Wednesday, February 02, 2005

She walked home with no socks on and shoes full of water.

She had awoken alone. Last night's visitor must have slipped out in the early hours. She didn't blame him; if she were anyone else she wouldn't get involved with herself either. She sighed and hit the snooze button. Another few minutes sleep wouldn't go astray. Even those few minutes were elusive, and she tossed and turned until the alarm went off again. Renee decided it wasn't worth the effort; easier to just get up, depressing though the concept was.

It was a rainy morning, her apartment smelt mouldy, and she'd just been ditched by yet another man picked up in yet another pub. And now she had to go to work. Iron clothes, glue smile to face, leave home. The usual routine. She sometimes wondered why she bothered. Surely death was a better alternative? Those thoughts never went far. Suicide reeked of finality. Life at least held the hope that things could improve, if she could just find the right job, the right man, the right apartment.

Colleagues were depressingly happy. The Christmas decorations were hideously bright. Everywhere she turned she was confronted by another smile, another bauble, another cheery "How was your weekend?"

It was still raining at lunchtime. Renee didn't care, she was dying for a cigarette and if that meant standing in a puddle in the shelter of a stranger's umbrella, then so be it. As for food, blow the diet for today. She had fish and chips.

After lunch her workmates were somewhat more subdued. The weekend had worn off, it was just another day at work. Except for Renee, whom the weekend still haunted. No matter how many times it happened, the pain of rejection never dulled. The worse she felt, the more she drank. The more she drank, the worse she felt. Her head ached, her belly was marching in protest at the cruelty of fish and chips. She threw up in the toilets, and cried until her make-up ran.

Time to go home, and it was still raining. A hole had developed in the sole of each shoe, and now that the ground was a mass of puddles, water seeped in with each step. At the train station, she removed her sopping socks and put her shoes back on. She walked home with no socks on and shoes full of water.


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