by Richard Owain Roberts
My eyes open, it is very dark in the bedroom.
I close my eyes.
I open my eyes.
I get up from my bed and walk to the kitchen.
I turn on the tap and fill a pint glass with tap water.
I drink half of the water in the pint glass and pour the rest down the sink. What a shitty thing to do, I think. I turn the tap back on and fill a pint glass with water. I drink half of the water and pour the rest down the sink. My life is a series of mistakes, repeated over and over and over again, I think.
I walk back to the bedroom and put on a pair of black cords and a grey t-shirt. I put on a pair of trainers.
I leave my house and begin walking.
I am walking and burning calories and making a mark on the world, I think. I am acting positively and logically, I think. Not all of the street lights work. It doesn’t matter, everything is going to be okay.
I feel thirsty and buy a can of Sprite from a Greek-Cypriot takeaway. I drink the Sprite and cross the road so I can put the empty can in a bin. An old man says something to me. I can’t hear what the old man says. My phone vibrates in my back pocket and I read a text from my network provider. My network provider is very friendly and wants to help me make the most out of my life and all of the opportunities available to me. My network provider thinks that I am going to be okay. I am going to be okay, I think.
I read some old texts. I can’t find the text I want to read.
I feel hungry and buy a veggie burger from a Greek-Cypriot takeaway. A woman in her late forties tells me she recognises me from ten minutes ago, I tell the woman in her late forties that I am very tired and experiencing memory loss and have been locked out of my Spotify. The woman in her late forties is rolling a cigarette and has long, bony fingers. The woman in her late forties tells me that she is going to be homeless in two weeks unless she can get a job that pays in cash, and in advance. A white man in his late thirties walks over and sits down by the woman in her late forties. I say bye but the woman in her late forties doesn’t hear me.
I finish eating the veggie burger and cross the road so I can put the empty tray in a bin. An old man says something to me. I can’t hear what the old man says. A teenage boy walks up to the old man and they begin talking.
I cross the road and walk up a side-road. Not all of the streetlights work. It doesn’t matter, everything is going to be okay.
It’s later, and I am looking for home.
It’s later and I am home.
It’s later and it doesn’t matter, everything is going to be okay.
Richard Owain Roberts has had short stories published at 3AM Magazine, Word Riot, New Wave Vomit, Rainy City Stories and other places.
#1 by Dicky Carter on October 13, 2011 - 9:24 am
I like this Richard. I suffer with insomnia and always feel a pull to go wandering the streets at night. I’m not sure I trust the Greek-Cypriot Takeaway in your story though. There is something sinister about that old woman.
#2 by Anne Glennie on October 14, 2011 - 8:56 pm
I loved this – the repeptition throughout and the illustration of the state of mind of your character…ignorance is bliss…but uncomfotable for the reader as they realise the extent of his predicament.
#3 by Richard Owain Roberts on October 15, 2011 - 12:15 pm
Thanks for the comments, Dicky and Anne.
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