The Waiting Room

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of rooms around the world whose sole purpose is for you to sit in it, and wait. I mean, that’s true of your living room I guess, just sitting there, watching something, waiting for bed. And yes, it’s true of your bedroom too, with the extra bonus of making you lie down as you wait until morning.

There are rooms with seats, designed to accommodate you waiting for a doctor, or a dentist, or an optician. There are rooms with slightly more fancy seating, called reception areas, where you wait for a meeting. There are even rooms where you wait for your tyres to be changed.

None of these rooms come close to the real Waiting Room though.

I always thought it was a rumour, a wild story told by idiots to other idiots. Until I found myself in the Waiting Room.

I’m still in it of course.

I can’t be anywhere else, now that I’m here, waiting.

It’s not like I even entered it by choice. Two people decided to put me in it, before I was even aware of what was going on. That was up to them I guess, but it might’ve been nice to be consulted.

So here I am, waiting.

This Waiting Room is different to all the other ones of course. It’s bigger. It has anterooms, and there’s even an outside. And it lacks something important, that other lesser waiting rooms have. All of those ones are angled so you can see your eventual exit. You look at the door, expectant, knowing that soon it will open, and you’ll be called inside. Sometimes you even get a glimpse of what’s beyond the threshold. It’s tantalising, and it gives you hope.

Not here though.

There’s no obvious way out. No glimpse of what’s beyond, just fear, and fantasies made up in the heads of others and shared as dreams and hopes.

I just wait.

I don’t know what I’m really waiting for.

Just that I know, one day, the wait’ll be over, and I’ll no longer be in the Waiting Room.

Transfer Day

It’s my transfer day today.

I wish it wasn’t, but there’s nothing I can do about it. The tides of time push on, and there’s no going back. I used to mock my Granddad for moaning about his transfer from black and white to colour. And mock my Dad for his transfer from 2d to 3d.

My life is about to be upscaled, whether I like it or not. It’s what we all want apparently. I’m going from standard definition to ultra high definition. It’s the done thing. No-one seems to think further ahead than that. As soon as we’re all converted, it’ll be time to start again, this time in mega-super high definition.

Sure, they say, there are some odd side-effects, but in the main, it’s for the better. No-one wants their life to be in standard definition anymore. So, they’re going to go through it, moment by moment, to reframe it. Because, while SD life is narrower, UHD life is squatter.

I’ve seen some of the tests.

They’ve literally cut off my Granny’s head.

“We’ll be sensitive,” they say. “We’ll maintain the spirit of your original choices.”

But it’s all automated. No-one checks it. And now, whenever I think about her, my Granny will have no head.

Twas ever thus.

I won’t be able to keep a copy of my life in SD.

Why would I? Who wants to see it in a lesser resolution?

Well, maybe I do, so I can see my Granny with a head.

But no.

I wouldn’t mind so much, but I’ve just had a letter from the Nostalgia Bureau, informing me that I have been selected for a reboot. I will be recast in my own life, and bought bang up to date for a modern audience, with a grittier, more realistic tone.

And this, just months after my unnecessary sequel.

My Life In A Sitcom

Some people think it might be fun to live in a sitcom. They think it would be funny to hang out with their favourite characters, and be part of the wacky shenanigans and goings on. But believe you me, they’re wrong.

Living in a sitcom is horrific.

And I should know.

It all started a few years ago, when I moved in to my new house. Something was wrong, something I hadn’t noticed when I bought it. It took me days to put my finger on the source of my unease. Then, one afternoon, when I was sitting on the sofa, watching some terrible property renovation show, my attention wandered, and I gazed past the TV set.

The whole back wall was missing.

In its place was a rake of sloped seating, all empty.

My eyes opened, I looked around, and realised the ceiling was gone too, replaced by a massive lighting rig. Doors that used to lead somewhere now just opened onto nothing, and I could see the wooden supports holding up my walls.

Horror kicked in.

I realised that my friends only came to visit at 9pm on a Thursday night. And when they did, it was never just for a nice chat, they always had some problem that needed resolving. A relationship they couldn’t end, a spat at work, a garbage disposal unit in their shower on the blink.

And my own life was a mess too. I couldn’t hold down a job, or a relationship. I was on an endless cycle of dates with people I didn’t really like. My neighbour kept popping in, even though we had never spoken before.

Every week, it was something new. It would be hell for a while, and then everything would just … go back to normal. And we’d never speak of it again. Like that time I accidentally married my brother’s girlfriend, or that time my long lost cousin came to stay, or that time the angel of death came to lead me slowly into the afterlife, or that time I kept falling through bar hatches, or that time we went on University Challenge, or that time we went on Robot Wars, or that time we had a contest.

On and on it went.

Then it just stopped.

No-one popped in anymore. Nothing interesting happened. My life became monotonous and routine. Wake up, shower, eat, work, shop, home, eat, telly, sleep, rinse, and repeat. My drum was constantly humming.

I’m stuck here, living out my days, staring at rows and rows of empty seats and lifeless cameras, with nothing to do but count the days.

Someone should write a sitcom about my life.

It would be hilarious.