The Cycle


So you wake up. You shower and brush your teeth. You cycle down the main road to the station and catch the train. You take the train into the city and you cycle to work. You work. You finish working and cycle to the station. You catch the train. You cycle to the gym and exercise for a while. You cycle home and brush your teeth. You go to sleep.

So you wake up. You brush your teeth and cycle to the station and catch the train. You listen to some music on the train. You cycle to work. You browse the internet for a while at work. You finish work and cycle to the station and catch the train and go to the gym and cycle home and shower and brush your teeth. You catch up on some work and go to sleep.

So you wake up and you’re tired. You cycle to the station and grab a coffee from the place next to the station and catch the train. You cycle to work. Your colleagues are passive aggressive. You work out that you have 35 more years of this based on the pension documents you have received. You wonder what you’ll be like in 35 years and wonder whether you’ll even be around. You finish work and cycle to the station and cycle home and shower and go to sleep.

So you wake up and cycle to work and on the way there is a dead rabbit on the road which you swerve to avoid. You get to the station and catch the train and cycle to work and work for a bit and browse the internet. Your internet browsing is stressful because you are doing it when you should be working but it is difficult to remain present enough to do the work. So you finish work and cycle to the station and catch the train and cycle home and on your way home you see the rabbit. It is raining. You get home and put your clothes on the radiator and go to sleep.

So you wake up and you’re late. You cycle to the station and catch the train and cycle to work and pretend to work. It’s difficult to work. There’s something else on your mind. You finish work and cycle to the station and catch the train and on the train you schedule a dentist’s appointment. They can fit you in tomorrow.

So you wake up and tell your colleagues you have a dentist’s appointment but you stay home and lie in instead. You cycle to the station and catch the train and you have a cold. A person on the train tells you off for sneezing when you don’t have tissues. You cycle to work and work late to make up for your missed appointment. You finish work and cycle to the station and catch the train and cycle straight home and go to sleep.

So you wake up and cycle to the station and on the way the rabbit is decomposing. You swerve around it. You get to the station and catch the train and fantasize about people on the train. It is difficult to remain outside of your head. You cycle to work from the station and work for a bit and then listen to an audiobook. Your colleagues are passive aggressive. So you finish work and cycle to the station and catch the train and on the train you think about how this is the way most of the luckiest people in the world live. So you cycle home and you smell yourself and realize you need a shower. You wonder what you’ll be like in 34 years and wonder whether or not you care whether or not you’ll live that long. Your teeth hurt and you can’t sleep.

So you wake up and shower and brush your teeth to get your teeth to stop hurting. You cycle to the station and on the way the rabbit is just a puddle now. You swerve around it all the same. You cycle to work and they bring you up on your performance and how you don’t really seem to be loving the work. You lie and say you’ve had some personal problems recently. You work hard that day and you are satisfied. You cycle to the station and miss the train. The next train comes so you catch the train and cycle home and shower and brush your teeth and go to bed. You can’t sleep.

So you wake up and put music on to quiet your thoughts and cycle to the station. You board the train and nod your head to the music and onlookers look at you and you must look very satisfied. So you cycle to work and pretend to work and cycle to the station and buy some beers and drink them on the train and cycle home and buy more beers and drink them and go to sleep.

So you wake up and cycle to the station and catch the train and on the train you book an appointment with a doctor and they can fit you in tomorrow. You cycle to work and work and you tell them you have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. They are passive aggressive. You work and cycle to the station and catch the train and cycle home and go to bed as soon as you get home. You can’t sleep.

So in the morning you cycle to the doctor’s office and wait. The waiting makes you angry. The assistant calls you up and you enter the doctor’s office and the doctor says “How can I help you?” and you say to the doctor “I can’t be alone with my thoughts.” And the doctor says “What do you mean?” And you say “My thoughts are very loud and it takes a lot to make them quiet.” And the doctor says “How much do you drink on average?” And then the doctor asks other questions. The doctor says you have high blood pressure and should smoke less and you’re drinking way too much and you could probably lose some weight. So you cycle home and the day off is nice and you sleep and you dream a beautiful dream. And in your dream you wake up and cycle to work and work and come home and sleep and the day is thankfully on fast-forward.

So you wake up and you never drink before work and you can be proud of that. Your phone is out of battery so you have to spend the cycle ride and the train ride and the work day wondering how people do this day in day out for 40 or 50 years and then retire and then do nothing and then die. You cycle to the station and catch the train and cycle home and can’t sleep so you drink a lot and you’re satisfied when you realize that life’s worth living at least for now because you haven’t cleared your financial debts yet and you’d hate to leave the world with a net negative impact and then you can sleep.

