Marie Sheppard Nolan is an Honours Arts graduate in English and Philosophy from NUI Galway. A Galway native although living in Ballyglunin, County Galway for the past 10 years. Marie returned to education to pursue her love of writing and while she has written many poems and short stories for the past ten years.
Zydol. Lyerica and Jeremy Kyle
By Marie Nolan
Today is a good day for me. I woke up this morning and filled the kettle with two cups of water from one of the two half-filled litre bottles my husband had filled before he left for work. I poured my cereal into the bowl and sighed because he had forgotten to peel the orange for me. I was looking forward to that orange and with this realization l hoped he remembered to put the milk into the jug for me. Otherwise my cup of tea would be black to go with my dry cereal. Opening the fridge l saw the two litre milk cartoon and the empty jug beside it. I sighed again. But l couldn’t blame the poor man, he was working all hours to make up the money we were missing from my wages. But l remembered today is a good day. So with my positive thinking and with my right hand l lifted the milk cartoon onto the worktop and then lifted the empty jug and put it beside the cartoon. I decided today was going to be the day l was going to lift that cartoon and have my cereal and tea with milk. So with all my strength l put my left hand fingers around the cartoon and with my right hand l tried with all my might to disconnect the little red plastic circle that is attached to the top of the milk cartoon. But my left hand just wouldn’t do what l wanted and the pain in my shoulder was intense so l banged the cartoon onto the worktop in frustration. Molly, who was sitting in anticipation of seeing her walking lead jumped with fright. I had let the milk cartoon impede my positive attitude and with the intense pain the thought of dry cereal and black tea suddenly became a realisation. But the need for nourishment after the long sleepless night was suddenly overcome with the constant pain in my shoulder and arm, and the thought of having to dress and shower left me emotional knowing that a normal daily activity for humanity was for me a dreaded norm that literally made me weep. Looking in the mirror at my lank dry hair and the bags under my pale skin l asked myself what is the point of showering or dressing? No one was calling anyway.
So l sat in my sweaty pyjamas with my black tea and dry cereal on my lap looking at my parked car, and began what has become my daily ritual these past three months. It was a toss-up between Jeremy Kyle and Judge Judy. Its not a bad choice really considering we can view these shows on the free channels even though l think my husband misses Sky. So along with Jeremy, black tea, dry cereal, Arcoxia, Zydol and Lyerica l sit myself down with my positive attitude and crossed fingers as the Postman arrives with a letter. It is the appointment l was waiting for. September 22nd. Jesus help me. I’ll never last that long. My heart falls and l sigh again. My phone beeps and a text message from my boss informs me my sick pay ended on August 16th. Jeremy Kyle is screaming, the dog is barking, and the Zydol and Lyerica hasn’t kicked in yet but the black tea has gone cold. This is good because l have to get off my arse. Toast l thought with a bit of marmalade. Lovely. No problem with the toaster or lifting the lid of the butter tub but shit, the lid off the marmalade was harder to remove than the milk cartoon, so toast and banana instead of the orange then. Perfect! The ham was grand to open but for love or money l didn’t have the strength to cut through the cheese. Lord, God Almighty when is it going to end. I sighed again and put the cheese back into the fridge and added cheese slices to the online shopping list. I wish l could wash out that fridge along with ironing those clothes piled up in the corner. My phone rings, its my sister asking if l want her to come up to do a few bits for me, but what’s the point. I’m only going to sit here in my sweaty pyjamas with the barking dog looking at my parked car listening to Jeremy Kyle screaming and drinking cold black tea and toasted ham sandwich. Oh, and not forgetting the Arcoxia, zydol and Lyerica.
Ahh…Today is a good day.