Tuesday, December 17, 2002

61 hours.

That's how long I'll have worked between my last day off (Thursday) and the first day of my hols. Only three more ten-hour shifts to go. Yeah, I'm going on about work a lot lately. Yeah, I know your job sucks too. Hard cheddar.

I'm tired, tired in a strange, distant kind of way. The world looks cold and glittery and odd, unreal. The days sort of blur into one another; it's getting harder to differentiate between stuff that happened this morning and stuff that happened last week. I know what I had for breakfast today, but only because I've had the same thing for the last few days: a marmite sandwich. Brown bread. I get paid the minimum wage: six Euros and thirty-five cents an hour (in English money that's about four pounds ten. One Euro is roughly the same as one American dollar, I think).

Bottle of coke, bleep. Loaf of bread, bleep. Chocolate bar, bleep. After a while the world is just one big barcode. When there's no customers around I clean, or stock shelves. Walking home, I feel robotic, corroded.

Yet I'm still writing. By the end of the day I'm dog-tired, freezing cold and hungry as a hunter, but I spend that last interminable half-hour dreaming not of a hot meal or a cosy bed but of popping open one or other of the documents I'm working on, the various novel fragments, an article, anything. When I get indoors I don't fire up the microwave, I fire up the PC.

I think I may be losing my mind.

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