The creak of bedsprings. The hiss of the coffee percolator. The feeling of arms around your waist, duvets wrapped around your waist, jammies tangled up to your waist. Sluggish subway journeys; faces telling of late nights, great nights, date nights. Speckled around the carriage are faces hungover, pale and chugging fizzy juice. Faces made up with slicked back hair for an early morning shift. Faces bare and faces smiling. Couples with hands locked together, a gentle brush of a thumb across the back of a hand. That is a slow Sunday.
Sundays are for being slow, at least every once and a while. Sundays are for warm croissants, fresh coffee beans, the crinkle of newspapers and the feel of soft pyjamas. Sundays are for taking time to s i m p l y b e. To catch your breath after a long, hectic week. Sundays are for slow music, like Florence and the Machine, Banks or Bombay Bicycle Club, Sundays are for open mouth kisses, morning after kisses, brunch greeting kisses, in between laughing kisses.
It's a day of lie-ins and sleepy starts. Breakfast in bed, long hot showers, baths to read or catch up TV, bubbles soaking into skin, When it's sunny, Sundays are for long walks, take away iced coffee, sundresses with bare legs. Soul cleansing pilates classes, easy runs to clear your head. When it rains (and it pours in Scotland) Sundays are for pyjama runs to the corner shop for the papers, or sticking an old childhood movie on. Rainy Sundays are for comfy clothes, walks around local art galleries, museums or a trip to the cinema. They are for meeting friends, for hanging out alone, for warm home-cooked food or takeaway Chinese.
Sundays working on a bar means something a little different, however. It means take away coffee cups still, but the coffee hot to wake you up. It means choosing the music for the day, something slow like smooth jazz, Florence and the Machine, Banks. Even Harry Styles crooning Ever Since New York softly into the afternoon. It means alcohol can't be sold before half 12, by law, so the open goes luxuriously slow; cutting lemons and limes with satisfaction, each piece even and perfect for later gin and tonics, tangly and refreshing. Or cold, dripping Corona's gratefully received.
It means newspapers splayed across bar tops, singly loudly to yourself, dancing around as the lights go up. It means regular faces giving greeting before their regular order, soda generously poured, Love Island discussed and berated,. It means when hungover Kinder Buenos are tactically hidden, text messages to friends desperately sent, a 'God I really need crisps, fizzy juice or some sort of hippy green juice health hazard right now'. The smell of beer never any less musty, but instead of welcoming, it's repelling.
When stressed, Sunday bar opens are the cure.
Everything slows gratefully down, the possibility of a rushed evening peaking round the corner. But the open is a pat on the back, or hair ruffled by a parent, making you feel shrunken down to a child in an Adult Costume. The sort of warmth created when parents are affectionate while you're at home; helping out with the dinner or doing the dishes. It's silent pride at completing small tasks and its discussing politics with colleagues.
Sundays are for being alone, just for a little bit. It's relishing in the alone - quiet smugness and exaggerated prep, testing out draft coke and pulling the first foamy pint. Sundays are sometimes your Saturday or your Monday. They come in all shapes and sizes, different moods and different livelihoods.
Sundays make you think, make you stretch, make you ache. They can get you moving or hold you stand-still. They make you melancholy. They make you ecstatic. They can feel numb around 4pm; a sort of restlessness that nothing can fix, an itch, a demand for more but the more never known. Sundays demand the most from, you. They demand the least from you. They're your end-of-week, start-of-week, middle-of-the-week. They're revered for their fondness of avocado toast and poached eggs, smug Insty brunch pics that lead to the inevitable FOMO. They're for wicked hangovers and the day-after dirty martinis.