Day 1

The alarm clock rings with a rhytmic buzzing sound until a hand sloppily turns it off. Ruffled hair appear outside the covers, the hair attached to a head to a body to an arm where the hand, ender of annoying sounds, resides. Having departed from previous duties it is currently rubbing its hosts sleepy eyes. The person to whom this body belongs, a fulltime mailman, is Jay, who is now on the way to his job delivering mail. And packages. Mostly packages in fact, see he is no government-employee but works in a private company. And people don’t pay good money to deliver postcards. No, in fact Jepson, which is where Jay is employed, has handled many valuable goods over the years, including the crown jewels of Ireland and a sixty million year old dinosaur fossil. Jay knows this well, as he is constantly reminded by his superiors of the superiority of their superiors, which is essentially the company itself. Or the board of directors. Or Alfred Marcellius the founder, but he is dead so he no longer carries much influence. Unless you believe in ghosts, which maybe they do, the people who keep reminding him. You never really can know what people mean, or even if they themselves know. People say and do such wierd things, and as the hands pour cereal and milk into a bowl Jays brain remniscent a Lunatic he (can brain matter be masculine) observed his (and individual?) body encounter on the buss the other day. He ordered the body not to use the bike that day since it was such horrible weather, rain thunder and hail as big as golfballs. Almost. Apparantly a little girl had drowned due to the river flooding from the downpour. There was a notice in the paper the next day, yesterday, ran around playing and got to close, slipped on the slope covered in usually just dirt but now slimy mud since it had rained. She slid down and into the water and before her parents made it to the hills edge she was gone, as was life, both hers and theirs, her parents. Imagine to lose your only child? Horrible incident, horrible weather, did they ever recover the body? If not maybe just maybe she is alive, being raised by bears in canada, unless death is confirmed you’d think the parents had such hope, probably not bear-specific and everything but hopeful hope. Maybe such hope is best described as hope better not had. Then again what is a man without hope but broken? Like the man on the buss, was he hopeful, did he think he would and looked forward to one day leading a perfectly normal life? Involved in a heated argument with his imaginary friend and scaring the old lady sitting next to him to the point of her getting off two stops earlier than she really would have liked, though she would never admit, was normal to him and he need no hope as what he has is perfect. Who needs other people, who needs their approval if the lunatic can be happy without? Maybe loonies see us as stupid, maybe they are the one who are smart, who got the meaning of life, who have purpose and direction in the sheer lack of direction. Are we not supposed to go straight ahead or in circles or is it something in between? Apparantly the imaginary friend, who would have been he himself in more accurate terms, believed that rats had infested the non-existant cellar traveling with them under the wheels while he himself vehemently disagreed on the point of rats since no vermin HE knew of had WINGS but he had to agree with himself that he wasn’t an expert on rats and he hadn’t seen or studied every species but given that vermins normally don’t have wings maybe it was something else more likely but flying squirrels have wings but they don’t have wings they have skin-flaps they use to float through the air yeah but don’t gliderplanes have wings they do but the don’t fly the glide hence the name but then there are vermin with wings and the basement is infested with highly evolved rats but if they have wings why do they live under the ground and not in the trees well because people just aren’t ready for flying rats yet and they are awaiting the proper time to resurface as they once ruled the earth in the era before dinosaurs which apparantly wasn’t as nutty to him as it was to me but what do I know I only heard one side of the discussion and had to guess the other, maybe I didn’t get it right.

