Monday, February 18, 2008


Forgot the headphones for my iPod thingy today. Damn, damn and blast! I realise this may sound pathetic (like that old joke with the blonde who wore headphones all the time playing a recording “breathe in, breathe out”), but it has had a catastrophic effect on my plans for the day.

You see, I am rather partial to a stiff constitutional in the afternoons. On my lunchbreak, there’s nothing I like more than to go for a stroll in the vicinity of the Department. Especially in this lovely biting cold weather. It has many benefits, among them strengthening the immune system and warding off the ill effects of civil servant arse. Listening to up tempo tunes on the iPod means I tend to walk faster, thereby increasing the benefits even more. Or so I’m told by people in tight vests. I usually return to the office with a healthy glow, which contrasts dramatically with the pallor of everyone else.

Without the iPod, I am no longer insulated against traffic noises. The racket from big fuck-off trucks and those fucking Transit vans assault my eardrums. Not having it with me also removes my isolation from other people. I am not very sociable on my walks and the iPod allows me to adopt a far away expression as I mentally (in my mind, that is, not in a fashion that might be considered mental by a casual onlooker) sing along to my favourites by the Stone Roses and the Smiths. By lunch time I will already have spent four or so hours sitting in close confines with a mixture of normal people and complete and utter knob jockeys, so this walking time is for ME and for me alone. I don’t want to have to listen to other people's inane conversations, their noisy shoes, their sneezing and coughing. If I can’t escape all of that at work, then I’ll avoid it on my own time.

As a consequence I have spent my lunch break indoors, in the Department. Looking out the window. Just like any time of the working day. I miss the cold on my cheeks and the small circles of underarm sweat I usually have at this time (Sweaty I may be, but I will never smell as bad as Cabbage Water Man. And my top will not be worn for the next four days like those belonging to some colleagues.).

It’s absolutely fucking pathetic I know. It won’t matter in a few years, though. I’ll have used the iPod at such high volumes by then I won’t have a single hair cell left in my inner ear and won’t have to worry ever again about hearing things I don’t want to hear.

Memo to self: Find out what doctors’ surgeries do with the stuff they syringe from people's ears. Maybe I can have some implants?

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