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The bus veered around a series of winding corners, and they slowly and methodically snaked their way deep into the trees. He surprisingly managed to drift in and out of sleep periodically with each bump and sway of the ancient machine as it rocked him to sleep. The old driver tamed the turns like a seasoned pro, and managed to swerve deftly around each craggy bend; any driver with normal nerves would surely not have attempted that type of road with the type of speed that this guy was able to conjure up. It was actually quite a shock that the old scrap heap was able to generate any speed at all, he mused. One look at that thing and you’d think it must’ve been George Washington’s motor coach. That fucker had to have been at Valley Forge. A good jolt jarred him from his sleep, and he sat up wide-eyed in the seat. He gave a quick, slumber induced glance around the bus in order to get his bearings, and noticed that her eyes had closed and her head was tilted back against the seat. Her head shifted gently from side to side with each curve of the road, and she looked so peaceful like that, he thought, her head dancing along with the movement of the bus. The breeze forced its way in and caught fragile tufts of her hair in its grasp, and sent it flying rapidly in front of her face. She was beautiful.
Just a random excerpt from an as yet untitled story. Kick back and enjoy, and thank you for reading.
The phone's ringing jarred him unpleasantly from his daydreams, and he carelessly decided against answering it. His thoughts were much more interesting than any words on the other end of the line. He looked over his shoulder at her, and watched as her hair fell gently over her eyes, and he longingly watched as she guided the strands softly behind her ear. He drank the image of her in like water, and silently admired her beauty. She was the stuff of his daydreams, and he watched her fingers delicately glide across the keys on her keyboard, beautiful hands that were very much a major player in his thoughts. Her eyes were so welcoming…the kind that you want to lose yourself in. The kind that make you want to say “to hell with the world”, and remain in forever. They were a world in themselves, a secret refuge. She caught him staring at her at that moment, and flashed him the loveliest of smiles, so inviting, so genuine, a smile that opened the door to her own secret world.
I decided that I’d refuse to let a building define me. I’d refuse to allow any company, or entity, or job, or anything define who I was as a person. As a human. As a man. The contents of that building did not define my success. My success was not in there. It’s in here. It’s within my chest. Within this soul. I am defined by who I am, and what I do…what I believe and what I feel…what I’m capable of…not by the whim of some fucking corporation. Interestingly, it was brought to my attention that I may be afraid to move forward, that I feared success more than I feared failure. The thought of that shit had me up in arms, like “what?” You’ve got to be kidding me, right? “All I want is success”, I’d tell myself. But you know what? Maybe I was.
The day that my potato exploded in the microwave was an eye opener. It was a sign…an omen. A message from the powers that be. Maybe I’d nuked that fucker for too long, or maybe I just didn’t give a shit. Either way, that little vegetable bastard decided to commit culinary suicide and blew itself spud first all over the confines of the microwave with a mere five seconds left. I mean, c’mon…it couldn’t have kept its composure for a measly five more seconds? Suck it up, god damn it! I had no money left, I had no lunch, and I was hungry enough to eat the scum out of the bottom of a homeless man’s shoes. It was definitely a sign…an omen…a message from the powers that be.
I spent a great deal of time staring up at the sky. It was a lovely way to pass the hours. There was something about passing planes that sort of mystified me; it was their mystery that enveloped me and roped me in relentlessly. Who was flying? Where were they coming from, and where were they going? When I’ve flown, I’ve always looked down upon the houses, the buildings, the little towns, and wondered who was there…what their lives were like, what they did, and if they were looking up at me, wondering who I was and where I was heading. So when I look up, there’s that inherent desire to travel with them, the lofty anticipation of having a destination, and the inevitable excitement and adventure that seems to accompany it. It’s the excitement that was the allure there…it broke the monotony of the computer screen and scattered it to bits. Planes represented excitement…and tugged my mind away from the off key melody of keyboard clicks. And as a professional dreamer, it was just what the doctor ordered.
I had no real idea what I was doing. I mean, I had a loose grasp of the general concepts, but the actual execution was a different beast entirely. The company tinkered with their methods and procedures so often that it was nearly impossible to keep up. True proficiency was a fucking pipe dream. Just when you got used to doing things one way, BOOM, they decided to change it up again…and for no good reason. Their feeble and half-handed attempts at ‘training’, if that’s what you want to call it, were just a ridiculous ruse. I literally had no idea what I was doing, and spent the bulk of every day winging it…and I did it for years. Talk about disheartening; it’s the most depleted feeling inching your way to five o’clock blindly, in the dark, not knowing what the hell you’re doing. For years. Even after it’s been explained, because their explanations amounted to a fresh pile of zebra shit. There’s a great line at the end of the movie ‘The Usual Suspects’, where Kevin Spacey’s character states “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.” I’ve gotta say, convincing this joint that I knew what I was doing, that I was a stand up, functioning employee, ranks up there with the greatest.
When would I decide that enough was enough? Had I determined what enough was? Or when? What was my threshold? My breaking point? How much would I have to endure before I realized that I’d had it up to here? It had been years of the same old, years of stringing together reason after reason, excuse after excuse, line after line. Coaxing together a thin fabric of a façade that masked my true purpose, a purpose that had lain dormant for God knows how long. It was once asked if dreams deferred wither and dry up like raisins in the sun; I often wondered that same question.
What happens to dreams when they’re cast aside like old laundry into an old darkened corner? Do they begin to smell? Do they rot? Do they grow hairy mold? Or do they just die…regretfully, painfully, scornfully, and utterly unforgiving of the person that relegated them to that less than golden fate? Do we blame ourselves? Do we blame ourselves as the result of our jobs? Or is it all one giant soup that we’re all stewing in, bubble by bubble, until we reach the boiling point that sends us oozing over the edge of the pot and into the unknown? Maybe there in that zone lies the reason behind it all…the purpose that we all so desperately seek…the one that very few of us have ever truly lived enough of in order to assist the rest of us schlocks that were too afraid to step out and live.