The bike, approved today, travels fast toward its destination. The road heading downhill going back is always slower though not always harder as it is motivated by free time instead of demotivated by a long workday, besides it’s good training. Jay likes his job, though he doesn’t love as he does his free time, it might not land him the nobelprize and while it can get monotone at times he has fun coworkers and a sympathetic management that arrange activities and surprises from time to time that are a nice break from the ordinary. During december last year each day there was a package to be delivered that wasn’t actually to the recipiant but contained a secret present to the deliverer. The person it had been sent to was aware of this and with much happiness shared this fact when asked to sign as collected. People sure worked hard that month after Daniel came back with a new ipod, showing it off delighted suddenly the cat was out of the box and an unspoken competition to deliver as much as you could in order to get as high a grabchance as possible on these exciting things begun. Jay didn’t get anything, but his best friend Henry did, a Nicon digital camera which has since been used to document many a dull days and even few exciting events. Like that time they went fishing, such stupidity to bring a camera out to open water but after all it hadn’t cost anything. Just to be sure they wrapped it in cellophane but leaving the lens free after a few testshots revealed, well, nothing really just a blurry mess. Risking exposing the glass of the lens to moist they set sail across the Spotsover lake in a twenty feet wooden canoe with their rods in a box hidden underneath the manually inserted seats, made and put there the summer before this one by Lee’s uncle. Lee who owned the cottage right next to the lake which they were now silently gupping across. The cottage where annually a great midsummerparty was thrown. At this place and at this time but many summers ago was when and where Glenn and Lorry met, a cute couple surely, little did they know that hazy night that in just a few months from today, which is actually a few months from the boat-trip, they would end up married. Loraine is her full name, and on that night he sat three seats over and on the other side of the table, he knew Lee from work while she did through a friend whose childhood summers were spent in a very familiar place: on the green fields and underneath the greenleaved trees they were currently sitting, dining on delicious food cooked and almost all exclusively grown by Lees’ aunt and uncle, see it was their farm and they had lived there for generations with ancestors tracing back to Korea. Rumored even to be related to King Jun himself Lee did not like to boast but was still, or due to, held in high regard by his friends. Not because of his ancestry though, his friends did not even know this, with the exception of Joan who had a very long conversation with the great grandfather of their hosts many years ago while he still had the health to come and visit, no Lee was an honest person who put himself at second hand and cared greatly that everyone had a good time. Because of his generous nature he was liked by many, but one must not give expecting something back lest one be dissapointed, most people who receive kindness are not prepared to give back of equal worth. Why not? Lee pondered, as he himself saw no real pleasure in material things, gather to live, live to share was his life motto. Also believed people who are unkind are so only because not enough people have been kind to them, had lots of interesting ideas that fellow did that he liked to share on late nights when the party had died down and an intimate setting with a few close friends remained. It takes a special kind of person to keep a conversation going until sun breaks and shines it shine on the shadows of the night.