So you wake up and cycle to the station and the rabbit is just a grey stain now. You don’t swerve around it anymore. So you catch the train and cycle to work and as you pretend to work and you think that the reason you procrastinate is because there’s something very painful about being present. So you cycle to the station and stand close to platform and catch the train and cycle home and go to sleep.

So you wake up and your teeth are very painful and you lance an abscess with sewing needle and your mouth fills with pus and you spit the pus into the sink and cycle to the station and the rabbit stain is gone now and you catch the train. On the train you finger the lanced abscess and look around and wonder again how people do this every day and you cycle to work and pretend to work and you look at your colleagues and wonder how they pretend to enjoy their work and actually get it done at the same time. And you wonder how they can have it so together. So you cycle to the station and close your eyes as the train arrives and you catch the train and cycle home and you wonder whether or not it matters whether or not you care whether or not you’ll be alive in 33 years and you drink and then you can sleep.

So you wake up and cycle to the station and think about the phrase “work/life balance” which is a great joke and it’s very funny. You could take holiday but it would be filled with dread of returning and you could work from home but you wouldn’t get anything done. So you get to the station and you catch the train and wonder how many people are so absorbed in their work that they can’t even remember if they’re faking the passion anymore. So you cycle to work and you think about work/life balance and how without the work the life would be even worse and how without the life the work would be even worse and whatever balance you strike between them makes very little difference really. So you think about that instead of working and then cycle to the station and catch the train and cycle home and drink far too much and line all the empty bottles up like little soldiers and go to sleep.

So you wake up and schedule another doctor’s appointment and they can fit you in later that day so you go and you can’t vocalize the issue and the doctor seems very close to telling you to snap out of it so you leave. So you cycle to the station and as you cycle you loosen your grip on the handlebars a bit sometimes when the cars fly past. You catch the train and cycle to work and barely keep up the pretense of doing your work and your colleagues have almost given up with the passive aggression as it doesn’t seem to affect you and you cycle to the station and catch the train and smile for a long time and cycle home and drink heavily and you stink and you sleep.

So you wake up and you no longer have a job and your teeth hurt and you mostly lie in bed for three years and you weigh up the pros and cons of trying again to be a person and wonder whether or not you care whether or not you care whether or not it matters whether or not you care whether or not you’ll even be around in 30 years until you remember you’re not getting that retirement package anyway because you don’t have a job anymore. You take a brief sabbatical from bed and thoughts to get some credit cards to fund your continued internal research. Some of your teeth are easily picked apart now and you absentmindedly pick shards of out the holes in them and suck in and spit out the pus from the lanced abscesses onto your bedsheets and the pain of that is background noise compared to the much more pressing need to weigh up the pros and the cons of being a person who is alive. You have this debate while you try and sleep.

So you wake up and go to the doctor and find out that some of the physical pain you have been experiencing is an incurable autoimmune condition that is slowly covering and scarring your genitals and anus. You push this back as it is not important but dutifully add it to the ‘con’ section. You get home and tell yourself to snap out of it and the thought is funny and you think “I gotta write that down.” It’s very hard to weigh up all the pros and the cons because you don’t have enough evidence or experience with life to know if it’s worth the bother and the only real way to get evidence is to go out and get another job so you do and that’s that and you go to sleep.

So you wake up and go to the doctor again and this one makes the suggestion that you might be depressed and you take that as kind of an insult and you say “Come on I mean depression is a mental illness. My only problem is that I spend too long dwelling on my life and how other people manage to manage their lives. That’s my only problem see I just need a quick explanation for that and I’ll be on my way.” And the doctor tells you that you’re not seeing things clearly and recommends you talk to someone and refers you and obviously you say “Look it’s going to take years before whoever I’m going to be talking to is even caught up on the debate I’ve been having with myself about the pros and cons of whether it’s worth it for me to be alive. It’ll be yet more years before they can contribute anything meaningful to the discussion.” So you turn to leave and say “I know much more than you doctor you don’t know what you’re talking about. I see clearly. I see the world clearly. I see The Big Picture. My problem is that I see The Big Picture a bit too much but that doesn’t mean I’m mentally ill.” You leave. This doctor tried at least but their suggestions were not relevant or helpful and you wrestle with that as you try to sleep.

So you wake up and you put on your person underpants and your person shirt and your person trousers and your person hat and your person socks and your person shoes and you cycle to the station and catch the train and cycle to work and you work hard and the work feels better now and you cycle back to the station and cycle home and there’s a new dead rabbit now and you don’t swerve around this one and you get home and make a point of not drinking too much and brush what’s left of your teeth and smile in the mirror to see if it looks OK and it looks OK and you wonder if you’ll be able to hack another 29 years as you fall into a shallow shallow sleep.


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