The alarm.

Slow, dawning. Realisation of the morning. Follow-on from broken night of sleep with initial trips to the toilet that are now the commode next to bedside, soggy toilet-paper resting in plastic bowl.

Dust covers the surfaces that no one cleans any more and eyesight faded, extinguished to such an extent that it is no longer apparent. Sure, it is there, but, who thinks about dust?

Dust not seen is dust, not there.

Bed clothes; no longer nylon or crinoline at the very least; cotton. Extra-large from the M&S old-lady section. Faded blue flower pattern, angled across the fabric.

The curtains half-drawn, allowing in the light, the paltry overcast morning that is like yesterday and the day before and, well, every day, filtered through tired netting that is also laden with dust, skin squames and time.

Alarm clock. Six. No sound besides the ticking which is separate from consciousness. Humming below the surface of realisation.

Dressing-gown draped over the back of chair in corner. It will require effort to pivot, to move round and haul self out of bed; doughy mattress that should have been changed 30 years ago – outliving its natural lifespan, failing to address the basic requirements of purpose.

Carpet soft underfoot. Calloused skin; thick divots in hardened feet. Fungal toes that cover cataract-like the nail-bed.

Still not up, still bent in two, still.

Morning 1926 by Dod Procter 1892-1972

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