Rolling down St. Eriks street past his moms friend Margit whom he sometimes meet on her way to buy bread at the local bakery. Freshly baked bread every day in a stone oven, done in a traditional way with both thick nutritious loafs that will last you from breakfeast to dinner as well as lighter variants better suited as supplementary to a main course. She’s not here today though, maybe she already got her bread, or maybe it’s her day off and she’s not going to get it until later. He knows where she works since he one time delivered a big box of nuts there. Margit had ordered it through Jepson since she knew Jay worked there, and Jay had picked it up as he knew through his mom the name of the company that was now written across the top of the package. I know that place he thought as he drove through town toward the eastern market place, where a car repair service station lay. He arrived during coffee break and was invited in for a donut, around a round table sat five people and as he took a seat beside a middle aged man with a big beard and a biker jacket Margit poured him a cup and asked him if he had trouble finding his way. He didn’t, he did take a wrong turn during the end of the ride but that only made the trip about half a block longer. The crew had just finished working on a ten year old saab with faulty breaks and as they now sat down enjoying a well deserved fried dough glazed with chocolate glaze and topped with strawberry hundreds and thousands made from sugar stuck inside the lukewarm still soft chocolate covering the donut, not to deep so they dissapear from sight and not so loose that they fall off when attempted to devour, Jay was told the summarized story about the Newdegate eastern car repair shop and service station. Back in the seventies Paul McKinleys’ then sixteen year old sprawny teenager now burly Harley Davidson fan was involved in a car accident. Him and his friends were driving down a steep slope ending in a sharp curve, the brakes didn’t take and they spun, upside down inside out headlong into the forest below where the car exploded the trees caught on fire the forest burnt down and they all survived. Stans’, because that was his name Stan without the s, friends all sustained nothing but minor injuries whereas Stan himself had to be nursed for five weeks due to a broken leg three broken ribs and internal hemorrhage at the Simple Light hospital where aspiring doctor Ricardo Lisandro was currently practicing his internship. Stan was under Ricardos care and while his care was splendid Stans dad mr Mckinley vowed to do anything in his power to prevent other parents from suffering as he had did during this whole ordeal. Thusly the car repair shop was born, with an initial but currently discontinued offer of a free brake checkup added to whatever else you wanted done. New designs becoming frequent in the mideighties made it harder and so more expensive to easily overview and fix the numerous minor and major problems that might occur with one of the most crucial systems in any mobile machine. When Margit after reading a leaflet set up at the hardware store applied for work the deal had already seen its best days and she was never able to do the charitable work of preventing accidents as Paul cherished so much throughout his career, he had been very moody when they were forced to cancel the free deal. She were however trained by mr Mckinley himself, if that could be seen as a privilige, not that he was an exceptional car repairer or a famous local hero but he was by his peers seen as an honest and very decent man and Margit herself saw it as an honour to have worked with him before his retirement in ninetyfive. His son had since taken his place and continued to be, in addition to the reason for existance, a major driving force to the whole business. Needless to say, Jay would not be eating donuts and drinking coffee here if it was not for him, he also wouldn’t have been told the story by Margit, not only because he wouldn’t be sitting in that seat drinking coffee and that being subjected to the silent treatment would leave him feeling unwelcome which is not what othername would have wanted given that she in that same position would want to feel welcomed, she acts upon the golden rule you see, but also because there would be no story to tell, not of Paul anyhow, and not of how the car repair shop was established. Maybe a different tale would take its place, told my some other person sitting in that same seat, not the same seat as mentioned previously but the same seat as the storyteller of the current dimension where the ancestrous McKinley weren’t hit by a falling tree on one of his hunting trips by the cabin in south Nortshire (maybe it should just be called the Shire?), maybe that tale would be better, maybe that tale would be more worth telling but right now the information about the donutbakery, as irony would have it, is all to unnaccessible by the characters of this plot, whom this story is all about after all and to disown them completely would be in my belief to make us all a great disfavour but maybe we can allow ourselves a short detour. Mr McKinley did not now, since he was dead, marry Miss Sheiz whom instead moved to France and died in the war. The alteration this had on the history of France we shall not go into great detail about, lets just say that a certain person no names mentioned would not have been as famous if not for this slight change, maybe the adjective slight does not pay enough respect to the event in question, after all would not a butterflies wingflap, to use a famous analogy, given enough time cause the end of the world as we know it? Maybe describing words such as large or small have no real meaning given theoretical historical changes. All I know is this, the donuts of Mr and Mrs Kenoti, whom got the lease instead of good Paulie both because his son didn’t get into an accident so he had no motivation to start a car repair shop but also because he didn’t exist, tasted a whole lot better than the ones Jay is having right now, but since he did not know this he still enjoyed his fried bread quite a lot and as the caffeine set in he became aquainted to two other people. The man in the bikers jacket, who was in his forties, and a young man who apparently was an apprentice at the shop. There was also an elderly gentleman present but he did not say anything beyond a polite greeting. The fifth occupant of the table was a brown cat, Whiskers was his name, naturally he did not add much to the conversation but he was constantly present and listening in, maybe he understood too, the intelligence of felines is not to be underrestimated.

As Jay rode down the road towards his work he reminisced his short talk with Stan, the man in the biker jacket, who had nothing but praise for his late father. He had been told a story about a hiking trip and nodded in agreement to the kind words about a person he had never in his life met. The donuts had been tasty but apart from that the day had not been anything out of the ordinary, sure it was entertaining getting to know his mothers friend but it wasn’t exactly a thrilling goal of experience in his life. Just another memory lodged in his brain which happened to pop up as he passed the bakery and kept his mind busy while he pedaled on, maybe that is the purpose of memories? That and providing the route and destination of his travels no mather how trivial, like this one he undergoes every day except weekends. Sometimes on saturdays even, the pay increase is not to be sniffed at but neither is the little you-time available, and saturday is pool-night. Pool-night with Paul; not the same Paul as the founder of the car repair shop of course, in fact Jay wasn’t completely sure of this Pauls surname, he had just been there one day when he and Henry were at the hall and had played with them sporadically ever since. He had been delighted to hear, after Jays donutindulgence, that he shared name with an entrepreneur of considerable girth. Good he was too, they didn’t dare play ‘im for money as even in his playful mood he made shots that both the delivery boys originally deemed impossible, and they were sure that if he considered the game more serious his skills would be sharper still. Quite many people who are named Paul that are good at stuff, or maybe many people who are good at stuff are named Paul, why is that? Perhaps we are really all good at stuff, some stuff, everyone has their secret talent, irregardless of if they’ve discovered it or not. Like Becka, she who on recent days found a passion for making doll houses. Teeny tiny things decorated with hand made Harry Potter posters the size of a small stamp. As Jay pulls of to the building where he works Becka is sitting outside and he raises his hand in greeting, she merely tilts her head and smiles back, a woman of considerable silent power surely. He parks his bike and locks it with a sturdy chain to the designated bikestand where already five bikes are tightly locked. Thereafter he, after getting his bag from the bikebasket, which he was not afraid to wield due to stupid stereotypes, unlocked the door with his keycard and entered the office building.

