Can’t Complain.

Adam Grundy
3 min readFeb 9, 2021
Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

Can’t complain.

Can’t have a moan. Can’t get too bogged down. Cause you’ve got it good, all things considered.

Can’t complain, you’re in lockdown together! Your mate, well he lives alone. And all those elderly, the post-war kids, well they’re alone. They’ve got nobody, or they’re speaking through plexiglass. And remember him? On your granddad’s side? He’s got dementia now. He’s seeing things in the dark. How does she cope with him? Not well, she died. So he’s alone, the most alone he could be. Can’t complain!

Freelance stinks, but can’t complain. Making money, working hard. She can’t work from home. He’s been furloughed. They’ve been sacked. Your position has been cancelled. Project halted. Studio is shut. Can’t complain. Hours are a killer, working twice as hard for half the money. No leverage. No hustle. Can’t complain. Guy on the news can’t eat, he’s on a ventilator. Probably die. Can’t complain, all things considered.

Watching your home country sink further into the ground as you sit on a balcony in the tropics. Pity. Schadenfreude. You want the ship to sink just to see the disaster play out. But you’ve got friends on that liner. Will they make the lifeboats? Women and children first, right after the Tories and their donors and the billionaire nonces with space programs. Right after BrexitDan48362847 and actually? The fellas. Then, women and children, unless they’re working class? Then — would you mind kindly staying on-board and dying, please?

Heading home now. Now you’re alone, but not really. Surrounded by family, and only family. Months on end, left the house 5 times in 3 months. Can’t complain, she’s been shielding since March.

No, you’re fine. Got more work. That should distract you for a few months. Can’t complain. Money’s good. Working hard. Working very hard. Are you allowed to take a lunch? You haven’t. You never. Sat at the same desk for 9 hours. Now it’s tea. Now it’s bed. Again and again and again and again. Can’t complain. Work is work. You’re actually quite sad. You feel like bashing your skull through a window. Over and over. Routine. Routine. Coffee. Toast. Apple juice. Work. Shit. Shite. Pee. Water. Meeting. Work. Work. Work. Can’t complain, some people don’t have the luxury, so get your head down. It’s not too bad. It really isn’t, but this is your brain, and you can’t escape. It’s kind of funny, even trying to explain how it processes information. And you know what? No one cares lol. They’re all stressed too, and they’re working their arses off. And they’re living in the big city you used to, paying for the privilege too. So, can’t complain.

Now it’s the weekend — who fuckin’ cares?

Family is there, but you’re alone. Big time difference now. No solid return date yet. Video call. Messages. Not the same, is it? But, can’t complain, temporary measure. How long is temporary? Stay strong. Stay sane. Don’t complain. Can’t complain.

Skin is burning. Flare up. Allergies. Face is swollen, eyes won’t stop streaming. Look like you’ve been in the Falklands. Hospital. Steroids. No cure, just calms it down. Can’t complain, least no one can see you. He’s got Covid. Remember him? His wife died yeah, no one could go the funeral. Just parked their cars on the side of the road as the hearse rolled past. Did you see the woman on the news? Her little girl got it. 9 months old and on oxygen. Disgusting, in the most scouse tone. Hands are raw. Legs are raw. Everything, raw. Can’t complain! Can’t complain, as you smother your hands in Aveeno, pop on your cotton gloves, and bandage them to your arms so you don’t peel them off in the night. Don’t itch. Don’t complain. They can’t feed their kids. Rip your entire body to pieces, still — could be worse.

You’re in that lifeboat. When will the rescue ships come? You might not drown, but the winter wind might freeze you to death. There’s another body bobbing past. Wonder what her name was. You’re in your boat, and your friends are in theirs. And you can’t row up to say hello. Just keep floating. Can’t complain. Bubbles from the band, going down with the ship. Glug glug glug. Least you’ve got the Playstation.

And how are you?

Ah, I’m alright. Can’t complain. 🙃

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Adam Grundy

Creative writing from under a dark cloud. Filmageddon person of interest (http://www.filmageddon.com). A pro TV watcher (real job). UK-based. Silly.