A short pointless story

Click here to read more

by Felix Small.

So I'm standing in the bank, waiting in line, and I'm upstairs this time - the prospect of interacting with the automated machines downstairs are as unappealing as ever. They bamboozle me with blips and pin numbers and deposit slots and unreadable receipts and swallowed cards. I'll only be a moment, but I would like to speak with someone - get some feedback, only basic, but human.

Anyway, I’m halfway down the queue (or up the queue, depending on your outlook - it really doesn’t matter I suppose) and I notice a sign that reads ‘Ask at the counter what Islamic banking can do for you’. I’m thinking - I could ask the miserable old cow behind the bulletproof glass if Islamic banking may work out for me, but then I recollect the time I tried comedy material in this situation once before, on the insistence of Mike - eagerly awaiting a response on the other end of my mobile phone. The joke was that when I got to the front of the queue, which had actually spiraled all the way down the stairs on this particular Friday afternoon, I would ask the old bag - “Is it true this bank was so called because it takes ‘H -S -to B C(een)’? I’m sure she understands Mikes wordplay, but she didn’t have the common decency to even dignify the joke with a chortle. Barely even a scoff. She just threw me a slightly concerned expression and said the machines downstairs are also available for exactly these services up here, and at other times of the day - and other times of the week the counter service is less busy. Where was I? Ah yes, still in the queue. Halfway, or thereabouts - I’m closer to the front now, as this story has already been running a while. The cab driver at the front has finished paying in his cash, and the ‘next customer to cashier number 4 please’ is a youngish woman with horrible skin, clutching a cloth bag full of coins that reads ‘The lunch box’. I knew I recognized her - she made me a disgusting egg bap from the sandwich shop that is printed onto the side of that bag, with the runny acidic salad cream and flaky roll. It reminded me that I was hungry now, and that I had forgotten to eat lunch again in the panic of the afternoon. I then found myself feeling incredibly hot and bothered - one of those instant sweats you break out in when you realize that you just almost died - if you had not have moved quicker, been somewhere else, taken that earlier train. Or the sweat you break out in when you have been poisoned and feel like you are going to black out. I have never been poisoned but am quite sure it felt like that - and I find myself stepping out of my shoes, without anyone noticing. Perhaps that little girl is watching me though. She is drawing all over the paying in slips and table indiscriminately with a pointy lack Biro on the end of a ball chain, and chewing on that filthy pen riddled with god knows who’s germs….she can see I have taken my shoes off, both of them, and I stare her down as best I can, though her gaze just flits between the triangle of my feet, my face, and her mother over in the queue, behind me in a hijab - hiding her immense beauty or ugliness - such an impressive garment to appeal to such a broad market! So versatile! I guess I’ll never know. As a parting thought I wonder if she is signed up to Islamic banking. As I am turning back around to face the queue I discreetly start to slip off a sock - I’m stepping on one foot with the other and sort of tugging slowly and casually to free my foot of the sock without anybody noticing. Once the sock is loose I give a quick dip down to pick it up and quickly grasp the sock and mop my brow with it. I still can’t work out why, but I did. I’m even sweatier than I remember, and I can feel my sock has doubled in weight since I wiped my head with it, my neck. The best feeling about the whole thing was the nakedness of my foot in the bank. Not in a kinky way, It was just so cool out in the open and so hot in my shoes and socks. I wonder how many people have stood barefoot in a bank, as I was now - the other sock in my other hand - the first one sopping wet. The carpet underfoot was synthetic and unsympathetic to my clammy feet - the plastic content of the carpet itself felt like a big warm sock. And then I’m out in the street. Outside the bank. Did I pay in my cheques? my shoes and socks are nowhere to be seen. I pad down my cavernous jacket pockets and feel my shoes poking out of them - just the worn heels of my size 10’s were poking out, but the rest of them were digging into my ribs. I’m sitting down on a low bed they put in the centre of shopping areas for tramps, chavs and pregnant chavs to hang out on. And me too, today. I take my shoes out of my pockets right away and search the local proximity for my socks - inside my shoes, pockets, pavement, with no joy. How did I get into this mess anyway?


Saturday , October 20, 2007 02:48 PM

Hmmm, nice story!

Sunday , October 21, 2007 07:59 PM

hey thats great! can I steal it to use for an English assignment?

Leave a Comment:

Hot Selection: Famous 5:

  • Front pic of 'Crimescene' Belt, Brown on Brown

  • Front pic of 'Fab' Women's Crew Sweat, Red on Black

  • Front pic of 'Radiopaq Dots' Earphones, Blue on Blue

  • Front pic of 'Wicker Print' New Era 59FIFTY Baseball Cap, Tan on Brown

  • Front pic of 'Today's Special' Men's T-Shirt, Pink on Black