Monday, August 13, 2012
Plasma Scream - Monday
I feel the sharp tug of the blade and hope against hope it won’t bleed. You don’t need a shaving cut when you are already running late and facing a meeting you’d rather not attend and a day you’d rather not have. I wait for those few seconds that taunt the unwary bristle-cutter, just long enough for a little hope to bubble to the surface, before the claret does.
‘Shit, shit, shit.’ I shout in anguish as the surprisingly vibrant crimson liquid, given how tired I feel, oozes through the snowy shaving foam.
‘Are you alright in there?’ questions my wife, as I stare morbidly fascinated at the blood pumping from the cut. ‘Did you want the laxatives or the Diocalm?’
‘Different type of shit.’ I mutter, as I wipe at the place in question and a tomato sauce-like smear ruins the perfect juxtaposition of virgin white and little bleeder.
‘Have you cut yourself?’ She asks unnecessarily as I slope from the en-suite with a piece of coagulating toilet paper welded to my face. The options for lacerating sarcasm are endless but there’s been enough slicing for one morning.
‘Do you want to wear a blue shirt rather than the white?’ Asks my wife, as I try gingerly peeling the hardened tissue from the wound after breakfast. ‘Does it make any difference?’ I ask testily, as a sharp pain makes my eyes water when the temporary fix parts company with my face. I wait again, peering in the hall mirror pessimistically. It takes a fraction longer, but the blood starts to flow again.
‘Do you ever get the feeling someone up there doesn’t like you?’ I say rhetorically, as I hurry up the stairs again to the bathroom. I’m running short of time and my heart is thumping by the time I make the last step. Something guaranteed to keep the wound open and flowing. A fact confirmed as I look in the shaving mirror again, to see a tear-shaped rivulet of red weeping down my face. Too many metaphors to choose from, I think gloomily, as I wonder how stupid a plaster will look and how much grief I’ll get walking in to the meeting sporting a flesh-coloured face-appendage. Salespeople are not renowned for their compassion.
‘Nobody will notice.’ Speculates my wife absurdly, as I come back down with a blue shirt and an even bluer demeanour. I’ve opted for another scrap of tissue, one that has now darkened to a crusty brown hue, rather than a plaster. I hope to peel it off in the car park and pray some clotting has formed, other than in my heart arteries, by then.
Bad enough facing a bunch of braying colleagues, keen to fall on the weakest pack member to deflect from their own failing and sales figure, but I have a string of valuations later in the day. Like the clean shoes fetish I have and the matching shirt, suit and tie obsession, I know the slightest perceived slight or oddity can cost you the business. Look wrong, or look at the wife, daughter or boyfriend wrongly and the business flows away faster than an opened vein. It’s a bloody nightmare.
‘Hah. Who smacked you in the mouth?’ Laughs H my poison dwarf of a rival manger, as I slide into the meeting room, absurd circular plaster on my face after a failed attempt at a clean removal of the blotting paper-like bog roll, in the car vanity mirror. The blood took a little longer to rise to the surface but it came in the end.
‘You’re late.’ Snipes the bean counter from the head of the table, lifting his weasel-featured face from the laptop just long enough to see who was going in the bad books. Loss column presumably.
‘Angry punter?’ Asks H loudly, to a round of laughter from the table.
‘Who’d you shaft?’ He continues on a roll, other than the half- eaten bacon one in front of him. ‘Buyer, owner or their pet?’ I’d like to impale him with a suitable implement, but the budget hotel only supplies plastic cutlery and my wit is no sharper than my razor.
Cuts like a knife.