I dress myself in teabags as I need the aroma to get me out of bed, out of the house, and off to the job centre. But it feels like a double edged sword, as while the teabag outfit I created myself with string, tape and glue, along with an assortment of different tea brands (Tetley, Typhoo, Nestle, and some off brand called Typhoon) gives me the energy to walk the streets, it doesn’t give the job centre employees the energy to help me find work.
They simply question my attire, but I see people dressed worse, looking less alert. Deep down I know a tea bag costume is stupid, but it has become a crutch, for I became hopelessly addicted to the stuff, to the point of becoming an addict.
I once worked in an office, happily typing away. But as more people left due to cuts, my work pile began to rise. Overtime became normal time and the only way to keep going was through multitudes of tea. It would keep me awake, but when I got home I could no longer sleep. I’d sit up and watch Big Brother Live, zoning into other people’s lives. I would drink tea while doing so, it let me see everything that these people did. Though I noticed despite being locked into a house for a number of weeks, being watched by cameras all around, they looked freer than I. And it was during this period that I lived for the tea.
But I was unaware until work one day forgot to stock up on the caffeine enriched goodness. The cupboards were empty, and I sat at my desk typing away. Then banging away. Then hitting my head against the desk away. I trashed a keyboard, I trashed the PC, and then I trashed my colleagues next to me. I screamed for Tetley and Nestle like long lost lovers, I screeched for Typhoo, and I punched my boss asking for PG Tips. Then he was no longer my boss, for I was put out of work, and became a shut in.
I knew I couldn’t drink the stuff again, and with some aid from a counsellor, we figured that just having teabags by my side could keep me at ease. It was the smell, and how each bag felt. And not long after I invented my suit.
People would laugh, the job centre would cut my benefits every few months thinking I was trying to be a clown, but there were no jobs currently available for clowns, but I didn’t care. I was alone, but I was at the same time with good company. And my greatest joy was showering in my suit, and letting the tea seep out as liquid. The smell was so strong and any tea lover would surely come to embrace me if they could catch the wonderful smell of so many teas rolling down my naked flesh. I often imagined a series of tea loving rugby players barging through into my shower room then jumping on in, sucking out the liquid before finishing all that was left on me.
But I would leave the shower after, and pull out an outfit for the next day. My tears smelt of Twinings, my breath stunk of Lyons. I was just a human tea bag, waiting to be dunked and sapped.