The Worker

     He awoke.  It was just as all other days had been.  Get up.  Stretch.  Yawn, or not depending on the degree of the previous nights insomnia.  Shower, brush teeth, and all the rest of hygiene essentials.  Make use of the toilet while having groggy dreams of one day seeing the sewage swirl "the other way" down.  Get dressed in a cheap, but relatively nice looking suit, ending in the cinching of his new red ties, or as he thought of it, noose, a symbol, and one of many targets of resentment in his boring repetitive life.  He finished up his morning routine with a quick cup of coffee and a banana to go. And He was out the door.

     He had given up on life.  No longer did he go out at night.  Rejection had been to painful, and frequent.  Now he stayed home and watched tv and spent countless hours browsing (for surfing seemed much too exciting of a word to be used in the description of this mans life) the internet.  He browsed with no intent.   Never cracking a smile and the funniest videos the web could serve up.  Never did his interest peak in the slightest at the images of scantily clad people under banners advertising sex for only $1.99/month.    Never did the news feeds on his homepage entailing disaster ever move him, for sympathy and empathy had fled him long ago. He simply looked; impassive and impartial.

    Life had left him long ago, he was now just the shadow of a man, the real living dead.  He went on day after day, repeating, not for lack of something more interesting to do, but for the lack of interest in even attempting to think of something better to do.

On the other hand, he was the perfect employee; quiet, efficient, and unquestioning.   He showed up on time, came back from lunch early, and left the office late.  He did the work of two men, quite literally, his work partner had been fired, and the output from his department had stayed the same.   His co-worker was never replaced.  He was not under appreciated, he wasn't appreciated in the least.  But he didn't care enough to care.

    His life was the same never ending cycle.  The weekends being the same as the week days sans work and replaced with more tv and internet, and chinese delivery (always sweet and sour pork without the sauce, white rice, and a handful of soy sauce packets).

    Today was the beginning of another such cycle, monday.   He exited his apartment building starting the eight block trek to his bus stop.  He began to long for change, a break in the repetition...a feeling he hadn't felt before.

     Thanks to his incredibly rare luck he received his wish.

    His mind began to haze, and yet he felt a clarity of mind he could not remember ever having felt before.  He knew he should be bitter or at least resentful at his pathetic life, at his job he now came to realize he truly loathed, himself for giving up, and at his fellow man for abandoning him.   But he felt none of this.   He was so overwhelmingly grateful for this change, this feeling of clarity, that he was happy.

    He never realized it, but his date with the bus had been moved up four blocks, between blocks four and five of his eight block journey, on a street whose name he had never even bothered to learn.

    As he hit the pavement he felt nothing, only the happiness at being delivered from his self-imposed prison of self-pity and pessimism remained.  He heard nothing, not the screeching tires of the bus, or the screams of the on lookers, save a strange disembodied voice...humming.  He recognized the tune as a long forgotten childhood favorite the name of which now escaped him.

    As he lay there dying, he hummed away his last few breaths with a smile on his face thinking... "Finally... life has given me what I wanted,... a change, and release from the monotony,... and its greater than I could ever have hoped..."

Warriorprincess55   Warriorprincess55 wrote
on 8/26/2008 10:31:48 PM
This would make a great "short-story." You definitely have talent here. Even though this is a story that we can all identify with, you gave it a slight twist at the end. How many of us have prayed for this exact same feeling at one time or another in our lives? I know that I have, more than a few times! Me thinks, that there are many more too...than would ever admit! I really enjoyed this...especially the last paragraph. You've got a 10 from me.

StarPoet   StarPoet wrote
on 8/26/2008 3:18:45 AM
You bring up a good point here. How many people we see every day are like this man? Are thinking like this man? And will end up as the same fate like him? We all have the power to change our minds and thus change our lives. But only if we want to. Good story here!

Short Story
writing Thomas_Nevermoore
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Rating: 9.5/10

This is the story of a man beaten down by life and his own depression.
A Word from the Writer
Any thought or comments are welcome.