The Process Of Staying Afloat
This story was fully inspired by Sampha’s “Plastic 100°C” from his latest album, Process. It is simply a glimpse of the daily life in the world which the song takes me to, everytime I listen. Before you start reading, find the song somewhere (Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Google) and press play. Thank you.
Unless he’s died in his sleep, Matt usually wakes up around 11AM. Today, he woke up three hours earlier. The sun is out but the fog is blocking much of the light from coming into his room. His phone — what woke him up in the first place — is still buzzing. He forgot to mute the groupchat last night.
Everyone texting in the groupchat is in school right now.
“fuckin matt sleeping his ass off while i gott listen to this bullshit,” one text reads. Matt dropped out after a lousy first couple of months.
A fifteen second stay in the balcony is enough to let him know that it’s not as warm as he’d expected.
“I thought it’s supposed to be spring.”
While showering, his thoughts are identical as last night’s before nodding off at 4AM: Plans and outfit for the day, music, friendship, women, sex, success, addiction, poverty, death. He gets this introspective every late night, when he’s all alone and the world stops moving.
Fresh out of the shower, the first thing he does is check his phone. Pat had texted him after three missed calls.
“u up already? wya”
“school. wanna meet”
“yea when will u be around here”
“i got class soon will be there at 1”
It’s only 8:40AM.
Matt could’ve used the laptop to pass time, but his grandmother has it at the moment. She’s playing Candy Crush. He’s about to head out.
He puts his favorite hoodie on, to give some flavor to the same pair of pants and that same jacket he’s been wearing all week.
Once outside, it’s apparent that the wind isn’t as intense as that tenth floor balcony made it seem. He greets his neighbors and seems at peace although he’s internally dwelling on the entire existence of mankind.
In ten minutes he reaches his destination. The local cafe bar. He decides sitting inside of the café would require too much chatting.
It’s not freezing outside, anyways. Plus he keeps his jacket on, so in fact it feels quite warm.
He orders a cappuccino.
Matt isn’t really a fan of coffee. But hey, he’s not a fan of waking up this early, either.
The sun is hitting him right in his eyes, and the cappuccino just burned his tongue a little. That’s enough to finally snap him back to reality. He starts scrolling on his phone.
It’s only 10AM.
He spends the next two and a half hours catching up on music news, and checking Instagram & Twitter profusely. He imagines himself living inside every picture he sees. Whenever a page won’t load, he slightly lowers his phone and watches around himself — greeting familiar people as they pass by.
He sees his uncle. They both spend more time thinking of what to talk about than actually talking. His uncle finally leaves. He begins thinking about his father. He’s slightly annoyed at the fact he might pass by and stop for a coffee.
“Naaah. He definitely still asleep,” Matt realizes. He contemplates about him some more.
By 12:40 — his second cappuccino, and first strawberry juice — a big, thick cloud had veiled the sun. It was still getting noticeably warmer, though.
“Thank God you sat outside,” he says before a half-assed dap. You could tell he was rushing to sit.
“Pheeeeew what a fucking day,” says Pat.
“Yeah, the weather’s alri — “
“Na I meant it was mad exhausting.”
Matt nods approvingly.
His eyes are set on all the children some hundred feet away that are currently finishing their school day. He’s not really paying attention to Pat’s story about some club promoters doing something.
“Kaja nonen,” he says before he makes a witty joke that relates only to the last part of Pat’s story. They both laugh hysterically.
He shuts off his melancholy for a more ecstatic and obnoxious demeanor during the remainder of the day. He points out he had two cappuccinos that morning to every friend that joins him & Pat after school.
When they all split, Matt decides he should go home and take a nap.
Before he naps, he spends close to a minute admiring the time he spent outside the house today. Truthfully, it was quite similar to yesterday. And tomorrow won’t be any different.