Walking inside he looks to the left and says hello to the desk clerk Sebastian before heading onwards toward the common room where the delivery lists are posted. Here he finds Quentin on his way out with a sack of packages to be delivered locally, though right handed the bag is thrown across his left shoulder and carried with the corresponding hand, the other arm being in a cast and relatively unusable. Jay needs not ask what has happened and a polite nod is the sole greeting between the two, there was something about him that Jay didn’t appreciate, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on what. Alone now he checks the list for his assigned duties, curiously he has but one package to deliver, as he reads on though the reason becomes clearer. The delivery is to a very remote village located up in the mountains, the trip there probably a full day ride. Jay ponders the profitability of such a delivery counting the gas bill but before he has the time to deeply dwell into the inner machineries of a capitalistic system of commerce he finds himself no longer alone in coffeetable-decorated room. Henry has snuck up upon him and aghastly exclaims the fortune of just one delivery in a whole day when he himself has over twenty stops in five different towns. They couldn’t even load up some extra to be dropped by on the road? Jay laughs as he explains the long road to Pewterville is through a dense uninhabited forest so unless there’s a troll that has ordered duckfeet then no, a combined delivery would be somewhat hard to accomplish, not to mention the town itself contain a mere thousand individuals. In the face of continued battering of how driving just back and forth with no climbing of stairs or finding obscure streets is nothing short of a holiday he suggest Henry write a postcard, so as to make the ride less of a waste, surely they are lonely over there and would love some attention from the outside world. Mockery eh, but then again who wouldn’t, and laughs best who laughs last you will see, maybe depending on the laughing matter. Who said it I don’t know but it sure is true that attention anyhow is nothing but addictive and unsatisfying, one postcard might produce a short and all too temporary concentration increase of the brains serotonin levels but fuck me if not like ecstacy you would need two postcards to reproduce that same effect at a later, but not too distant, occurence. Then if you indulged in postcards surely you would become addicted and like Jim Morrison go to France and subsequently commit suicide, or die, from the lack of attention causing a feeling only heroin could cure. Died of a broken body and a broken heart, the two identically perceived by the pain center of the brain. They say religion is an opiate for the people but science must be the poppy from which religion is precured, scientists in controlled experiments administered diacetylmorphine in themselves to test its effect and addiction potential as well as other undisclosed reasons but found much to their dismay that the effect was negligeble even at high doses having built up a high resistance from the reading of books all their life.

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4 Responses to Day 1

  1. meta gustafsson says:

    Very, very good , indeed ! But since my english is poor, I didn´t understand every word. It would be easier to read with shorter sentences, though.
    It´s easy to “see” Jay in your mind at breakfast and at work…….
    I look forword to read the following parts!! Wonder what will happen in his life next day!

  2. Pingback: ungirdled | jhlq

  3. Erica Appelros says:

    Great! Du lyckas bädda in alla dessa historier på ett naturligt sätt utan att man glömmer bort att man färdas längs den röda tråd som Jay’s dag är. Jag undrar vad som kommer att hända i kommande avsnitt — om handlingen kommer att fokuseras på något speciellt som huvudpersonen blir involverad i, eller om handlingen går ut på att följa huvudpersonens vardag med dess omgivningar. Underbart varierat och levande språk.

    • jhlq says:

      tack =) var rädd att jag svävade iväg lite väl mycket när jag gick in på parallella universum o grejer haha. fick precis en sjukt bra ide med, att kombinera skrivandet med poker, ska testa o se hur det funkar men känns som en perfekt kombination

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