45 Degrees

“Hey!” Said Enrique. I don’t think I was asleep but it was close. I opened my eyes.

“What?” I asked him, wiping the drool from my cheek and then letting my arm drop flat. My ear felt wet.

“Up! Up!” He urged.

“In a minute,” I replied, sniffing. I needed a second. My eyes closed again in preparation for me getting up. My breathing slowed. I was going to get up, for sure.


“I’m awake!” I said ignoring the tip of Enrique’s shoe that was prodding the side of me. I opened my eyes again. I took a deep breath and stared at the office ceiling. Enrique leant into my line of sight.

“Up!” He said.

“Alright mate, take it easy, you haven’t started your new job yet you know?”

“Come on!”

“No need to be a dick.”

“Up!” He said, straightening and therefore disappearing from my line of sight. I had one last look at the ceiling, took another deep breath and then rolled sideways, letting my legs fall gently from the three cases of baked beans I’d had them resting on. I lay on my side for a moment before getting to my feet. My feet were tingling and I had to lever myself up using his desk for support. I held onto the the desk as the tingles grew in intensity, not daring to try fully supporting myself independent of the desk until the tingling began to subside. I sniffed again.

“That’s quite comfortable, that,” I said, nodding at the stack of beans.

“H’okay, good, out,” said Enrique. I needed a coffee. My back was itchy.

“You should try it.” I went to the door and stretched before going for the handle.


What?” I asked, my shoulders slumping. “Make up your mind, Mr Hey-Hey.”

“De beans.”

I didn’t turn around. “I’ll move them later.”

“No, now.”

“Later,” I said. I went for the handle curious as to whether he was seriously being a dick, in which case he’d say ‘no now’ again or if he was being a normal person, in which case he’d tut as I stepped out into the bright lights of the shop floor.

“No, now,” He said. I lowered my hand and turned.

“What’s the big deal?” I asked. “Why are you being like this?”

“Just put dem back,” He said. He was standing next to the small tower of beans. I looked at his face.

“You know…” I said but I had nothing, or did I? “Your new job’s gone to your head, you better get a bigger hat.” Heh, I did have something.

“Just don leaf dem here, man, come on.”

“Fine!” I sighed. “I was only doing it to rest my legs for the Marathon, putting the beans back will undo all that good work. But you don’t care about that.”


“I’m doing it, I’m doing it, take it easy, Jesus.” I went over to the beans, I could have picked them up from either side but I went to the side Enrique was standing so he’d have to move. “Do you mind?” I asked after he’d moved and then I noisily picked up a case of beans. I’d brought the three in in one go, I am strong and they’re not that heavy but I was putting them back one at a time.

I stepped out of the gloomy office into the bright lights of the shop. It seemed later than I’d expected it to be. Entering the office for case two I saw Enrique was behind his desk, looking at his computer. “You just take it easy,” I told him as I picked up the second case. When I returned for the third he was still looking at his computer. “Don’t strain yourself,” I told him.

“I working,” he said without looking at me. What a jerk. I returned the last case of beans and went back into Enrique’s office. This time he did look at me.

“What?” He asked. I didn’t answer and walked intently to his desk and picked up the brochure I’d left on his desk. It had been folded in my back pocket but I put it on his desk when I did the leg resting technique on the floor, so I wouldn’t be lying on it. It wasn’t a scheme or anything. I’d just put it on his desk so I wouldn’t be lying on it. Enrique watched me pick it up, shuffled in his chair and went back to looking at the computer

“This?” I asked Enrique when I was holding the brochure. Enrique looked at me and nodded and turned back to the screen. “This is nothing, just a brochure for hot-tubs,” I said, opening the brochure and looking at it. Enrique looked at me, his tongue touched his moustache and then he clasped his mouth shut. “Definitely getting one.” I said nodding at the brochure. “MP3 player, beer cooler…” Enrique was back looking at his computer. This time the keyboard. He was looking for a specific button. He found it and pressed it. “Yep!” I said and folded the brochure and put it back in my back pocket. I stood a moment longer and then went once more unto the breach.

“Time is it?” I asked Paula.

“Eleven,” She replied.

“Fuck!” I replied.