A Wednesday morning in the

A Wednesday morning in the life of Graybo:
The alarm goes off at 6:59am, just in time to catch the 7am news bulletin. My first thought is a sleep-muffled “already?” followed by a long sigh – a double bed can be a lonely place in the morning. I’m sorely tempted to roll over and snuggle against the warm radiator for a while, but instead I throw back the duvet, drink the glass of water I keep on my bedside table, and stagger out of the room without turning on any lights.
In the bathroom, I run a bath and soak for a while by candlelight, reading a paperback and letting the scent from a bath ballistic relax me, as music drifts in from the stereo in the living room. Eventually, I drag myself from this retreat to face the day.
After selecting clothes for the day (a blue shirt, blue sweater and blue jeans – bit of a blue day, really), breakfast consists of Weetabix with too much sugar (just the way I like them), a glass of cranberry juice and an assortment of vitamin supplements. At 8:20, I lock the door and walk down Chapel Street towards the Cathedral, passing the same people I pass every morning – the blonde woman walking towards the County Council offices, the couple kissing goodbye by the back door of Marks and Spencer, the man who always carries a bottle of sparkling mineral water. I cross the Cathedral Green which is lush and peaceful – a man is picking litter and putting it into a large grey plastic bin bag – and walk through The Close into South Street.
After the peace of the green, the noise in South Street is almost deafening. Two street sweepers are working their way northwards, one on the pavement and one on the road. A man is picking up bags of rubbish and hurling them into the back of a lorry. A group of men are repairing the pavement. And a steady stream of people stride towards their workplaces from the railway and bus stations – the same faces every morning, sometimes showing smiles, occasionally showing tears, usually displaying that blank numb face of morning.
Dodging the cars in Avenue de Chartres, I get to the railway station, show my ticket and walk onto the platform. I buy a newspaper in the cafeteria, queuing behind a tall woman who always buys the Times and in front of an impossibly thin but very pretty woman who always buys the Sun. All three of us have timed it perfectly – as we leave the cafeteria, newspapers in hand, the 8:33 stopping service to Brighton rolls up to the platform, releasing its cargo of schoolchildren, college students and office workers. I take my usual seat, just over halfway along the third carriage – the usual faces are on the train, each in their usual places, every one ignoring the others, even though we have all travelled together every day for a long time.
I read the newspaper headlines as the train rumbles along its short journey to Barnham. Glancing up, my old school comes into view, the cue to fold my newspaper away and prepare to leave the train. I stand by the door and open it at the train comes to a halt, then leave the station and cross the road to the baker’s shop to buy a loaf of bread. A little chat ensues with Heather (the assistant) as she puts my french loaf into a bag (“isn’t it a horrid grey morning?”), then I pay and leave, walking along the road to my office.
On arrival, I leave the paper and bread on a desk, say “good morning” to Seamus (the cat), switch on my PC and sit writing about my morning so far….