The Bricks

I decide this morning that I will move the bricks.

Yes, “the bricks.”

For some time, there’s been a pile of bricks in the bin shed we share with neighbours. In fact, it’s five bricks cemented together to form a single chunk of hard-to-move brickwork.

In case you’re interested–and why wouldn’t you be?–this hunk of orphan masonry is a leftover from the fire last year that resulted in a wall falling down.

The bricks just sit there, taking up space and preventing our full complement (fleet?) of wheelie bins from fitting into the shed properly. This routinely means bins sitting in front of other bins, making it hard for our less agile and less determined neighbours to reach the ones on the back row. In turn this means bags of unprotected garbage piling up and various rancid messes.

But today I decide to act!

By hook or by crook, I think, I’ll move the bricks out of the bin shed so that the bins can fit properly at last. No more rubbish will pile up and everyone in our building will be safer and happier. Soon there will be a chain reaction of goodwill leading all the way, I daresay, to the revocation of Article 50.

All I have to do is move these bricks.

Lifting them is out of the question but I brace myself, marshal my energies, and I drag them out of their smelly nook and most of the way out of the bin shed. I pause when I meet the little slope that leads up to the street.

I wheel the excess bins to their rightful spots, mission somewhat accomplished.

As I ready myself again to drag the bricks up the final furlong, something has changed.

I realise that I have successfully pulled, not only these heavy old bricks, but also the muscles in my forearms. They have turned into useless jelly.

Worse, the bricks in their new position partially obscure the entrance to the bin shed. I wonder if there’s even room for the refuse collectors to get through when they turn up on Tuesday.

I’m uncertain what to do at first, but the correct course of action soon becomes clear.

I run away.

Tonight, I look down from our bedroom window at the bricks–still there, silent and brick-like in the night–and I wonder if my arms will recover before bin day in time for a second drag.

Oh, why did I have to intervene? Why did I drag the bricks? Why does the fate of the whole world have to rest with meeeeeee?

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