My Broken Zip.

A challenge has been set upon me, but I need to consider where to begin undertaking this task. As a writer – as much as any endeavoured field of skilled execution, I suppose, the path of progression lies around turning corners of comfort zones, until this uncharted pathway becomes its own walk of security. This follows a standard course of rinse, and repeat. I approach all learning in the same light; the subject of improvement remains the likely topic of my second book.

It all begun yesterday evening in the moderately sized, rectangular shaped building known as Harrow Starbucks. This building has and will always hold a firm place deep within my heart; it was the vicinity of date number one with the only woman I have ever fallen in love with. The land I conducted the initial and final words of Our Human Labyrinth – the book’s introduction, ironically set in the confines of a busy coffee shop. And over the last two years, a social outlet of passive inspiration; in essence, a seat of education – this harbinger of dormant relaxation and cultural disparity, expressing everything a classroom can only explain; you just need to know where the veil covers, to see what lies beneath the surface.

I was tired and about to head home. Only, when trying to place my netbook into the Fitness First gym bag, designed by amateurs and stitched by exploited migrant workers - then lovingly stolen for me by a Personal Trainer friend of mine, the zip’s top half decided to separate itself from its master. Being a scholar of impulsive survival technique, my solution involved a screwdriver, dexterity of digits, and the base of my front teeth. I approached the ever engaging Katka, one of the stores many baristas; who provide both friendly service, and interesting banter – quite a feat, when you consider a vast amount of the people they deal with tend to be – in the nicest possible term, wankers; but this is another article by itself. Screwdriver-less, and forgetting their official name, she handed me a pair of pliers, and, after joking about robbing the place using this hand sized tool – possible physically, but not morally, I mooched to a quiet corner to fix my wounded apparatus. 

Unfortunately, I was too eager, as the zip tore right off. In lifting my rucksack onto my back, the unzipped bags contents decided to hang through the fabric, like an unopened sack of potatoes. With three smiling baristas now pleasantly amused by my obviously ridiculous predicament, Katka offered two medium sized paper bags as a replacement for the journey home - I was surprised at how sturdy they were. Once I entered my front door, I whipped the bag onto an ironing board, tore off the broken contraption, and replaced it with an old zip from yet another of my discarded Fitness First sweat sacks; presto, all was back to normal. I could now carry my free bag worth three-pound-fifty around, and pretend it was actually of value.

The next day on entering Starbucks, Katka asked if I was going to write about zips. Aware she was only half-serious, in her dry yet quietly charismatic Slovakian sense of humour, it sparked a light from within. It made me wonder; what can you write, about a creation as basic as the zip? It uses as an invention of the eighteenth century, perhaps? The manner in which it desecrated the standard button, maybe? It’s sound, possible? Quality, unlikely? Texture, now I am clutching at straws? Shit, how about its ability to preserve my dignity when my jeans cover my particulars? Nope, I am stumped on this one.

And here I am, thinking with my fingers about how to formulate an article on an item, surrounding an experience which may seem interesting to others, but is quite standard to me. The truth is - my truth at least, the zip is just not that interesting. It is a boring, lightweight, mass-produced tool of function. So I admit defeat, for I cannot write about the zip, for as a writer I am perhaps of an inadequate skill level at this stage. Maybe one day, I will journal the story, of My Broken Zip. Then again, I guess I just did...


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