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Chapter 2 - Draft

Posted 08-26-2012 at 11:28 AM by Gaffmeister

Chapter 2 - A Day in the Life

3 months earlier.

The alarm is relentless. It screams at me "6:30! 6:30! GET UP! GET UP!" until I hit it, hard. I guess I'll need to buy a new one. I make a half assed effort to fall out of bed and put on my pajamas. It's at least 5 degrees outside and the thought of calling in sick is far too enticing today. My eyes are glued to my phone as I stumble through the hall, checking all the latest news through various apps, I have made this a daily habit. I do it so that I may live vicariously through others in different situations than my own, if only for a moment. I read about problems with the economy, foods that may or may not cause cancer, a missing couple found dead, people on trial for infant murder and what internet celebs are doing with their fifteen minutes of fame. The stories seem to repeat every day, it's just the names that change. "Man the world is fucked up" I say to myself through a yawn. In the bathroom, I stare in the mirror for a moment to look myself over. My hair is matted against one side of my head and sticking out in all directions on the other. I look deep into my own eyes and ask the sad looking reflection "How did you let her get away?", "Why didn't you do things different?", "Why didn't you pay more attention?". I had recently moved in with my Mother because of a previous breakup (which I usually refer to as a "change in my personal situation), it had hit me pretty hard. She was great but I was always wrapped up in my own little world. She was an angel and had put up with it for four years, but I guess she could only handle it for so long and I didn't blame her. We parted ways and have been speaking on and off for the last month or two although she's made it clear she doesn't love me anymore. It's a pretty hard pill to swallow.

When I get down stairs, I pour my cereal and read the note my mother has left for me."Can you please hang out the towels, it looks like it will be a nice day outside. Have a great day, see you this afternoon ". I always appreciated the little smiley face at the end, it reminds me that she cares. I make my way back upstairs to watch some cartoons before I head out to serve the masses. I'm 23 and I still find myself watching old cartoons from the 90's whilst eating coco pops. By this time in my life I would have thought I'd have a child or at least one on the way, a loving wife and a job that put food on the table. Things never work out like you think they should. The animated happiness draws to an end, my bowl is now empty and the routine continues. Clean teeth, style hair, get dressed, hang out washing, lock up, drive to work, two smokes on the way.

Upon parking in my usual space, I light another cigarette, the break-up is still doing my head in and I feel I need the dizzying headspin the smoke brings on to clear my head, but even I know that it wont fix my thoughts, just postpone them. I walk into the store and exchange "good mornings" with co workers in an attempt to seem like I'm not such a miserable prick. "Hey Pete!" The manager beckons me "remember you're working Sunday instead of Saturday this week". I remember, Have remembered since two days ago, have made plans for Saturday and moved on. "Yeah no probs" I say casually. "And I wan't to talk about your recent performance". I clench my teeth and feel a cold sweat coming on. "You've got to be more enthusiastic buddy. When you come to work, do you think customers want to be served by someone that looks miserable?". I give him the answer he wants "No, probably not". "Thats right, now put a smile on, go out there and make some sales".

Doors open and walking, talking cattle flood the store.
"Where is this?"
"Excuse me can you help?"
"Why isn't that in stock?, you only just released the catalogue yesterday!. That's not good business"
"My son really wants one so I'd better get it"
"No price ticket. Must be free!"
I make a promise to myself to hit the next customer that says that last one but I never do. At one point, I hear two customers having a conversation about some other country having "the shits" with us and is going to launch an attack. I've heard this one before, it ends in another normal day with nothing changing. Didn't come up in my morning news hunt so I'd say it's just misinformed nonsense, just like every other "end of the world" theory that I hear at least once a week. Out of interest I ask a few of the guys in my section of the store if they had heard anything about it and they where all just as clueless as I was. Just as I thought, rubbish.

I go to my car at around 2pm to eat my lunch, I don't like people being around when I eat, having to make conversation when I don't want to so I go to my car for the silence. After I'm finished eating, I go back inside to put up with customers until 5:30pm, drive home and have two smokes on the way. As I walk in the dorr, I'm greeted by my Mothers smiling face. "How was your day sweetheart?". I lie "pretty good, just a day" but what I'm really thinking is "I want to quit my job and do nothing for the rest of my life. Can I do that?".

After walking up the stairs to my room, I slump down in front of the computer and scan the usual sites for movies, games, and TV shows to download. Why should I feel guilty? Everyone does it. A flawed argument. We sit down and eat dinner at the usual time and afterwards we relax on the couch and watch one of our shows, probably one of the only parts of my day I actually enjoy. Then comes shower time where I'm left with my thoughts. "There has to be more in life than just this. Why doesn't something happen? ANYTHING!", "I wonder if she'll take me back tomorrow", "I wish I'd never got into retail". They play on my mind for the duration of my nightly soak, then it's off to bed where I read my comics then fall asleep and hope to awaken in a different place, a different time or even as someone else, but I reassure myself "Tomorrow will be different. It just has to be".
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