Thursday, 4 August 2011

One Hundred And Twenty Minutes

I am disgruntled because Ostrich has forgotten to turn on the radio. So I know immediately that I am going to have to make my entertainment fabricating little animations from the cracks in the walls. And there they are; Ostrich, the Badger and Voley positioned in crescent around me as we begin.

Ostrich, in her usual manner, has not even finished setting herself up before she begins to flap. Her phone rings and she spends six minutes squawking down it. By this stage in my career I’ve perfected the art of knowing exactly how long a minute is without looking, so I knew it was six minutes. While this charade is going on, the Badger gets up and down from his dishwater green seat once or twice, seemingly undecided as to whether to start or not. As if in a competition of extremes with Ostrich, his movements are laboriously slow and his chair gives a little protest creak when it’s finally landed on each time. Voley is not in my direct sight line, I can see him out of the corner of my right eye but have no real urge to strain to look at him. Such is the way of Voley, a little forgotten about in the corner.

Twenty three minutes pass and I realise that I’m too distracted to cut off from my surroundings. My right leg is crossed heavily over my left and straining down my nose I can see that it’s looking a little more purple than it ought to. I decide not to look at it anymore and go back to my cinematic wall cracks, but they’re much less interesting without the forgotten about radio music to set my films to. I get a bit brave and start to move my eyes around in their sockets, taking in a little bit more of what‘s around me. I feel a tear roll down my cheek, my eyes protesting at being broken from their glaze. I hold my breath whilst I relish the rebellious movement my body is making against my control.

Thirty five minutes. The Badger has his tongue out, it lolls lazily on his face as he squints down his glasses that are slightly askew on his large head. He makes dainty little movements which seem uncharacteristic set against the speed at which they are performed. From nowhere an image of the Badger trying to tap dance gatecrashes my thought path, I feel the need to giggle but disguise it with a dainty cough. Then I swallow.

Fourty three minutes and approximately twenty seconds in before there is great excitement. Ostrich has knocked one of her little tubs off her stool on to the floor. It is empty but I enjoy watching her bend and stretch to pick it up, I observe the muscles in her arm moving but then immediately wish I hadn’t because I want to do the same with my own. I hope that the break in her concentration will prompt her to turn on the radio. It doesn’t.

Fifty seven minutes. Ostrich works in a very staccato manner and she scratches her feet about the floor too. The rhythm is not syncopated but it isn’t unpleasant. I enjoy setting her beat to the Badgers melody of graceful gestures, I guess Voley would be the background, some kind of bass line, but I don’t know - I’ve practically forgotten he is there. I begin to enjoy my little orchestral trio in the absence of the radio but it is soon broken up by Ostrich’s phone ringing again.

Eighty seven minutes and there is little hope of Ostrich calming again. She begins to make conversation at the Badger and Voley and probably me too because I know she isn’t really concerned with a response. I begin to experience the conversation as a kind of “rhubarb rhubarb” background noise. This is favourable to noticing how static my mouth has been for so long and then to have to suppress the urge to move it in an exaggerated manner reminiscent of elocution lessons. My attention is brought sharply back because Voley speaks, I jump involuntarily because I had forgotten he was there.

Eighty nine minutes. I take time now to strain out of the corner of my right eye to view Voley as he and Ostrich begin to have a bit of a heated exchange. Or rather Ostrich takes an aggressive tone and Voley remains quiet and neutral. In my silent voyeurism I applaud Voley for not being apologetic and remaining steadfast in his side of the debate. Perhaps I was wrong to overlook Voley, he is not to be forgotten about, he is intelligent in positioning himself away from Ostrich so he can concentrate.

One hundred and eighteen minutes. Silence from Ostrich has become a long forgotten about desire, but I don’t mind so much because it’s become a kind of welcome second best to the radio. I have only two minutes remaining anyway and I intend to sing all the way home.