at the other end of the room rather than one beside them it is all the better as they can scream and shout all the louder.
At the bar is sat an off-duty barmaid. It seems that when you work at a bar it becomes your life. You're there when you're working and socialising when you're not. She is an attractive girl with a good body that she refuses to show off. Queen bee in human form, everywhere she goes there is a swarm of men buzzing around her and she flits her attention between them all, flirtatiously running her fingers through her honey-blonde hair.
The time I used to kill with alcohol is now left to me to spend in regret. I wonder if I actually don't want to be social, or if I've just given up. A part of me envies these people and their circle of friends, spending time instead of killing it. Filling their moments with joy and happiness while I fritter mine away. A part of me remembers the two unanswered text messages on my phone and remembers who I am.
Leaving the room to themselves, I open my book and continue to read while I try my best to block out the environment. When I'm done reading I'll go home to my xbox. I'll have something to eat. I'll watch a movie. I'll wait for the day to end.