Doing Nothing.

I wake up at 11:28. The sun has long since risen, kids scream in the street below and my bare room is already baked in mid-May warmth. As I open the window the 2 and a half inches it will allow me an acrid smell of sweat and despair invades my nostrils. The smell is me. My hair is damp with grease and I promise myself I will wash it today. I made the same promise yesterday.

A large buzzing fly chases me downstairs, beating me to the bottom. I follow it in to the kitchen where it crashes repeatedly in to the dust coated window. I watch it for a while, admiring its dedication and urgency in life. I catch myself drifting off in to a daydream, rub the crumbs of sleep out of my eyes and shuffle towards the bathroom. I drop my pyjama bottoms to the floor in front of the toilet and the trickle of my piss and the whizzing of the fly fill the silence of the house, along with the occasional beeping of the fire alarm upstairs. I’ve been meaning to change the batteries for weeks. Maybe tomorrow. Nine empty cardboard tubes lay in a pile around the toilet. I was supposed to buy toilet roll yesterday. I let the final drops drip in to the water and pull my knickers up from my ankles. They feel damp again immediately. I catch my reflection in the cracked mirror above the sink. Pale, acne ridden skin and lifeless eyes stare back at me. I squeeze a spot between my two thumbs until a mixture of puss and blood oozes out and down my chin.

Inside the fridge is dire. A couple of wrinkled apples roll around the top shelf, an opened packet of mouldy ham and half a bottle of flat Coke. I rub my stomach apologetically as it rumbles and moans in protest. The fly buzzes in the distance, the fire alarm beeps and a dog barks somewhere outside.

I place myself in my usual spot on the black leather couch that I stole out of a skip. The middle cushion has a large groove in from my where I’ve been sitting. The keyboard of my laptop is littered with crumbs and pieces of scab that I peeled off my elbow last month. I begin my morning scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. It will only take five minutes. Another friend from school has had a baby. An aunt is engaged. A lad from the year below me has been charged with murder. A blogger in Hawaii is raising her dog vegan. Brexit is falling to pieces. Donald Trump said something offensive. A scientist thinks she has found the cure for cancer. I keep scrolling aimlessly, not really taking any of it in. There are stupid people with opinions everywhere and before I know it I’m in a bad mood. But I keep on scrolling. I have always thought that there is something extremely masochistic about the internet. It’s like people want to be pissed off.

I glance at the time on the screen a short while later and it’s just past 2:30. Five minutes I thought and now three hours are gone. Another day slipping away. I check my emails, a couple of Viagra ads and a charity appeal, but nothing in over a week. I’m constantly expecting that one important email – from who and about what I don’t know. A message in amongst the rest catches my eye. “Are you depressed?” it says. I’ve thought about this before, considered the possibility, then rejected it. I don’t like the word, just doesn’t sound right, and I can never be bothered to make the fifteen minute trip to the doctors. They’d laugh at me anyway.

My sweaty skin sticks to the cheap leather beneath me. Staring down at my inflated legs and flabby stomach sends an uncomfortable pang of guilt through my body. I peel my chin from my chest and look back at the screen. Japanese school children are preparing for North Korean nuclear missiles. Then there’s dancing dogs and vegan mothers and female bodybuilders and an eight year old serial killer. It’s hard to tell when one clip ends and another begins. I glance at the time – 5:48. It’s already dark out, I missed the sun go down, and I still haven’t eaten or washed or done anything at all really.

Slowly peeling myself off the couch with arms as heavy as lead is enough to make me want to sit right back down. Somehow doing nothing is always more tiring than doing something. My phone screen stares back at me blankly, as black as ever, nobody on the other end making it buzz.

Upstairs I collapse face down in to bed gratefully. My phone says 6:32, I won’t get to sleep until the early hours of the morning. I roll on to my back feeling like a beached whale and stare at the chipped paint and large blobs of mould above me. The fire alarm bleeps, a couple argue in the street below and a siren blares fleetingly. Unconsciously my hands squeeze my boobs like stress balls. They fill the palms of my hands nicely. A door slams in the street outside and the argument reaches ceasefire. I want to listen to music but don’t know which jacket pocket holds my earphones. I want to read a book, any book, but my brain won’t form the letters on the page in to words. I want to play my guitar, write a story or cook some dinner. I want to do something, anything, but I know that I won’t. Another day is almost done. I’ll do it tomorrow.

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