Perhaps the most painful thing to happen yesterday – and it was a bad day, all things considered – was that I didn’t have any toast.
By ‘I didn’t have any toast’ I don’t mean that there was any overtly material deficiency of toast in my life. I mean that there wasn’t any bread there to be toasted when I wandered down to the meal room late last night. I had of course had two slices of toast for breakfast, and another two in the afternoon. But it was tragic all the same.
My back ached arthritically in an arthritic ache of arthritis that had inconceivably decided to be more than 30 years better than punctual. It gave off comforting murmurs of pain at every touch, like a lovably neglected puppy left outside in a rain storm with a less than satisfactory bowl of kibble.
The internet was down, so I was forced to grapple with the fact that I still can’t speak a recognisable word of French. People always seem surprised when they hear that I’m studying two languages, but frankly I speak them to the point where if I ever managed to convince a native speaker that I wasn’t dropped on the head as an infant, I’d consider it an occasion to break into spontaneous jig, which would cause their opinion to be immediately reassessed.
I don’t like admitting that I study them – it sounds pretentious and academic, and brings to mind images of sitting down under a lamp with an esoteric text and dictionary, making insightful notes and practising conjugations. Which is what I should be doing, but rarely - if ever - or will ever, do. In reality, the truth is that I lay sprawled over the computer watching some anime or movie thinking happily ‘Hey! I know some of these words.’
I took a photo of myself last night to prove to some high schoolers that I do indeed have a monocle, and in the vanity that I do indeed have a monocle. The face that stared back was one tinged slightly red, a few scars in the process of recovering from acne; skin that will become hard and ugly later in life glinting prophetically. The cheeks showed the nascent visage of newly formed fat, showing that at least some progress is being made on my medically-advised binge, and reminding me that I need to start going to the gym again.
I shaved yesterday, but not today; deciding that at least the hint of stubble was the right spirit for taking a university exam. It was a small, annoying quiz that suited my 36 o’clock shadow perfectly.
Yes, this is a motley collection of non sequitur mussed mishmash. (I really just wanted to use 'mussed' in a sentence).