Sitting in the stinking passport office at ten past ten on a too-early morning with horrible little urchin screaming beside me at his fat uninterested mother, and on the other side a stenching old man with urine-smell seeping from his pores and wafting strongly up my nostrils. The room is packed full of seats filled with waiting men women children babies all staring at the screen that shows queue numbers. An electronic beep signals number 209. My number is 241 and I'm waiting waiting waiting for my turn needing it to be soon to catch a far too expensive flight to London.
Horrible hangover sweats from too much pointless drink last night, my eyes are bloody my stomach churning my head thumping and the sweat flowing from my head and neck and shoulders. This waiting is hell and I need to get out. I can't.
Stupid drinking last night for foolish reasons. Sitting at home needing a woman so start drinking and get out to a club to find woman to ease the tension between my legs. Drinking drink after drink in this grotty club trying to work myself up to approaching a woman or girl, but no luck last night. Not even a fat whale of a desperate woman or a skinny buck-toothed and disproportioned ugly waif. Too drunk with angry eyes and no interest from any opposite sex. Lowering expectations and standards to the fat whale and buck-toothed waif and esteem bashed by their rejections. I am better than this, I know, but drink makes me worse so home alone I go in the lateness and brief sleep before dragging myself from bed to get to the passport office and on a flight to London where women maybe await, where drinking definitely awaits and where memories will be lost and forgotten.
Bing-Bong and it's number 217's turn to get out of this hellish place. Number 217 is a skinny old woman with an old beige coat and a battered walking stick. I envy her oldness; her next trip may be her last one before leaving for good. Lucky.
Little urchin is snapping around my feet now with fat uninterested mother still uninterested and still disgustingly fat. Little urchin is not yet fat but surely will be. I dislike little urchin with great passion. He is loud and ugly and snotty and his eyes are too close together, so close that if he were to live long enough evolution would soon deem fit for his two small beads of eyes to become one large eyeball located directly above his pudgy little nose. Bing-Bong number 229. A horrible little creature the urchin is, staring right into my face while screaming to his grossly overweight mother who talks loudly on her phone about soap operas and men.
I stare straight back at him with angry scowling eyes but little urchin is too stupid to be scared. He should be very scared, because I am in no mood for dirty loud beady little children today and I know I would get immense pleasure from planting my foot full force in his face - it is a very real possibility. Calm myself, relax, wait.
Finally Bing-Bong number 241 is up, and up I jump too fast and blood rushes from my head, along with the sweat which drip drip drips down my chest and back. I steady myself for a moment and move to the counter at the top of the room. My passport is ready. I look inside and see a haggard looking face staring intensely back from the laminated page. I look older than I should. I need a drink, but no time. I half run half walk outside and down to the airport bus which is late and leaves me stressing my head about getting to the airport. I am still annoyed by little urchin creature, with the remnants of his shrieks still flowing through my head.
Bus comes and on I jump. Empty bus, a lucky break finally and a nice quiet seat to myself at the back. I stretch out and check the time every two minutes as I get later and later and seem farther and farther from the airport.
The sweat keeps coming head still pounding stomach still wretched and body wants immediate sleep. No time and too much worried about making stupid flight. Traffic is heavy and shining sun is shining hotly in my face through the big window. Too hot. I sweat worryingly much, more than normal for an un-fat though un-fit young man. How young? Not so young as I used to like being, but younger than I feel. Bus goes fast now along the motorway and sun is shining from behind. Sweat eases slightly and sleep seems near but not possible right now.
Finally bus enters airport and trundles along to departures entrance where I sprightly spring out the door and into the departures hall, scanning the boards for my check-in desk number. Down the other end of the hall through thick crowds of heavily laden people, all different size and shape and colour and sex and age, but all equally large obstacles in my path, intent on me missing my plane. Finally get to desk panting and sweating worse again and take out my new passport which slips from my hands and flies over the counter hitting the breast of annoyed woman on other side.
Closed she says. Closed. Flight boarded. Closed. No, I say, I need to be on that plane. Let me on. I plead. No. Closed. She is happy that the flight is closed and smirks at my sweating panting face. My anger towards little urchin child disappears to be replaced by fury at this smug stupid smirking bitch with neat hair and very pretty face that is just begging to be slapped. But not here in airport which would be a foolish move to make so I tell her just how much of a bitch she is and lie about her ugliness which is a clear see-through lie. I am angry. Fuckit. Fuck London and fuck pretty woman and fuck little urchin and fuck passports and clubs and fat and skinny ugly uninterested women. Fuck it all. Turn and walk away and out and back onto the bus and finally home and into bed to dream of later this evening when after awaking I will begin drinking again and return to grotty club where I will be king for the night and not a sad angry unwanted drunk but charming not-too-drunk-seeming eligible and desperately sought after king of the club. And after club rush home with beautiful and horny woman who wants more than anything to fuck me all night long. Fuck London, my dreams are better.
Chris Connolly writes from Dublin, Ireland. Allegedly he is not as dangerous as he reads. His first collection of short stories, 'Every Day I Atrophy' (the SideCartel) is available now. If you need to know more about Chris Connolly, he has an excellent and excellently informative website here chrisconnollywriter.com