diamond geezer

 Tuesday, March 08, 2011

When my alarm clock rings, something is different. It's not been light for months at half past six, but this morning shows signs of change. Weak daylight dribbles in through the curtains, where previously there was none. A mist hangs in the sky, but the light's still too dim to be certain it's burning off. A blue Monday is promised.

Breakfast complete, I walk out into the street and smile. It's not yet eight o'clock but the sky has already turned a piercing shade of blue. I cast a clear shadow for the first time in days, and set off in the direction of my silhouette. All the south-facing buildings along the street are aglow. I head for the station and its subterranean gloom.

I emerge into central London beneath a cloudless sky. That is, the part of the sky I can see is cloudless, high above the canyon of high rise offices. Alas every horizon remains obscured by a sunshade of concrete, steel and brick. I stride ahead for a few minutes through deep shadows. It's damned chilly, but maybe spring is finally here.

I'm early into the office, early enough to sneak round and raise the blinds covering the windows nearest my desk. The sun won't be swinging round here until noon, but my fellow workmates believe in blotting it out even when it isn't there. I want to nip round the entire floor and raise all forty blinds, but several grumpy souls are already at their desks and would give me funny looks if I tried.

The weather outside is glorious. It must be, although it's hard to be sure while sat indoors. We're several floors up, but the buildings alongside are taller. I have a great view of a wall, and another wall, and one of those platforms that window cleaners dangle from. If I twist round I can just make out a thin strip of blue sky above a rooftop cooling plant. It'll have to do, it's the best I'm going to get.

Late morning I have a meeting to go to, in the basement. As the sun reaches its zenith I'm trapped below ground, where no daylight has penetrated since the foundations were laid. Some smiley people try to persuade me to do something I'd rather not do before a deadline I can't meet in time I don't have. My outlook is not bright.

Back upstairs the blinds have started coming down. The slightest flash of glare on any computer screen and whoosh, a cord is instantly tugged to shade it off. No blind is ever lowered partway, even though partway would do. Instead it's straight down to the windowsill blocking all natural illumination forthwith. The philistines have spoken. We'll work by fluorescent tube this afternoon.

The sun moves on, but nobody notices. It'd no longer dazzle their screen nor burn into their eyes, but how would anyone know? The blinds stay down, because there's no atmospheric event to trigger them being raised again. Workers sit in shadows, ill-lit, in ignorance. I'd like to pull them up, but somehow it's not the done thing.

Six o'clock approaches, and I've worked the entire day sealed off from sunlight. A few minutes remain before the golden disc sinks silently beneath an invisible horizon. As I head out from the office and back to the station I catch sight of a vague pink glow to the west. This sunset must be magnificent, I deduce, but only if viewed from somewhere else.

And finally I'm back in my home street again. I've been travelling underground just long enough for daylight to have faded completely, bar one glorious final echo of blue in a purpling sky. The sun is long gone and dusk is rolling in. I pause to admire the thin crescent moon floating high above a bright dot that can only be Jupiter. Night comes swiftly.

A blue Monday was promised, and a blue Monday was delivered, yet somehow I missed the lot. Tell me now, how does it feel.


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