We can help you with anything (part 1)
By moor land
I couldn’t see the pigeons. They weren’t hanging at the Costa where the barista arranged chairs, or by the never forget stones at the junction of one north and three west; nor under the wooden eaves of the museum. I squashed my face against the glass to see further up the street to the benches at the playground. There. Movement. Maybe four or five huddled in the shadows. I’d started doing this sometime after the weather reports had changed to weather adverts. Younger, more agile brains might pick out the one or two bits of information that were really needed; but me, I got stuck in the cute-folksy-songs that sold perfect dust protectors and the mock interviews with scientists that hawked melanin. The birds weren’t listening to anything, just reacting to the heat.
I washed from the sink using the last bar of soap my mother made before she was banned from using chemicals. I’d never liked showers, too imprecise and noisy, so the rationing wasn’t a bother; but I missed having a bath now and then - it reminded me of my first life as a boy, before I was a worker. Though I wouldn’t be a worker much longer; and that made me smile even when the mirror intruded in my thoughts in its sing-song tone with “where are you?”; and I actually sang back “getting ready”; instead of just thinking “go fuck yourself”.
After I’d put in my lenses, I picked a lightweight suit - black to match my eyes - and a dark blue shirt. I tried to cover the logo on my thumb with some thick makeup which I’d bought from Superdrug by lying to the assistant it was for a scar, which explained the insurance claim ad that kept appearing at my window.