In continuing this 20 Days Of Chill Writing Challenge, I have been participating and it’s now time for a new post. As you may remember three weeks ago I started this challenge and have now completed 19 days worth of the challenge, with this one being the final one, and you can read them both by checking out 20 Days Of Chill.
Today is a new day and a new challenge and today’s theme is:
And he sat on the end of the bed. His back was hunched over, his arms laid lifeless to his side. He wasn’t moving, yet he only had minutes to get dressed and head off to work. He had nearly finished getting dressed only thing left was his socks, which laid on his right leg, all he had to do was lift his legs and place his socks on his feet. He had already pulled up his work pants, which were a pair of blue jeans. His work shit was slightly wrinkled, just being a black t-shirt with his companies logo placed up on the left breast of his chest, it was clean, he had previously taken it out of the dryer.
There was a VCR across the room atop a 32 inch gray Panasonic television, stacked atop a dark brown dresser, the VCR’s time said it was 10:25. With the lack of light coming in through the window just behind it, would assume it had to be pm, especially seeing this was upstate New York.
The television was way out dated, and it being 2016 the VCR had long been extinct in the terms of technology for nearly a decade. While there also was a Verizon Fios box, a Sanyo DVD player and a small Roku player stacked atop the television. He enjoyed watching things, all types of things, from television comedies, to hour-long dramas, to documentaries about rock and roll bands from decades before he was born. He had recently just finished watching a wrestling pay-per-view from 1995.
He watched this event numerous times, it wasn’t an event he particularly enjoyed, it wasn’t even close to being one of his favorite. Wrestling had been part of his life from right around that year and the next three years or so, until 1998 or 1999 when he had lost interest in spending hours and even days watching it. It was girls that came in the way. But that was then, and this is now.
It was a Friday night, another over night shift, another day working instead of spending time with friends or family. He had been doing this for nearly a decade, at first he enjoyed it, he still did, but the hours, the nights, the fact he started missing so much started to annoy him. The money was okay, nothing to fantastic, but it was the best he could get with his limited education.
A few months earlier he switched stores, he was a night manager, he worked in a grocery store. It was a promotion, but he would have to return to the same store he had previously worked. He felt at the time that’d be a good thing, life would come full circle. He joked when offered the position “I could be the savior.” But as the months rolled on, he was anything but a savior, and barely much of a survivor.
He lifting his left leg and placed it upon his right knee, he was about to put his socks on. His knees hurt, his arms hurt, his entire body hurt. He wasn’t old, but he was older than he wanted to be. His body shouldn’t be in this much pain he thought, he thought of going to the doctor to see if there was anything they could do about some of his pain but he didn’t. He feared being taken out of work, or worse having to spend money on getting something fixed. While he had health insurance, he still worried too much about the money. It was what kept him working, the fear of losing the money.
His socks were now on both of his feet. All that was left was for him to walk down the stairs, put his shoes on, lock the door, stat his car and head off to work. He thought of these steps, as he walked through the living room and then through the kitchen. He thought through what the night would hold, he used to think that just getting to work was the half way point. But that was months ago, that’s before he lost the passion.
Passion. The thought of once having passion was a joke now. He knew he had a good work ethic, it’s what got him in the position he is now. But having an actual passion for opening cardboard boxes and emptying the contents of it onto a shelf. How does one actually have a passion for that? He had passion for other things. Things that he couldn’t do because he had to work. Passion for things he used to do. He had a passion for having a passion.
His 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was stopped at the stop sign at the end of his road, the right turn signal was flashing. The car wouldn’t move until that bus finally passed by. It was the only thing keeping it from motion. Or was it something else? The bus slowly pulled pass, as he watched it drive by he wondered what his life would have been like if he hadn’t purchased this car a few years ago. What if he had gotten a job on the bus route.
That was a phrase he thought to himself a lot lately. He wondered what it would have been like if he took a left back there. Or if 10 years earlier he had said no when asked if he would like to work nights. Or what if a few years earlier he had graduated from college instead of deciding to part ways with it?
As he turned onto the on-ramp to the highway, he switched lanes, merging with traffic. He saw a car to his left, he knew this car hadn’t a clue where they were going. They had to get to the thruway, he thought, he knew that they would try to switch lanes at the last second when they realized the Thruway was on the far right. He was shocked when they didn’t move and then laughed to himself as they slammed on the breaks and cut over three lanes of traffic to get to the Thruway exit.
There were eleven minutes left until he had to get to work. It’s okay he thought, no panic, what’s the worse that can happen? He still enjoyed going a few miles an hour over the speed limit though, so he did so, although he wasn’t in a rush. He played with the radio dial, changing the stations a few times. He had heard these songs so many times, for some reason he was always annoyed with the radio on his way to work. It probably wasn’t the radio he was annoyed with though, it could have been his desire to move on with his life.
He had finally found a song he enjoyed listening to. It was a song by a mid-1990s band that had a few hits and kind of went away. People have called them a one hit wonder, but he enjoyed their music a lot, he had a couple of their CDs. He wondered where they were.
He was now on a different highway, he had to drive through three different highways just to get to work. He would only have to be on each of them for a few minutes, no big deal. But then again, nothing he did was a big deal. He went through life just wishing to get to the good parts. The good parts were becoming fewer and fewer. A day off was a good part, getting out of work was a good part. He enjoyed the small things, because the small things were what got him through the day.
As he found his exit, he slowed his car down, stopping at a red light, waiting for it turn green. He looked over to his left, a spot where during the day a homeless man sat with a sign asking for change, asking for help, with a cardboard sign that read “War Vet: Please Help.”
He used to think how dare that guy do that. Why doesn’t he just go out and get a job. But now he thought how did that guy have the guts to do that. Not the going to war part, but the sitting there and asking for a hand out part. How did that guy have more courage than me, he probably did event serve in any branch of the military. He probably just wants the free money, he just wants the free ride. He probably doesn’t want to work nights and waste his life away.
The light turned to green, he drove on. He had to drive about a mile more and then one more turn and then another half a mile until he got to the grocery store he would spend the next few hours at. It was nearly 11 o’clock, he would be happy to be out by 8. He thought maybe this would be the day I stopped, maybe this would be the night I decided it was it.
He turned his last turn. It was up a hill, the house on the corner he had just passed was for sale, it had been for sale on and off for many years now. There must be something wrong with the house or maybe it was the location, he had thought numerous times. But maybe they just didn’t like me driving by their house. Ha. He was full of jokes, even if he was someone else’s joke.
The road was dark, and a little windy, but it was a road he traveled for ten plus years, even more because he used to take this same road to travel home from college, back when his family lived where they used to. But that was then, and this is now and life had changed so much since he was in college.
He pulled into the parking lot, and found his parking spot, it usually was the same spot. The parking lot was empty, only about eight other cars in the entire parking lot. He parked his car. Turning his car off and opening his door. As he began his walk to the grocery store, as his car door closed behind him, he wondered, would this be the end.