I would find a crumpled yellow ball of paper in the wastebasket in the morning, and open it to see what the hell I’d been up to the preceding evening before I had ultimately succumb to a bourbon induced stupor.
It had become a morning ritual as my “relaxed” self, from the previous night, would often scribble down ideas that would eventually, on reflection by my then alcohol enraged self critic, be viciously rejected and consigned to the trash.
In the clearer light of the following day (and with a clearer head), occasionally one of them would prove to be the germ of a great idea.
I say occasionally….in reality this didn’t happen very often and the majority were shit, …. but it was always worth a check.
This morning there was very little of Mister Daniel’s finest left in the bottle next to my writing pad and I had absolutely no recollection of making my way to bed. So I was certainly curious to see what the crumpled ball held inside.
Putting my coffee mug on the desk I sat and turned to look down into the metal bin. Yep. There it was, illuminated by the silver walls, the sepia sphere, in its own lonely little orbit…….God! what was this shit I was coming out with – too much whisky still swimming round my head!
I gulped down a mouthful of coffee and reached down.
Cradling it in my hands I parted the surface with my thumbs as I raised it to my face. Expectantly I stared in at its emerging contents.
However, there was none of the drunken scribbles I had been anticipating. The paper seemed clean until I got to the centre where I, at first, mistook some marks to be traces of spilled red ink – until I finally saw what was at the core – a single human tooth!
I instinctively ran my tongue across my gums but couldn’t detect anything missing. Standing up I made for the bathroom and, lips parted and jaw wide, made a proper inspection in the mirror. Nope, definitely not mine but how…..?
I came back slowly into the living room and stood holding the tooth in front of me. If it was somebody else’s then how did it get here?
My thoughts started to race, trying to remember any details that would help solve this mystery, but there was nothing – no recollection of last night at all.
I glanced into the hall and hurried to the front door to check the lock. Nope – all secure. Rolling the tooth between my thumb and forefinger I looked down and saw a set of muddy footprints on the carpet – leading up the hall into the bedroom…
Cautiously I advanced towards the open door and surveyed the interior. Nothing amiss except yesterday’s clothes discarded on the floor and my white trainers kicked to one side with……..mud caked soles! Well that solved one mystery……..or did it?
Had I been out? If so where and why couldn’t I remember it? Did I really get that blasted?
As I stood pondering I noticed my oyster card poking half out of my jean’s pocket. A-ha! – a thought struck me.
Picking it up I returned to the desk in the living room and switched on my laptop. Replacing the tooth on the crumpled yellow sheet I logged into the Transport For London site and squinted at the tiny numbers on my oyster card. Right….jouney history…..
Here we were – 7th of October – 9:45PM – Kentish Town to ……Watford Junction……?
What the hell was I doing up there? I didn’t know anybody from Watford …I don’t think……?
What about my mobile…?
I returned to the bedroom and sat down on the end of the bed, after retrieving my jacket from the floor. Breast pocket – yep – there it was. I fished it out of and with it came a small white business card.
Plain white – on both sides with just two black letters centred on the front in an overly elaborate font – FC
What the hell did that mean? Football Club? I hate football…so why….must mean something else…..and why the tooth?
None of this made any sense.
I looked at my phone where the notification light was flashing – I had a message – a text!
I clicked it open:
“We hope you enjoyed yourself last night and look forward to seeing you again at future events. For details text back the phrase “I’m in” – FC”
Oh my God! What have I got myself into now?