I guess the fodder
for this story came when I was talking with a friend the other day. We kinda made this story of an "average single middle-class
working person" up together in a discussion on how dreary and repetitive a working day can get.
Therefore, he decided it was time to wake up.
ly lifing off the sheets (*grumble*), he dragged his feet to the bathroom and stared incomprehensibly at the mirror. Slowly the image he saw resolve
d itself into the image of a middle-aged man with shaggy hair and bristles on his chin. Toothbrush and toothpaste leaped into action as he grimaced at himself. Spit, rinse, gargle. The electric shaver took its usual
position at the right jaw and swiped away all the little hairs.
There was something comfort
ing about all this early morning ritual
. You can almost never go wrong (unless you mistook the shaving cream
, or vice versa, which he seldom did nowadays).
A quick shower, a brush of the hair with gel and comb. Throwing on a freshly-ironed shirt on the back (it's hot!), and trousers, he was out of the house and into the car while struggling with his socks and shoes. He was going to be a little late
What was it with traffic
and speed? He reasoned that the faster one wanted to go, the more traffic would clog up. This theory had been proven right almost every morning, except that sometimes, very rare
ly, he did manage to get to the office early. It gave him hope that today would be one of those very rare days.
It was not.
Hopping into the office, he found most of his colleague
s already furiously tapping away at their keyboards. The corporate world seemed determined to destroy their keyboard
s by tapping on them noisily with much force and, occasionally, emotion. Perhaps actually ruining a keyboard was one of those things that would get one promote
d. The trouble was, these things were virtually indestructible. He knew because he had spent the past five years trying to do it, and had never succeed
ed. Why a hammer wasn't used was never discussed.
He took his place at his cubicle ; tapping away with much energy, he became one
with the company and his colleagues.
was broken by several interval
s: the nine
ses, and eleven
ses; the lunch hour; the two
es and five
ses. These intervals, except for the lunch hour, were marked by standing around the pantry chatting with colleagues. His colleagues were a nice enough bunch of people. Some were humorous, others to be humour
ed and the rest to be fodder
for humour. Boss
es generally fell into the category of being fodder for humour. It was just the way things were.
The end of the working day was also marked by certain behaviour pattern
s. Just about 15 minutes before, restlessness and fidgeting would pervade
the entire room. The decibel
level of keyboard tapping would drop drastically, and the level of anticipation, being inversely proportion
al, would increase until you could barely breathe. Right on the dot (sometimes before) there would be an exodus
(sometimes a stampede
) out the front doors.
He liked Happy Hour
. Going to his favourite pub and sitting in his favourite seat and chatting up his favourite bartender and/or female friend was always fun. Time was bias
ed against him : he knew it. It never slowed down for him when he was there ; in fact, it seemed to speed up a little. Never so much that he could sue
He never held a grudge
against Time for long. He was happier to be at home finally. Talking could be exhaust
ing, and the drinks took their toll slowl
y but sure
He showered off the gunk
he had accumulated that day and settled on the couch
to watch TV.
His eyes would not let him do this. They expressed their displeasure by transferring all the dark matter
in the universe to the tips of his eyelids, making them very heavy to lift indeed.
d in lifting them several times. It was a favourite programme of his.
In the end, this was not sustain
able. The call of the bed was getting louder by the second. Tick Tock Tick. Precious moments for pillow-head bonding were being waste
He gave up ; he dived into bed. Fell into a deep dreamless sleep almost immediately.
Also almost immediately (it seemed to him), bliss
was interrupted by a loud incessant
clanging. Tossing in a frustrated manner did not help. The sun (that impertinent
creature!) peeped through the thick curtains. He found that it was getting unbearable... therefore... therefore...