Friday, November 12, 2004

November 12 (Friday): Modern Bummer. Today should have been dated the 13th. This morning I really have to be up early in prep for the visit of dad but after being up until 5AM, a wake up point of 7.30AM isn’t really on the cards. Eventually I’m up after 9AM, feverishly attempting to paper up the cracks for when the old man shows his face.

This morning I receive the Before Sunset DVD from Amazon US. I’d forgotten I had ordered this and at these times, I don’t feel deserving.

Before Dad comes around Justin Bad Hand hits me on MSN and says “hi”. I tell him about recent developments, attempting to avoid being a general downer (a modern bummer).

At 11AM he turns up and as he does, promptly begins to give me grief about the flat. Christ, in the light of recent events that is least of my problems and he doesn’t even know the half of it. And still, the fucking digs come pummelling my way: “you want to do this with your flat”, “you have too much shit, you need to have a clear out”. It seems according to my parents I live the life of riley, I sit on my arse and piss my life away.

Dad’s jibes become too much for me and pleas to “stop making comments” seem to fail so I wind up finding myself have to explain/tell the old man what has happened and why I find myself at home. I really wanted to avoid having to tell the parents about recent events and my suspension until the dust settled and it became something concrete and of substance. Today however, the old man’s interfering leaves me with no other option than to lay the bad news on him. In their old states, I really do fear that at some point my actions will be the death of one of my parents as their twilight years turn out to be less than comfortable due to ill health and bastard employers (something that rings bells with me).

When I tell the old man that “I’m not actually on study leave, I have been suspended from my job” he jumps into the obvious response of “but you’ve got a mortgage and a car”. Strangely, the weight of my responsibilities had kind of occurred to me already, so it isn’t really necessary to be reminded once more of just how much shit I am now in, for one reason or another. This is a real seachange since my summer counselling sessions where the good doctor could be found telling me that I “have no responsibilities”.

Opening up and admitting at least puts an end to the barrage of nagging and smart arse comments as things get put into perspective. I fall short of expressing fears of being sued really just down to the reality that I have no idea just what the fuck is going on (and I genuinely suspect my employers, for now, do not either). We talk for a bit, real sensible discussion with substance (a full rarity for me and Dad) and he begins to get a move on with view to getting out of my hair and allowing me to get on with my duties. By now however with all revealed, I’m no longer in such a rush.

Lunchtime comes around and Dad asks me if there are any chip shops around. I point him towards Shrub End and Stanway but by now time is pushing it (as we head to 2PM). He shoots off out and asks me if there is anything I want. I just put my request in for some chips (ponce that I am). I begin clearing my minging dining table but all efforts are futile.

Dad gets back and he’s got me a sausage to go with my chips, it is subtle but these are the ways in which my parents show they really do care. They never hand out praise (verbally) but will do small gestures of care, ones that have the meaning but will not qualify recognition so that (almost) all signs of concern and caring do not (cannot) be registered and or acknowledged. Does this make sense? It’s difficult to explain.

Lunch is great. Not eating very well lately (save for the chips last night also) the food is well (really) welcomed and over dinner, Dad and I have the kind of discussion that we seem to have about every five years. We discuss my job and my actions as I continue to attempt to rationalise them in my mind but some so honest and pure don’t need rationalising really, it's just that (obviously) such stuff is frowned up in the business/commercial context (to say the least). We discuss my fears and future and debate over what the actions and outcome of my employers will actually be. To say I am feeling fearful would be the grandest of understatements, anyone who has actually read the blog will be familiar with their actions and attitudes and realise how everything isn’t so black and white in our environment. Harking back to school, I assume the position of the kid vs the group of bullies. Maybe once this is all over and the dust has settled, my future may be wide open.

