196 Days Since

From a diary entry. Tried to make something sad into something funny. Please be brutal with your feedback - if it's shit - tell me! It's for portfolio submission at Uni so I want it to be perfect. Even tell me about grammar/spelling/punctuation. I can take it. Honest. ;-)

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1. 196 Days Since

196 Days Since

 

You scroll through your unread emails, fingers whizzing across the keyboard, as the strange and mechanical voice on your loudspeaker informs you in monotone that your call is important to them. You snort. You spot an important message from your boss, and groan out loud to yourself. Your brow furrows as you read, and remembering the optician’s words, you reach for your glasses case.

“Hello, Air China, how may I help you?”

You want to find out the rules surrounding transportation of human remains. You reel off your flight details at lightning speed and ask whether it is possible to take ashes in hand luggage, and what the guidelines on declaring it are. You suspect the Chinese authorities view Westerners with caskets of powder in their luggage fairly suspiciously.

“How much does it weigh?”

You reel slightly, your eyebrows disappear into your hairline, and you feel a knot in your throat; but then you grin mischievously. You tell them you have no idea how much it weighs now, but it weighed about 9 stone six months ago, so definitely a lot less now it’s been reduced to ashes. You pronounce the ‘its’ carefully and listen to the uncomfortable cough, before being told you're being put on hold again.

You tell them oh yes, take your time, I’ll be right here waiting, and as soon as the tinny hold music begins to play again you feel an overwhelming urge to laugh. So you do, right from the bottom of your stomach. It escapes out of your mouth like an express train from a tunnel.

You don’t bother to stop when they come back on the line – actually, you can’t. They tell you the procedures, stopping awkwardly every now and then to wait for a fresh bout of bellows to end. There is endless paperwork and emails to send. You write it all down, stopping only to wipe away the tears.

They end the call gratefully and you lean back in your chair, still laughing lightly, and say to him; “I bet you’re cracking up, you old bastard.” You rise, and clomp down the stairs towards the kettle.

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