Twisted lines of ice snake across the windscreen, covering all sight. I scrape the silver slivers off. The early darkness smothers everything in sight. On the edges of my vision, I see the vacant houses’ eyes closed with curtains. There’s some life behind the ornate flowery curtains. Probably, cartoons for children. Probably, breakfast news for adults. Any minute now life will burst through the doors. Except at this ungodly hour it is me, a plastic ice scraper and a bag of work.
The car starts quickly without coughing or spluttering. The heater kicks on and steams up the window. It is as if the car doesn’t want us to move. Ice and fire combat to prevent me from going to school. The screen clears in patches like clouds of clarity. There are glimpses of the world outside like sunlight breaking through the rainy clouds. The irony being that there is no sun and I am waiting for the darkness to be seen. When the steamed up window clears, I drive the car off.
Cars, bikes and lorries all join the conveyor belt to work. Each one driving on to their place of work. Office. Shop. School. Hospital. Radios blare out different tunes: the misery of life punctuated by catchy songs sung by people that were born out of misery. The conveyor belt pulls me forward. The lights of the massive machine of life flash red, amber and, only occasionally, green. The sky starts to lighten as my mood improves. At least, I have a few frees today. At least, I don’t have a parents' evening tonight. At least, I don’t have to teach Tom today. Every cloud has a silver lining.