Thursday, December 9, 2010

The beginning of . . . something?

He sat at his desk staring at the computer screen.  The cursor blinked methodically, hypnotically, in front of his eyes.  I want to write a book, he thought to himself.  A great novel or story -- something to capture the imagination of a despondent nationSomething uplifting, but not fake.  Poetic, but unambiguous.  Something to shatter the plasticine banality of present-day social relations.   

In the background his coworkers chattered about this-and-that.  "Are you going to the holiday party Tuesday?"  "I don't know -- where you gonna park?"  "There's plenty of metered parking all along the street there.  I'm bringing Chris -- you all should come."  "I gotta find someone to take the baby, then."

He felt himself melting into his chair with a familiar resignation.  I know I have to try to make the best of this situation.  I have plenty of time in front of this computer all day long.  Anyways, if I don't find some way to occupy my mind for the eight hours I have to be here I'll go insane.  It's not that the job is that particularly awful -- it's not (and I've definitely had worse).  It's just . . . hollowing.  It's so . . . nothing.

He looked down at the piece of paper on his desk.  Another prescription to be faxed.  Ugh.  I should probably go ahead and do that now.  He turned back to the blinking cursor.  There's gotta be a reason I'm here.  This has to be some sort of weigh-station for me.  A temporary stay until I am authorized by -- whoever -- to move onto something else.

His coworker wheeled around the corner and grabbed a piece of paper from the printer near his desk.  She looked for the prescription and let out a puff of breath when she saw it still lying there.

Dammit.  She's such an asshole!  She's thinking, "That piece of shit still hasn't faxed that damn prescription!  What's he waiting for?  Too busy playing around on the internet?  God, he's so lazy."  Not that she's any different.  I see her all the time on the internet -- reading the news, or looking for shopping coupons, or new recipes, or checking facebook.  And when she's not on the internet, she's wandered off away from her desk to find Natalie to vent about the latest inanity plaguing her miserable mind.

He slowly lifted himself out of the chair and picked up the prescription.  He slid it into the fax machine and then filed it away.  There!  Now she can't say anything.  He sat back down in front of the metronomic cursor.

"Whatever happened with that lady?  Did she go to the hospital?"  Two nurses were talking behind him.  "No.  She didn't want to go.  I talked to her for like, an hour and a half on the phone, but she just really did not want to go to the emergency room."  "God, what a mess, huh?"

Almost 4 o'clock.  Almost time to go home.  He took in a deep breath and felt his lungs sting as they stretched out inside his chest.  At least I finally began writing something today -- if nothing else, it's at least a start.  Maybe it won't turn into a book, but it could possibly be a short story of some sort.

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