An Everyday Sort of Story – William Telford
Sanchez was in the hallway. His tie was loose, his shirt had sweat stains all up and down it and in the rucksack over his left shoulder sat an uneaten baked quinoa falafel sandwich. He puffed out like a guy who’d just won a sack race, in a heatwave, dressed as Darth Vader.
‘How‘s your day?’ said Sara-Caterina-Carlotta as she took his bag, scuzzy folded corduroy jacket, and rolled up copy of The Economist, and pecked the reddest bit of his cheek.
‘Well, ya know…said Sanchez, shrugging. ‘It was, well…’
Sanchez thought about his day. There had been no earthquakes, wildfires or volcanic eruptions. No airplanes had crashed five minutes after take-off killing everyone on board. In overcrowded developing nations no apartment blocks had suddenly collapsed trapping a whole Zumba class in the basement gym. All across the States school days had begun and ended to the sound of riotously excited laughter without some kid who’d never had a girlfriend and spent way too long online showing up with a semi-automatic. In dusty Middle Eastern plains government forces had not peppered a bunch of riotously excited people with sponge rounds, rubber bullets, tear gas or live ammunition. No one had been decapitated, anywhere.
In Berlin, not far from the building where Adolf Hitler’s doctor had prescribed him methamphetamine, no one had driven a hired van into some diners sitting outside a vegan deli. While in a small English town, not far from a chemical weapons research establishment, no Russians had been hospitalised after being exposed to nerve agent by spooks, or hoods, or hit men, or someone who just plain couldn’t abide them.
Elsewhere, the American president had not declared war on North Korea, or Iran, or Liechtenstein. The leaders of North Korea and Iran had not declared war on America, or each other. Liechtenstein had not been invaded by Switzerland, again. And those Hondurans and El Salvadorians were getting along just fine.
No major construction companies had gone into liquidation owing millions of pounds and throwing workers to the wolves. No retail empires had gone down the crapper blaming the internet, and business tax and everything except sweatshop products no one wants. And nobody cracked open a bottle of Dom Perignon after making a packet shorting on failing construction firms and retail empires.
Worldwide, no one was gunned down, stabbed or had acid thrown over them. No young actors were sexually molested. A guy called Enrico Duarte Grossmann didn’t suffer a cardiac arrest after eating an x-tra long double dog and chicken fondue burger in a slider shop in Cement City, Michigan. No one put their heads in their hands and full-on regretted the way they’d voted.
And in offices up and down the land no one made a third of all staff redundant and then chewed out the survivors when they failed to hit targets. Or maybe they did.
‘So,’ said Sara-Caterina-Carlotta, impatiently. ‘How was it?’
‘You know,’ said Sanchez, exhaling through his nose. “Just your run-of the-mill, garden-variety, everyday sort of nightmare.’
“That’s nice,’ said Sara-Caterina-Carlotta, wrinkling her nose and patting him delicately on the reddest bit of his cheek. ‘Now, you want to hear about my day? You’re not going to believe what happened on the unit.’