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Making the best of a bad situation


Thomas Kinnock awoke at 5.67 in the morning. He had been learning Spanish, and was surprised to find that he had been dreaming in it. On awaking however, his mind reverted back to what it knew best and he pondered, face pressed against the pillow- breathing through his cheek, his toes hanging lightly from the bed with one ankle folded over. This was something he always did despite it meaning he woke up with pins and needles. Even when he made sure not to fall asleep in this position he would find himself there by the morning, another childhood habit . He began his day thinking of the day before, and looked around the room at the sheets of paper flitting from seat to seat before discarded due to lack of inspiration. He wanted to be a filmmaker but could not come up with any ideas. He was suffering from writer's block, and dreams of Spanish seamstresses were no solution.

He turned onto his side, face rising From the pillow and meeting the morning air, eyes still closed to it. His ankles now separated as he rested his face on his palm, his wrist bending backwards as a hinged seat. It slotted into place like the folding chairs at an underfunded Community Centre. His thumb rustling the brustles of his chin. And here it was, at 5.89 in the morning, that an idea seemed to descend from space and settle itself in the space between the hairs on his chin, resting there- still far- yet making him aware of his presence. It hung there a for a moment before climbing through his whiskers and dragging itself, paw over paw up his unflattering sideburns (he wrongly believed they made him look artistic). It gripped his earlobe like a crazed climber and then flung itself down his ear canal with all the agility of youth, landing - lightly footed- in his mind. He opened his eyes yet the room still seem distant, struck by the hammer of inspiration. Never once, in all his 19 years, had he come across an idea so awfully original. It had come to him as though from nowhere, and seemed to him to be unparalleled in potential. He resolved to begin writing about it as soon as he arose from his bed, which- like a temptress- invited him to stay a little beneath its sheets (a call to which he happily obliged). By 6.61 Thomas was still under his sheets, And he received a knock on the hostel door, a lady telling him to leave the room so that she could clean. He dragged himself up, separated from his temptress, and began to make his way to the door- grabbing his notepad as he left, eager to set down his ideas from earlier in the morning. Sharing a nod of politeness with the cleaning lady, who looked as though there were millions of places she would rather be, before settling down in the corridor to write.

Travellers, however, are restless, and Thomas - in his youth- had been naive to think that his visitor would stay for long. The idea had, after waiting a while in the sleepy layers of his cervex- which folded over one another like lazy ankles- decided to make its way onto pinker pastures, and abseiled down onto the shoulder, from where it had continued on its journey- leaving to the wider world to find another mind in which to nestle. To use a term used by those who know nothing of travelling world of ideas and their restless ways, he had “forgotten”.

“Fuck it”, he cried- throwing his notepad to the floor, after which a head poked around the doorway, it's hair coiled upwards in a bun and placed in a net, so that it looked like a bagel sat atop.

“I know it's early” said the cleaning lady, sternly, all politeness now abandoned “and you’ve had to arise from your jizz stained sheets Mr Kinnock- but if you want to have a lie in then you’ll have to learn to clean up your own shit.”

It is said that the idea found its into her net and stayed there for many years, relieving its hunger with the bagel like bun (no matter how much it ate the bun always seemed to grow back), and quenching its thirst with the small drops of sweat that would roll down the ladies forehead as she went from room to room- cleaning up after ungrateful ‘creatives’. Here it grew fat and lazy until one day, losing footing due to its new found weight, It slipped and fell down her ear canal, settling itself amongst her neurons. Like Thomas, she did not immediately grasp upon it, due not to the naivety of youth (she was now over 70, but still working each day) but due to the busy nature of her life, where there was little room to ponder on such things. Despite this, the idea was now obese, and was lodged unwittingly between her telencephalon and her cerebellum, where it survived of its own body fat for many weeks, cursing its misfortune until she finally acted on it and nursed it back to health. Thus it was that in her old age the cleaning lady became a famous novelist- preferring to draw her concepts out it in novel form rather than adapt them to the screen- and Thomas Kinnock lived, and died (on a wednesday- at 7.83), in obscurity.