It is 6.34 am and optimal sleep has been reached.
“You are awake now!” a digital voice commands without
humanity. And I am rolled to the edge
of the cradled bed. “Your safety is our
priority,” it claims.
But I know. On this day, that
my humanity is my downfall.
My downfall is being human.
washing away the yellow stink
of the night-time, I am dressed
and put on my feet. Cold grabbing steel
at my elbow as I shuffle forward
on arthritic feet, forwards onto the
And sat in a seat, next to a woman
in polyester and wool,
who smiles generously. “Do you
remember the girls who used to do
this? Those bitches!” she confides.
“They cared only about earning enough
to get high!”
Chest heaving with smoker’s joy, I crane around
my stiffened neck and slowly, I can focus on her.
“At least they were human!” I reply but she laughs,
a wobbly gurgle in her throat.
“Only just,” she said.
As the drawer in my chair swishes open,
my day’s high arrives. A rainbow
of pills which I put in my mouth, one by one.
Swilling them round, I let them melt, remembering
the dark silk of chocolate. Then that soulless voice in my chair,
“Please swallow pill 102!”
There are no secrets, here.