Dave Port told everyone that it had been a life changing experience.
Of course, everyone believed him. Dave wasn't known for his waves of enthusiasm. It's probable that Dave even believed it himself: it really had been a life changing experience. From now on, he would do everything differently. In fact, he would start the very next morning.
But the next morning began in the usual state of fraught panic. So many things to cram in before the 7.05 arrived. Should he shave? Is there time for another cigarette? The rubbish needs putting out. Which bank account could he use today? By the time these endless important decisions had been squared away, or put on hold for tomorrow, Dave was standing by the stop and staring up into the curious complexities of the green-tailed monkey puzzle tree.
He came home with good intentions. Braced himself to battle through the inertia. But the cat had been sick on the sofa. Hardly an auspicious moment for a new life to begin.
So it went on. Then winter knocked the stuffing out of him.
Spring arrived and Dave couldn't shake off this feeling that something was wrong. He stared up into the monkey puzzle tree. Scratched his cheek having made the momentous decision to forgo shaving that morning.
The bad feeling followed him all day. He walked to the bus stop. A man sat down next to him and lit a cigarette. The man told Dave that he was on his way home from the hospital. A blood test. Dave feigned polite interest wishing the bad feeling would go away. The man said 'you have to be careful in that ospital.'
Dave tried to look very interested and made the mistake of saying 'really'.
'Yeah. I crept out for a fag. There's nowhere where you can smoke in those damned hospitals. I sheltered in this doorway, leant back on the door when some bugger opened it. I fell backwards and landed straight in the bleedin' morgue.'
'Well,' said Dave, feeling himself brighten a little. 'At least they didn't complain about you smoking in there.'
The man said some more. Dave wished that he would go away. Then his bus arrived.
As Dave climbed on board it all came back to him.