Day In, Day Out

Day In, Day Out

“Look, I can’t possibly get all that done by tomorrow!”

“Hey man, not my problem – I’m just lettin’ you know, Ted is going to crush yer balls if it’s not in. So, y’know, do your best n’ shit.” Rob said, walking away.

Goddamnit…

The train home was, as ever, crowded. No room to put the brief case down. Some perv feeling up the woman in front of me. Ruckus follows as she screams and other people shove him. He falls into me. I shake him off, too tired to care more than that.

Get off the train, narrowly making my stop in the crush of people exiting the car. Gain the street-level, where some bum has just finished pissing in the shelter. It stinks. Walk the five blocks to the flat. Sirens travelling in the opposite direction, the Doppler distorting them as they rush by. Light’s out again above the street-level door. Fuckin’ key won’t get in the fuckin’ lock. Ah, got it.

Apartment’s a mess, like I left it. Smells musty. Gonna have to air the place out. Open the window, light a cigarette, and look down onto the City Street, early evening. Night-walkers out already, looking to net some business, scrub by. I wish them silent good luck – and why not? They’re no different than me or you, trying to get one more day in, figure out where food’s coming from tomorrow.

Turn the light on above the desk, empty my pockets of change, loosen off my cheap tie. Desk’s covered in receipts, empty soda cans, remnants of last night’s tv-dinner. Stack the shit to one side, open the briefcase and pull out the files. It’s gonna be a late one.

One AM.

Shots in the street startle me awake from where I’d been dozing. I go over to the window. Can’t see nothin’. Grab a glass of water and an Advil, rub my sandy eyes. Think about getting into bed. May as well finish the work while I’m up.

“You look like hammered shit,” Rob says collegially. “Late night?”

“Fuck off, you know it was. Here’re the Goddamn files for Ted.”

“Easy there! I’m just kidding around!” He says, mock offended. He takes the files. Starts to leave my cubicle, leans on the dividing wall. “You catch the news this morning? Some hooker got plugged last night, over near Gunn and Juniper. Real big mess, apparently. Gonna have ta be, otherwise, why’d it make the news, right?”

“Mmmm,” I mumble absently, drinking my tepid, watery coffee, “Yeah, I think I heard the shots. That’s about a half-mile away from me.” I turn back to my work. Damn. One more life, swallowed by this town. Who’s counting, though?

4:56.

Coffee cup, two dossiers, Tupperware, go into the briefcase.

“Sorry, looks like it gonna be another after hours affair tonight,” Rob says, stack of paper in hand. He has the decency to look embarrassed.

I look at him. At my watch. Back to him. I take the files wordlessly.

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Posted on November 30, 2014, in Mauve Prose, Short(er) Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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