Gerard's work life in Belleville.
Gerard draped his jacket on the backrest of his chair. Maneuvering his way around the cramped cubicle, he sat down on his chair and spun gently back and forth, hands on the back of his head. He exhaled and organized the papers and files piled on his desk, the numbers infinitely lined on every page. Gerard hated numbers. No one had come in to the office yet, and Gerard did not want to work. He went to the kitchen and made himself another cup of coffee, wondering why he had spent money on the crappy coffee at 7/11 when he had better, free coffee at the office. Taking his mug back to his desk, he sat back down and twirled a pencil around in his hand. Absentminded, Gerard started to draw on one of the manila folders. Soon, it was covered in drawings of superheroes, villains, and vampires. He wanted to be an artist for so long. Gerard had aspired to become a comic book artist ever since he could draw. He had gone to SVA, but never got a chance to publish anything. He had met his wife, Lindsey, and decided it was time to leave his dreams behind and support her. He did get a job at an accounting business and had been working there for over five years, but he could not move past his dreams.
As Gerard was absorbed in perfecting the mouth of one of the vampires, he heard someone clear their throat behind him. He froze, then quickly tried to cover the folder under his arm and turned around. A large man stared down at him, his expression insinuating mild annoyance. Gerard addressed him,
“Mr. Way, I am aware that you graduated SVA but you are an accountant, not an artist. If you want to keep this job, I only want to see that pencil writing work related things.”
“I’m sorry, sir,” Gerard hung his head in fake repent, but inside, frustration bubbled through his veins. Fleischman grunted in response and walked away. Gerard looked down at his desk and picked up the yellow Ticonderoga pencil. He rolled it up and down on the palm of his hand for a while, and then spun it around with his fingers. Eventually, he stabbed his index finger with the sharp point of the pencil until he gasped in pain. He told himself, “You’ll never become an artist. Support your family.”