The Eversame

White wine morning.

Morning and all is silent, I am in bed, and it is around 6.
On the Devon coast, along the shoreline, spitting feathers are gathered up by the hands of the crest of each wave, sunlight is appearing in rusted yawns, and slowly opens her eyes, splendid and enchanting, washing the rocks in white wine.

After the shower, comes the corridor, the driveway, the bike and my first tree of the day.

There is a lady made of purple wings and eyes and apple cores, she is sitting upon a leaf, on a branch on a tree, my first tree of today.
It is a silver birch, beautiful in the morning light, and I never want it to leave my sight again.
She is overlooking the morning rising.
She is suggestive in her eyebrows, her mouth swirls rouge pate in correlation with her twitching wings and lips.
The street below is full of almost twenty people avoiding the other zombies and things. No one it seems has noticed her, except for me. I have been staring at her for too long. I become anxious about time and clocks. I jump on my bike and pedal.

I ignore the cars and stop despite their beeps.

On the cycle ride to work I pass a man, stuck, head deep in a thorn bush,
‘Are you ok?’ I ask him, my tone concerned,
‘Of course I am’ he shouts back, ‘are you ok?’
This question stops me, like a squirrel stops a falling nut or branch or bird, dead in the air, between its cunning teeth.
My feet hit the floor.
I am standing on the pavement, my bike between my legs.
The man, I look back at him, he is still in the bush, but seems to be ignoring me now.
I turn my head to the sky; it is blue and full of lethargy and clouds.
I ride on, a little disturbed.

9 am is such a wonderful day.
eversame

For the first hour, the shop sits silent, despite the hundreds of eyes and feet that swarm the newspapers and coffee machines, I am ignoring them all, it is far too early. Instead I doodle tired eyes behind the till.
However, over by the lifestyle section, something catches my eye, a rainbow has just this moment formed, flowering from the ears of a passing customer. I stand stern, attempting to ignore the floral brigade of colour, which grows in voice from his ears, and marches across my eyelids, increasing in volume and great song.
He has noticed me looking at him, I have failed in my casual gawping, he seems intrigued by me, but at the same time, it appears he is oblivious to the rainbow air flowering from his ears.
He approaches me, and there is fire within him, it turns loudly in his face.
I attempt to explain about the rainbow, but as I try, his face turns into a red plum red cloud, which rises above the both of us. I point at it half in admiration, half in fear, ‘you can’t do that’ I yell, ‘first rainbows now clouds, you are causing a scene!’
He seems confused by this remark. It has become clear to me that he does not believe in rainbows,
This saddens me, so I turn my back on him, and with this, he takes the hint and walks toward the exit.
As he leaves the shop, the most amazing thing happens, and for a moment the whole of the shop floor turns into a deep sea mist of cloud and rainbow. There are waves and whales and penguins and silhouettes and circles everywhere. I remain starched behind the till, like the tall white duke of books that I am, in complete awe. Then as quickly as it rose, this scene dissolves back into the early morning. Outside the shop I can hear the caffeine rain hitting the pavement and hats outside.

He makes model boats and takes pictures of them, so they look like real boats.

I place a book inside a bag inside a book inside a bag. I am serving. I attempt to hold its hand, it reels back a step, and pulls its phone from its pocket for protection or comfort or perhaps just to look at the jazzy colours and stars on its cover. What is certain is that is it does not want to touch me. I look at it, but it will not look at me. It gives me some money, I add it to the till, which beeps and groans with delight. It departs with its book inside a bag inside a book inside a bag in hand, hands that would not even look at me. Another now approaches, it has ginger hair and a moustache, I scramble in my pockets for my phone.

And the sun is the moon, and I am the moon, in the night, watching from the blackness of sleep.

I am in the toilet, the disabled one near the café shop; it is my favorite one. I have been here for twenty minutes now, and will be here for another ten at least. It is piss bleached white and very bright. I am thinking of the Moleman. I saw him earlier today. He is much more interesting than the man who is a woman who is a man, and reeks of old perfume and sausages and oil, she is just rude. Moleman talks about himself in the third person, he goes space stalking on weekends, and is also haunted by monkeys. He is my favorite of the queue. Someone has just knocked on the door, I am going to have to stop talking now, I don’t want them to hear me.

There are five already serving, I am the sixth.

I remove another book from the trolley and place it in its alphabetized shelf space.
Then another,
and another,
and another too.
There is a voice, which echoes across the shop, it demands my assistance. I recognise the voice, it is comforting. I drop the book I am holding and head to the till. The queue is without smiles and long; it has many eyes and haircuts. I serve and wrap and bag and cash for ten minutes, placing books inside bags inside books inside bags, until all the faces and feet have passed, and then return to the book on the floor. I pick the book up, place it in its alphabetized shelf space, then I remove another book from the trolley and placed it in its alphabetized shelf space.
Then another,
and another,
and another too.

The staff room, a neon white light of easy wipe furniture and no eyes.

There are five people sitting.
They are reading and eating,
They are munching and digesting,
They are slurping and picking the debris from the table,
from their mouths and behind each other’s ears.
They have corpses on their tongues.
I am afraid of joining them; I do not want to enter into this world. I quickly step quickly step, and swiftly remove my sandwiches from the fridge. My fingers are warm and scared, the sandwiches are cold. Without a word, I exit this strange place.

A wet sloppy elephant, uninterested and dull.

It is after lunch, same moves, same words, same tired motion. I remove another book from the trolley and place it in its alphabetized shelf space.
Then another,
and another,
and another too.
There is a voice, it echoes across the shop. I recognise the voice, it is comforting. I head to the till. There are five already serving, I am the sixth, the queue is long, and it has many eyes. I serve and wrap and bag and cash for ten minutes, placing books inside bags inside books inside bags, until all the ears and haircuts have passed, and then return to remove another book from the trolley and place it in its alphabetized shelf space.
Then another,
and another,
and another too.

The calendars tell the time and answer all the questions.

I am standing on the top staircase, shielded from the gleaming eyes of vehicles and moons and faces and clothes, by a selection of calendars. A man in a brown jacket walks past, he does not see me. A woman in an orange coat, with fossilised hair, passes by slowly, and I am sure she senses something, though she does not show it. I turn on my foot, to hide a little deeper, creeping into the cavernous candy of multiple days. A woman with a perm and ears approaches from the rear. She has seen me. She asks me a question. As she speaks, a thousand voices grow from her lips, some shouting, some howling, some complimentary. I simply nod, and stare at the calendars. I dare not to move, this woman scares me with her questions. She stands watching my face, waiting for something to happen, then realising that this is all that will ever happen, she leaves.

In the Bubble.

I remove another book from the trolley and place it in its alphabetized shelf space.
Then another,
and another,
and another too.
The room is now a stream of pink light and grey ice. I am secretly sitting upon a giant hand, overlooking some children and animals waving flags.

Yesterday, I quit my job.

I am surrounded by hundreds of faces, plastic books and haircuts. Yet no one acknowledges me except to give me money in exchange for something they want. There is a man with no trousers on inside the shop; next to him stands a Po-faced monster on stilts beneath a sultana sun. The man is shouting stories of wooden sheds and soft petal tears, as a smile cracks on his face. He is smiling because the monster has just mushroom floated off his stilts, landed on the floor and discovered his first glass flower. His voice sounds familiar; it is warm and yellow hearted. All the books have fallen from their alphabetized spaces. It is my voice. Outside I can see the clouds forming tulips and soft faces with the blue sky, I shall go there.

by Michael Powell
Illustration by
Gordon Brown
Delve deeper into Michael’s world by clicking here

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