You have no idea how much I fucking hate milk. It’s filthy, tasteless and the wrong colour for starters. God knows how many crates I load every week. My work has me starting at 4am, loading the float for the morning rounds. It keeps me fit though I suppose. Of course, I don’t worry about that so much, not with my condition. The batteries in the float get charged up overnight in these little sheds with blue doors. They’re only wooden doors, padlocked from the outside. I’m surprised no-one’s had those batteries away by now, but then you have to wonder how many people are likely to have a milk float in the driveway.
Once the float goes out, the day really starts. I like to get the work over and finished ASAP, so I can beat the sun. My condition means I burn easily, and to be honest I’ve never enjoyed it. Too hot, too much. Last time I worked in the sun I had to squint so hard I nearly crashed the float. Sullivan gave me bollocking for that one, oh yes. Of course, one mention of him using his supervisors badge to order in a load of office supplies, so he can flog them off down the pub, and he agreed to let it go. But to be honest, that’s all a bit academic.
What really matters is Doris.
She lived in a house in Knut’s Lane with Ivy on the walls – proper trellis and everything. A little bit of charm. Not like the rest of this concrete zoo, filled with all kinds of creatures that’d just as soon kick your face in as look at you. They don’t have a clue about people like me. We’re the ones that put in the real graft. I’m digressing yet again, sorry. This isn’t about me. Well, it is about me, but really it’s about what Doris did to me.
She ended my life.
No, not like that. And not in that sappy, romantic way either, although I suppose you could call it reinvention. Transformation is probably the best word. Metempsychosis; she transformed me. There I was, delivering the usual two pints of gold top to the house next door to hers. I had no idea she even existed at the time. That sounds ridiculous to me now, as if I hadn’t noticed my own legs or something. But anyway, my pre-Doris life came to an end the moment I looked up from the milk I’d just placed on the neighbour’s doorstep and I looked right into her eyes.
She was sat on her step at 4am, licking her fingers. It was so bizarre – she must’ve been at the milk or something, cos she was licking stuff off her fingers and watching her made me hard. She was a good 20 yards from me but I remember her voice seemed to come from close by, and she didn’t need to raise it. Not ever, not Doris. She got into me. She infected me and made me what I am. Since her, I’m afraid of the sun, angry at the moon and consumed by a hunger that refuses to be satisfied. She taught me about power.
She taught me to love my job.