He added a splash of Glen Moray to his coffee. Yes it was 8.30 in the morning, but it wasn't like he was opening a purple tin. He simply liked the taste. You couldn't become an alcoholic from the odd nip of Scotch.
He looked at his reflection in the toaster.
Orwell had said every man got the face he deserved when he was 50. Kenneth had a few years to go, but he didn't expect the situation to get much better. His beard was kempt, though it had gotten a touch ratty since his redundancy. The wrinkles around his eyes spoke of loneliness. His hair was thin, but keeping up the fight.
What about people who had been bludgeoned, he wondered. Did they really deserve the face they got at 50. Say, one lived in a particularly rough section of Jo-burg or Detroit and was set upon by ruffians with iron bars. Would the mashed outcome of a rewired jaw and pulped nose be deserved?
Those who believed in karma might say yes. Kenneth decided it should go on a case by case basis. That is how he had always approached his work, taking each individual as they came. Though there were trends (the heavily tattooed ones tended to abuse the system - sorry, just a fact), but each person was a novel all their own to be opened and discovered.
But look where that egalitarianism had gotten him. Now he was a number in a category, one of many shuffling on worn shoes. He bet David Cameron dressed up at Maggie late at night at Number 10 and talked to an imaginary Dennis in a high-pitched voice, like an organ grinder's monkey which had swallowed vinegar.
No, this was not the face he deserved.