Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressing gown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air.
It was a day like any other day in the boarding house.
It was the week that was starting to be different.
The clock radio scratched awake half statically untuned to the government station and the news from the un sovieted about another hundred or so deaths. Even as I rolled over and punched the off button I knew that the announcement of the vote a week ago had changed my life forever.
It was 20 past 10 am and cold as a black heart abbott. The mist had penetrated the thin plywood walls of the shelter and seeped its way into the bones and blood of all the residents. Not that we thought of ourselves as joined together by anything except our ambivalence toward mutual obligato and a sullen resistance to the resentful non judgemental assistance of our shared case managers.
The landlady opened the door and shuffled in with a bunch of messages and mail. Only after she was sure I was awake and not going to be another reportable death did she deign to tap on the door with her chipped bright faded red glued on nails.
“There’s been a bloody lot of phone calls for you in the last few days “ She weezed.
“I’m not your friggin' message girl y’know”
The bundle of paper and offcuts that indicated somebody still remembered me landed on the floor with a feint almost thump.
“Rents due Tuesday – Tiger”