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Confessions Of A Nameless Neurotic

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Another Monday morning. I am suddenly roused by a cacophony of clattering pots and pans down the hall. Quazimodo, my furry, lopsided, ginger tabby, is no doubt the culprit, probably stalking the elusive tins of tuna I feed him and lock away in the top cupboards. I trudge bleary-eyed into the sun-lit kitchen, and after shooing the rascal outside I kneel down to replace each pot and pan, taking care to place the handles inwards and stack the pots in order of size. I snatch a glimpse of the crystal clock in the hallway, and begin to panic. It’s 5:45, and I’ve already lost 15 minutes of my morning routine! I make a dash for the bathroom straightaway.











After spending the best part of an hour taming my unruly locks into a slicked-down side parting, and meticulously brushing and flossing my teeth, I head for my bedroom. I make up my pristine white bedspread, making sure that each corner of the duvet makes an exact right angle with the bedframe, then slowly dress myself in my uniform of brown cotton suit, crisp white shirt, crimson paisley tie and leather loafers. The plaques which plaster my otherwise bare walls grab my eyes for a moment, and cause me to contemplate my very existence, which all of a sudden seems rather menial. My many awards for Employee of The Month, Best Customer Service, and Most Consecutive Sales are impressive and satisfactory, but they are no substitute for social interaction, or love…











I’ve tried girlfriends in the past; they haven’t worked out, largely due to clashing with my fixed schedule. The longest relationship lasted 3 weeks, and ended in her smashing one of my most esteemed awards, and screaming at the numerous lists and timetables I keep posted around the apartment. Needless to say, there wasn’t much we had in common to begin with. But I’ve managed so far without a stable partner for “support”; I don’t know why I worry so much, I’ve already got Quazimodo. I just sometimes get the sense that a part of my soul has been left in the dark, that I’m missing a piece of the puzzle of existence. I snap out of my musings and glance at my Casio: 7:00! I hurry on to the kitchen, where I sip some black coffee and nibble a square of unbuttered toast. The floor-length mirror in the hall shows a picture of a hunchbacked man-child, scrawny and stunned by his dark hair, thinning at the temples, a wan expression on his pale face. I could grin until my dimples touch my ears, but my mossy eyes refuse to sparkle emerald. I straighten up, grab my briefcase and head off for another day’s work.











The bus doors hiss at me as I pay the surly driver and take a window seat, trying to keep my hands safely away from the grimy handrails. I stare forlornly out the window at families on their own regular journeys; some to school, some to college, some to the train station or airport. The thought strikes me that in my 37 years on Earth, I have never left the country, not once. But airplanes, or rather the thought of travelling on one, scare me; not the terrors of turbulence or terrorists, but the fact that something as trivial as lost luggage can upset their schedule. It’s preposterous. I am brought back to my senses as the bus stalls at some traffic lights. I notice a gaggle of small children on the street below, and standing on the fringes of the group a waif of a boy with snowy, feathered hair. The others appear to be huddled against him, and out of nowhere I feel an instant bond of isolation with the waif. The memories and insults from all those years ago hurtle right back, swirling like electric eels in my dusty mind. My eyes well up of their own accord, but thankfully the lights change and we take off again.











We pull up outside the fortress of a building, with its sprawling, landscaped foregrounds and wall-length window panes. I compose myself with several pronounced breaths, and stride down the concrete path to the front door of Sharkey and Smurfitt Insurance plc. My place of work for almost 20 years. If God gave me just one talent on the day I was born it was certainly to sell insurance. From the revolving doors I spy the supervisor, and quickly fix a grin to my face. I smile so hard my jaws crack in protest. Showtime….



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