The light entering the flat possesses a dingy tint these days. Sheets of blue plastic have been fixed to the glass of the windows, like some form of UV protective cling film. It's for our own good apparently. Well, for the windows' good in any case. There's building work going on, cosmetic - not structural, repairing the heinously ugly cladding of the building with more resilient heinously ugly cladding. The blue plastic film is to protect the windows from the debris that these works produce in abundance.
I discovered the debris before the blue plastic appeared. I returned home from a long lunch shift to find my bedroom covered in a thin layer of dust that used to be the outer layer of my building. I swore and tidied to a degree. I checked my camera equipment and computer stuff and the like, making sure it wasn't damaged. I swore some more and drank a beer. My flatmate and I agreed they were bastards.
The next morning a note came through our letterbox explaining that through the course of the works we should keep all windows and balcony doors shut to prevent layers of debris falling on our flat. I swore more. I swore at 815 in the morning when the drills and the hammers and the hydraulics started.
I now swear at 815 every weekday morning when the drills and hammers and hydraulics start, particularly if I've worked dinner service the night before.
The next morning they fixed the blue plastic to our windows. It seemed a curiosity at first, the odd hue it cast throughout the flat. It was, and is, hard to work out whether it's sunny or cloudy in the morning. The colour itself has become oppressive, corpse-like and draining. It works in tandem with the airlessness that comes with the windows being shut in the midst of summer and forms a discomforting duvet. It's hard to get up in the mornings, in spite of the noise.
The torso of a builder sometimes hovers outside my window, hard hat bobbing, his luminous green vest just another shade of blue through the bizarre filter that screens the world. He appears and disappears through the small gap in my curtains and I refuse to move from my bed. A guilt settles that I refuse to give in to, the guilt of someone working when I'm not. I know when his tea breaks are - around ten - and that lunch lasts from noon til anytime up until two. I stay in bed anyway, and sleep is fitful.
The light is cold but the flat is stuffy. The air is stale until the weekend comes and the windows open. It's like living in stasis.
And so through the cold light, stale, stuffy air and orchestra of anvils, hammers, drills and hydraulics, summer stumbles along. I find any excuse to leave the flat early and get home late. Work fulfils that role, sometimes too well. My manuscript gathers debris now, as well as dust, sat in its own form of stasis.
I think it's time once again to take it out, shake off the detritus. To find a quiet day to read it again, in the blue light and air of discomfort. To see what lays past that, when the light's right again, and the air's fresh.
To really write again.