It was one of those days. He could tell. He’d had many of those days. He’d had a lifetime of those days. Sometimes Sam wondered what he’d done to deserve this life, but on the whole he tried not to think about it.
Doreen was asleep, a sort of occasional half-snore emanating from her side of the bed, not quite loud or constant enough to be annoying. Much like the rest of Sam’s life – not enough to be annoying, but enough so each day seemed – one way or another – to become one of those days.
There was no point trying to sleep, certainly no point trying to cuddle up to Doreen. It had been many years since she found the idea of being woken by his erection pressing into her back any way sexy. Although, quite often he could stop the half snore by making her turn even further away with something approaching a snort of irritation. She never mentioned it during the day, so Sam assumed it was something that she did in her sleep. He wondered – but only for a moment – what she dreamt of when she felt his erection poking her in the back. She said she never remembered her dreams. But Sam remembered all his dreams – and just how far his ordinary life fell so short of the dreams he’d once had.
He’d had a guitar and enough hair to have an interesting haircut. He could sing back in those days too. He’d written songs about the dreams he had, a better life, a better world, a better girl.
For a time, Sam and his mates had a band that almost – once or twice, anyway – made money on gigs.
He hadn’t picked up his guitar in years. Come to that, he hadn’t had a dream worth having in years either. He lifted the duvet. As for his last erection, he couldn’t remember that either.
What was the point of growing old?
He certainly felt no wiser. Just more and more aware of what he didn’t know and how much his life had turned out to be nothing like his dreams… or his songs.
He’d had a folder once, full of those songs – finished and unfinished. He remembered how if he – sort of half-shy, half-proud – handed it to the girl sitting awkwardly on his bed he could with time and patience, get her into that bed.
Then the band stopped being locally semi-successful.
They lost interest.
The guitar gathered dust and the folder of songs disappeared somewhere under his bed.
The job in the Insurance firm came along. He found out he was good at it. Then Doreen got a job at Calman and Associates.
Then, somehow, Sam and Doreen were married with a mortgage. Then married with kids and a mortgage.
Life passed in a blur of mortgage repayments with no time for songs, dreams or guitars.
Then the kids went away and the mortgage was paid off.
The ache in his hip got worse and Doreen started turning away in the bed and snoring.
It wasn’t long then before every day became one of those days, and now he lay awake wondering when there would be no more of those days left for him at all.