Sunday, August 20, 2006

Routine

I know you’re unhappy. Responsibility has overtaken you and joy has been replaced by routine. I feel the same emptiness you do. A taunting cold wind swirls inside of me and mocks whatever I thought I have built. Each day unfolds like permanent pressed slacks from the cleaner folded exactly the same stiff at every seam and pleat.

The alarm whistles and shatters our peaceful sleep; our backs pop and crackle fighting against our efforts to sit up; the mouth is coated in muck and foul smell; a sharp pain pulses in our sides because we have to urinate so badly; we blindly stumble to the bathroom to relieve ourselves; then we dress, maybe eat breakfast, watch the news, drive through traffic to get to work, punch in, and steal a cigarette and some coffee; plop our tired fat asses in a chair and shovel through a Michigan snow drift of paperwork; meanwhile our phone is ringing off the hook with people wanting to ask stupid questions.

Some new kid at work is driving us crazy with his enthusiastic rigor; you try to send an email but your inbox is cluttered with electronic chain letters, bad jokes, and porn links; lunch break is a treat but it’s raining so you can’t enjoy that walk through the park, that is that line of trees the department of beautification planted in the strip mall where you go for another coffee and a deli sandwich; the hour passes quicker than sex since you’ve gotten old and prematurely reach orgasms; work ends with another whistle; that drive in rush hour traffic seems like a day on the cross so it’s off to the pub; two hours of ESPN golf and hockey highlights and five or six vodka Collins, or on a rough night scotch and soda.

Finally make it home and she wants to know why you didn’t call and why you’re late and why the store-bought chicken alfredo is sitting cold and rubbery on her country-living dining table; your kids who were so amazing and beautiful wrapped like Christmas presents in alabaster sheets –everyone and everything so sterile and sanitized…that smell…that feeling like everything mattered as your emotions boiled inside of you whirling around like Eliot’s little fingers in finger paint, well they’re just loud and dirty now and you don’t understand why they can’t show Daddy how much they care by being quiet.

Then the evening news and a snifter of brandy and your last two smokes as you watch the daily dose of fires, shootings, and carjacks; you stumble into bed and nestle your once steel toned abdomen next to your wife’s hefty, sloping ass that used to be so hot in those summer dresses she wore in college. This is it; every day until you die, minus those 2 weeks a year in Florida playing golf and taking the tikes to Disney World.

Imprisonment.

And all we have is our dreams.

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