Charlie woke before the alarm.
It was a difficult time for him, what with his elderly mother often unwell and he needed to visit her regularly to change light bulbs or to open tight jars.
And he had plenty of people attacking him for equivalent problems in various public works and utilities: like town-planning applications gone astray, dustcarts disappearing before they got back to the dump, park-keepers who lost their parks, communal baths with no plugs and apprentice tighteners who tightened the tops so tight the glass cracked.
He had to walk to work because the bus-drivers avoided the route on which he lived. Once at his work station, he would sort through the morning’s postal delivery - often a month old, having been lost and found again, only for it to be lost again in some pretty sloppy filing systems that he had to maintain himself because the filing-clerks were on strike over demarcation lines set in statute as well as in common law concerning their duties he thus delegated to himself.
Walking to work, this morning, Charlie looked into the sky – knowing that any aeroplanes would be grounded by ill-tempered disputes in the Pilots’ tiny toilets at the Terminal. But, there, soaring above the grey sky, he saw a second sky leaving the first sky suffused with a beautiful shade of sunless blue, then, soaring above that eventually blended sky, a shimmer of silver as if an all-enveloping foil was slowly wrapping his world of existence like a trussed-up fowl about to be roasted. But while the so-called foil visually formed an anti-clockwise swirling – demonstrating its attempt to release what Charlie imagined to be a spiritual pressure-cooker lid screwed down upon the residual happiness left untouched by night’s anxieties – everything eventually separated out into curds of darkest emptiness, leaving him to witness, soaring above everything else, a phenomenon of which he had himself written to himself as Chief Administrator, a phenomenon he called the Rapture. A developing tsunami of synchronised cause then effect soaring above effect then cause. A Rapture about which he had warned himself by post – a letter that had been a month late then mis-filed.
And each soaring above soared above another soaring above for a skittled-out eternity of reality’s demarcations and strikes. (Only a well-aimed hammer would be able to reach the contents of the past but that needed forethought in the light of experience and training).
Charlie went to sleep before the alarm.