Mark Fraser: Day Three Hundred and Fifty Eight – Dice, Part I

Posted on December 24, 2011 by

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Lets end the year on a cheery note, eh? Here’s some new fiction. Been working on it a while. I hope you enjoy it.

Mr Ivins polished his shoes every morning. He liked things shiny, clean, and presentable. Ivins also liked time or perhaps more specifically he liked to be on time. He liked schedules and kept to his own regimentally. He was, by all accounts, a creature of habit. All of this explains why the immaculately presented Mr Ivins had lunch at the same time in the same place every day of his working week. Today was pink shirt day, a day which consisted of a steel grey pin stripe suite, a purple tie and cufflinks in the shape of dice. Ivins was not a gambling man, but he liked the dice cufflinks his daughter gave him purely for the reason that they came from a loved one. Gambling and the concept of luck didn’t sit well with Edward, if anything his nature was fundamentally against it, reasoning that if things were planned out perfectly then one can ensure that chance only has a small say in how his day goes. With enough foresight, he thought, one can plan for anything.

This Wednesday was set to be like the many other Wednesdays that had occurred in the life of Edward Ivins. His freshly polished shoes clicked on the shiny marble floor like a metronome as he exited the bank. For years Edward had taken his lunch at twelve thirty and this because most people took it at 13.30. By taking it early, it meant he could enjoy lunch undistracted and free from nonsense chit chat. He arrived promptly at the sandwich shop adjacent to the bank at around 12.34. Monday to Thursday was generally salad roll day, something he enjoyed without a condiment so that there would be no excretion from his roll to stain his shirt or tie. Edward was well aware of how variable the queue in the sandwich shop could be, and scheduled for this appropriately, giving himself as much as five minutes lee way should the queue be extra-long. Upon receipt of his food he would walk a couple of blocks to the Starbucks on the corner arriving no later 12.41. Today he arrived at 12.40 and ordered his usual coffee in the usual manner, a manner which dispenses of the (in his words) silly names these corporate coffee shops assign to their drinks; a cappuccino with extra froth. Lunch order complete, he made his way to the library. On Wednesday 20th of April 2011, Edward Ivins arrived at the library around the corner from his bank at 12.47pm, sitting in the café at a table next to the huge two storey high window that allowed sunlight to engulf the square space. Ivins was drawn to this place not only because he could eat and work on his laptop undistracted but because he liked the shape of it. He admired the order of the café, the way people queued in an orderly fashion for their food; how the tables and chairs were arranged in straight lines from the left hand side of the room to the right; he liked the way the sun gave light to all corners of the room through the window; his awe at the glass mezzanine which jutted out like a square chin from a lovely granite effect wall; everything about this place represented order. Even the pictures on the wall were all of perfectly right angled buildings with swish modern blockish industrial architecture.

On that day he noted that the library was unusually busy, but nevertheless proceeded to take out his laptop and work through lunch. Ivins didn’t really see this as working through lunch however, because he wasn’t in work. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do.

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Posted in: Mark Fraser