The Great Depression

Posted on December 8, 2009. Filed under: Short Stories | Tags: , , , , , |

Today was… no different from any other day really. The cold still hit him right between the eyes and the meek sun shone, barely, through the haggard curtains, which, as he remembered every morning, needed changing. Or perhaps just washing.

No thought crossed his mind and a numbness washed over him as he moved to pull himself out of bed. Looking at his phone, the evidence that his life had become so empty stared back at him. No messages, not even a missed call. A missed call he thought, would at least show that someone, anyone may have been thinking about him. No. Even a wrong numbered missed call would offer some sort of hope in this drab, sad life of his.

Getting ready for work never really took that long. A quick shower and shave would show the world that his personal hygiene and overall well being was still something he thought about; occasionally.

What to wear was never a question he pondered. If it was a work day, one of his many brown, grey or on occasion, black suits would do the trick with either a brown, grey or black tie to match. After all, nobody could care less what he wore. Nobody could care less whether or not he was breathing. Must call Mum, he thought.

Stepping out into the cold, he closed his eyes. To you and I, this looked like a man taking in a new day with hope and happiness the Plat du Jour. To him, not so much. No. This was the point at which he always contemplated walking back inside, closing, no locking the door behind him and just going to sleep forever. Never ever having to open his eyes.

The walk to the bus stop was… uneventful. That is, if you count someone being splashed by a passing car uneventful. To him, this could possibly be the highlight of his day.

The bus stank. It stank of old and wet and mold. It was heaving with androids. He turned his face to look out the window; to look at the poor things on the street waiting for buses. Waiting for their lives to begin, he thought.

No real thought crossed his mind during this bus journey to work this morning. Deliberate perhaps as any thought would not be a good one.

Staring at the clock, he reminded himself that there were only 5 more hours left of work as he sat in this meeting. It’s funny, that whenever you zone out in a meeting, it is at the point that someone directs a crucial question to you based on the very information you missed during your zoning-out session. He smiled to himself. But not today he thought. Not ever really, he thought.

Heading back to his desk. What was he supposed to do again. Sitting there, he decided he would try and remember what he was supposed to do again. Yes, this, he thought, he would do for the next 4 hours.

He rarely says bye to anyone on leaving. Well, what for? If you don’t say ‘Hi’ is there really any need to say ‘Bye.’

Forty-five minutes waiting for this damn bus and the longer you wait the more justified it seems to stay as a sorry little voice tells you ‘no, damn it, you have to stay. You’ve waited this long. They owe you.’

Getting home is never really sweet. Just sweet sorrow perhaps. The silence hits him like most people when they arrive home to an empty house, but the emptiness swallows him from the inside-out.

The night is pretty much stagnant. No movement. No calls, no laughter no ‘oh the day I’ve had blah blah blah’. Silence. And not the welcoming kind.

The bed offers solace. Temporarily.

Today was… no different then any other day really. The cold still hits him right between the eyes and the meek sun shone, barely, through the haggard curtains.

But today, a thought did cross his mind.

He sat up.

Opened the haggard curtains. Stood and stared at the meek sun.

I’m going to wear my red tie today, he thought.

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