We move onto the subject of Dad’s work problems (as I have said before, there is no doubt I am my father’s son). In many respects, his position is a lot worse than mine and it is all horribly linked considering his boss is friends with my boss as they go on holiday together and the like. Dad’s position is worse than mine because I actually remain relatively employable whereas he is headed towards to retirement with financial uncertainty hanging over him (them). I don’t like to tell him (say it) but with regards to Dad’s employment situation, he hasn’t got a pot to piss in, his employer is acting unethical in smoking him out and waiting for him to resign so that they won’t have to pay him any redundancy. And as unethical as this is, by the letter of the law I believe it is perfectly legal to do so on the proviso that they still pay holiday entitlement. Ouch. This is a subject I am uneasy about discussing with dad to say the least. Fortunately we move onto talking about other jobs that dad worked and this is the goldust, Dad really really should write about his adventures in construction because it is unbelievably funny. He tells me how he used to work for some contractor called Hartnell and when he and his gang/crew would turn up to jobs, the contractor wouldn’t have certain licences or applications to tear down trees, fences or walls but they would just go through and do it anyway and when the principals/neighbours would arrive/turn up, it would be a scene like out of a Beadle’s About stitch up, except without the punch line. Dad can be the funniest; I have totally inherited his harsh sense of humour in addition to his utter dryness and shyness. I find myself really really enjoying talking about these stories and experiences but then Dad suddenly ups and leaves as it hits 3PM as it appears he feels he is in intruding (I’m kinda low of emitting hospitality unfortunately). When he leaves it is sad.

In the afternoon, I once more find myself on MSN and up pops Bella to ask me her aching question. Surprisingly the question doesn’t turn out to be about music and her band (as usual) instead today she is asking me whether she should be a sole trader or whether she should incorporate as a company. I didn’t realise her fashion company was so far down the line, I thought it was more her hobby that was keeping her amused during unemployment. Soon she gets bored of MSN and asks me what my phone number is (although I gave it to her the other day!) and we proceed to speak/talk on the phone for two hours. I shirt/shy away from the sole trader vs incorporation question because soon it turns out that she isn’t really that far down the line after all it seems (but maybe I’m wrong). She complains about not having any money but that comes from not having a job. I tell her she should get a job in textiles, she lives in Nottingham for fucks sake! Nope, apparently textiles and fashion are two different worlds, like the relationship of an accountant and a solicitor she claims. I then tell her she should hook up with someone then and start a partnership. Nope, that’s no good either, seems she wants to do things “her way”. However unfortunately she hasn’t been born into money and is not a silver spooner so it looks like she is going to have to compromise at some point but she is not entertaining this notion whatsoever. I ask her how much capital she has and it is only £2000 (“two thousand pounds?”). I really don’t know what other advice to give her without bursting her bubble and destroying her dreams, I leave that for someone else to eventually do. Somehow we fill the two hour phonecall and at times it feels like high times (the old days) but that time (spark) is so painfully long gone. I suspect she phones with half an ear on attempting to get me to bankroll her “business”. I’m one of only a few people in our “community” that has actually bothered to get a full time job and attempt to piece together a “career” and I suspect she may now think I am on £30,000 a year or something. The call ends, the equivalent of a scoreless draw, time to put those rose tinted glasses to bed.

I get off the phone at around 5.30. I thought Seymour was going to telephone me with regards to arrangements for next week but with the Bella on the phone, even if he had attempted to get in touch on the landline, he wouldn’t have been able to get through. I check 1471 and how naïve was I, he hasn’t bothered calling me.

At 7.47PM my phone beeps and it is a text message from Stevo: “Alright, come on, beer and football tomorrow – are you up for it?”. This is the first contact I have had from work since my suspension. I text Stevo back “no, sorry I’m a bit out of the game at the moment”. Part of me half expects that Stevo shopped me to management over the blog (especially after my no show Saturday, maybe a moment of rage/madness on his part caused him to grass me and caused me my job).

Friday night happens and it’s the usual lineup of Friday night comedies on TV all intended to keep the spirits of those lonelies at home high, those stuck home without the option of socialising (friends). Why do you need friends when Friends is on TV and they can be your friends.

Eventually I fall asleep but during the night (restless as it is) I find myself having to get up for a piss break and when I get up (around 4AM) I step on my shoes and stumble, buggering my ankle as I fall onto the corner of an open drawer (a casualty of the great crib clean up). This is a really bad fall, the corner of the drawer really pierces my side and stabs the flab as I fall with a thud (my neighbours downstairs probably wondering what the hell). I get up and I can’t breath, the ridiculous fall has winded me severely. I stagger for my piss and when I look in the mirror I look really white and find myself silly struggling to actually breath! Grief. I return to bed, worried about ventilation, will I awaken in the morning if I can’t actually breathe to snore? Love a drama but this one fucking pains. Gradually though, I get over it. Div.

np: Royal Trux – You’re Gonna Lose


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