Gary Diamond

Rookie (04-10-1984 / Portsmouth, UK)

2nd Restart Interview - Poem by Gary Diamond

Report at 9: 30am, the laser-printed letter said.
I folded the sheet in half, lengthways,
and tucked it into an inside jacket pocket.
I pulled on my battered trainers and made my way out of the house.
No-one stirred.

I shuffled my way down the backroads
hangover like someone had put my head in a bucket and kicked it.

I kept walking.
I figured it was just as well I’d been at the bitter all night
lager and I probably would have thrown up and been
unable to move.
And if I missed this appointment
they’d stop my dole money
and I’d run out
of ways to buy food and booze.
I couldn’t have had that.

I got there in the end.
I had to queue up to sign into the building
then ascend some stairs and queue up again to register for the restart.
Oh they give it a fancy name
but it still felt like Royston Vasey to me.
I received my bright green pack
took a seat in one of the training rooms.

I pulled out the paperwork and saw
it was something else I’d need to read and sign.
I’d already done that twice and was a little bored of it.

I was too lazy to find a pen
I just kept reading and rereading the same bits, never letting it sink in.
I figured they were stalling for time anyway.

I wouldn’t be the last to finish, so I took it nice and slow.

Somewhere it ended
and we went out of the area back into the main room
and haphazardly sat
and waited for our one-on-one interviews.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, February 24, 2008

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