Today every muscle feels full of rust. My arms ache. My legs feel too tight. My back is a knot of uncared for tension. I’ve dragged myself out of bed after a few hours sleep because my friend Jelena has kindly offered me a massage. All of the knots and aches and rust sing out and seem to raise their voice in a chorus of yearning aching begging for this release. Somehow I force myself up and go to the car.

The car. The rear offside tyre has a slow puncture. It’s nearly flat. I have to go to the service station and pump it up. They charge twenty pence for compressed air. This is a petty small minded piece of profiteering but I’m sure Mr Scrooge rubs his hands together in glee as he counts those 20p coins up in the back office. That’s if he can see them by the light of that livingbyhismeans five watt flourescent tube.

I arrive at Jelena’s house. There’s a yellow car in the drive, which means her flat mate is home, which means she’s probably still in bed, which means she’ll wake up at some point and burst into the kitchen. The kitchen is the massage room. This doesn’t bode well. I knock on the door. Her other flatmate opens the door. Everyone is home.

All the rust inside me seems to grow heavier as I go inside the house. The music playing is loud pop and my friend is in the kitchen having an excited conversation with her neighbour about house prices. I feel myself getting a headache. This is so far from a relaxed atmosphere that I feel like screaming. Inwardly, I do. Shards of my subconscious angst spray around the living room like porcupine needles. But no one notices. They are all too busy busy busy.

Fifteen minutes of clockwatching later the animated houseprice conversation comes to an end but what is the point of staying. The neighbour leaves and Jelena suggests we do something else because she’s not in the mood to do massage at the moment. I wonder why her teacher asks them to make a charge to appear professional. It’s only 10 because I’m a friend. But if it was professional this wouldn’t go on. Professional is a state of mind, an attitude. Well, I think it is or should be or whatever.

There’s a knock on the door and they have another visitor who is invited in for a cup of tea. Cup of tea. This is the universe’s way of mocking those who overstretch themselves. Cup of tea? Oooh, lovely! Cup of rusty brown angst-inducing caffeine-laden bounce me off the walls hot liquid for you? Mmmm. Yes. Fourteen sugars for me, thanks. And could you throw in some aphetamine sulphate too? Because I don’t think a tea and sugar overdose is quite going to drive me to the eye popping edge of cr-cr-cr-craziness quickly enough this morning.

No. No tea for me. I’m tired. I am so very very tired. And I really don’t want to feel wide awake at all at this moment. So I come home. I’ll ring later. I only went this morning because my friend was going away for the weekend in the afternoon. Normally, I wouldn’t get up this early after working late the night before but a massage would be soooooo nice. Jelena will delay her plans and I can go round later. Jelena is good people. I drive my too solid flesh back in the too heavy car through a day weighed down by grey leaden skies.

Grating rusting sinews gnaw at my shoulders and I find myself stuck behind some old fogey’s clapped out car which must only be driven at the exact same speed as the speed limit. For some reason I want to drive right up to their rear bumper and ram them off the road. I want that stupid little brown car to be eaten by rust in a ditch. But I don’t wish that on the driver so I ease off the gas. Pedal up a touch, flex my shoulders backwards and feel the strain.

I’m going back to bed.