Short story: Quiet Desperation


picture of a man with a briefcase

Maybe I go to work every morning at six.
And come home at five along the same grey paths.
And eat dinner quietly listening to them scrape their knives and forks along the china although they know it hurts my ears.
And brush my teeth with thirty strokes along each side of my mouth.
And clean my hair out of the bathtub drain when I’m done showering.
And take off my left shoe before my right shoe.

Maybe I smile at all the right times.
And always stride purposefully about the place as though my feet never had an aimless inclination.
And pat small animals and coo at babies and part my hair on the left and behave in a compassionate and merciful manner to junkies and alcoholics.

Maybe I donate to charity.

Maybe I recycle.

Maybe I go to the gym three times a week and kiss the heads of my children as they sleep every night and am granted my conjugal rights every thursday night.

Maybe when I close my eyes I become dizzy and my stomach churns and my ears ring and that glassy-eyed demanding rabble downstairs laugh like hyenas while they spend my income on useless products advertised on infomercials and sleeping with motley teenagers from the local high school and getting pierced and tattooed while I figure out if I’m going to get fired tomorrow.

This is every day for the rest of my life.

This is the result of a fifteen minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: motley, hyena, churn, merciful, and aimless.

Image courtesy of kendrick.