The usual Monday morning. Olly awoke at half past 7 a.m. but didn’t hasten to rise from bed and greet the morning and all its terrible sunshine because a day that starts at half past 7 is far too long a day. So he stared at the ceiling and pretended to sleep some more. He yawned and stretched and kept his eyes closed.
Finally, it was 9 a.m. A day that began at 9 a.m. was always a good one. You can’t ever go wrong with 9 a.m.
After some French toast and a cheese omelette, Olly decided that today was a good day for hot chocolate. He promptly searched for the milk and the little pot used especially for boiling chocolate. When he opened his cupboard, thepot wasn’t there. He probed the cupboard once more, felt around, and still didn’t find it. Olly blinked. He checked the sink and the dish rack and still couldn’t see his little pot anywhere. But just as he settled upon a larger pot (what a waste of space) hanging on the side of the dish rack, his hand brushed against something cold and most certainly made up of metal. Lo, and behold! His little chocolate pot!
Olly set the milk to boil and dropped the chocolate tablets into the pot. He stirred the milk around until the chocolate began to melt and distribute itself throughout the rest of the mixture. Nothing like a good cup of hot chocolate to celebrate the best meal of the day. As he waited for the mixture to churn and thicken, Olly sat at the table and reflected on the safe uniformity of each day of his ordered life. He thought to himself, Timing, order, and set schedules are the trick to life. Otherwise—
BANG BANG BANG BANG.
Someone was driving their fists into the door (the word “knocking” would not suffice in the least) as if the hounds of hell were approaching and closing in quickly.
Olly froze, beside himself with bewilderment and fear. If I pretended not to be home they’d knock even louder and loud noises make me jumpy. He got up and walked slowly to the door. Whoever this is is costing me my chocolate-time. Olly opened the door.
There stood a normal-enough looking man (one who certainly did not have the hounds of hell on his tail).
“Hello sir,” he proclaimed in a dead monotone. “We have been informed that you have not paid your rent for the past six months. I have come to ensure your immediate departure or enforced eviction from the premises.”
My chocolate must surely be churning itself out right now. Bubbling and boiling over the pot onto the stove and dripping on the floor—“Rent? What? What rent? I own this house.”
“Sir. Please do not make this any more difficult for yourself than it already is.” He snapped his fingers and a gargantuan man with biceps the size of baby elephants materialized from around the corner, cracking his knuckles.
This was beyond bizarre. The deeds to his home were in the drawer next to Olly’s bed. Besides, who in their right mind handles rent problems with oversized men and impending violence? Not to mention these men were disturbing Olly’s morning rituals and sacred chocolate which had probably already thickened into a solid mass or evaporated entirely.
“I don’t understand—“Olly began to stammer, but the normal-enough looking man and his gargantuan companion pushed past him and entered the comfort of his home, picking up his belongings and carrying them out the door.
“HEY THAT’S MINE!”
But they paid him no attention and continued to carry his couch out the living room. In a brave but futile attempt to stop them, Olly jumped up and sat on the couch, causing the two men to drop it halfway out the door. Unfazed, the two men only tipped him off the couch and resumed their feverish relocation of his personal belongings. Olly, flabbergasted, sat in the middle of his living room, the heart of his home, his desecrated sanctuary, and watched the men make off with his television set. How did such a pleasant morning and innocent concoction of hot chocolate escalate into a disaster which threw his life out the window and transformed it into an unholy mess? You must understand, Olly was neither very large nor very strong and he did not stand a chance against the gargantuan man with the elephantine biceps. And so he sat in the middle of his living room and only moaned, “Please….” All he had wanted was to enjoy his morning and his hot chocolate. Alas, he should have woken up earlier and gotten hot chocolate elsewhere. He should have taken the displacement of his little pot as a warning signal from the gods. It was too late now.
The two men carried the last of his picture frames and flower vases out the door. “We expect you to have departed from the premises by 12 p.m. Failure to comply will result in immediate and forced eviction.” They slammed the door.
Olly looked around his empty house. They had taken everything. Even his stack of newspapers. But, curiously enough, underneath the gloom and despair which churned in his soul was the desire for the chocolate which churned in the little pot in the kitchen.
Sure enough, as Olly dragged his feet into the kitchen, the little pot bubbled and boiled on the stove. The chocolate was at an optimum thickness.