3am. I’m still up working, while the rest of the post code has been under the covers 12 cups of coffee and a phone book of computer code ago. My eyes are itchy and the on-screen alphabet segues into dancing kenji subtitles. The keyboard is dandruffed with cigarette ash, and the ashtray is silting up with butts, higher than my laundry pile. I shan’t bore you by explaining what I’m working on: suffice to say it’s tedious as grouting and tiling the Berlin wall, and so mindless a trained monkey zygote could do it.
Stankie the pug is fast asleep under the desk, snoring like a wheezing plastic squeeze toy. I wish we could trade places, but I'm hesitant to entrust the skewed marble run of her dog brain with cranking out an airline website with a 10am deadline.
I thought I left all-nighters behind at varsity. Strong cheap coffee and brutal Stuyvie Red cigarettes that would poleaxe an iron lung. A set work Bronte speed read faster than a money counter clacking through a brick of Zim banknotes, then writing the essay out straight into neat. I always cursed the first birdsong that meant dawn wasn’t far behind, and the nine o’clock sharp deadline, when Gollum the English Dept secretary snapped closed the submissions slot sharp and final as a mousetrap.
Work calls. Wherever you are, sleep tight. Sweet dreams.
8am. 3 hours sleep. My bones feel like plasticine. I’m bumping into things. Things are blurry and my eyes feel like eggs boiled in lemon juice. I can’t email the 80Mb of work across town, as bloody SA bandwidth is slow as lichen. So now, in my knackered state, I have to zip the files onto a flash drive, bike* the fucking thing four postcodes from here and transfer them onto the computer of what I suspect will be a contentedly well rested client. Then it’s straight home for deadline number two, due at 12 o’clock. Bloody hell.
*My car got nicked recently. I have not the words for my venom.