Categories > Original > Drama0 Reviews
Short one-shot. Written in 2nd person. May or may not contain character death.
The traffic moves slowly, you are passive though, and will not show your anger and irritation about the idiot half a kilometre ahead who was trying to be cool by speeding but failing miserably by crashing. You don’t care though, no one at work will notice you’re late. No one even notices that you work there.
Finally, after twenty minutes have passed, the cars start moving again. The twenty minutes felt like a lifetime, but you suppose that it is because your life is so boring. You manage to make to work on time after all, and park in the same spot as always. Third from the left on the yellow level at the column marked ‘1’. You walk slouching, towards the automatic doors. You stand underneath the sensor, waving hopelessly at it in an attempt to open the door. Even it does not notice you. A few more minutes of waiting and another who works here arrives. You move to greet him, but he does not even spare you a glance. The doors open, and you jump through before they close again.
You put down your small backpack at your station and begin your shift. Ten hours, that is how long your shift is. The sudden whirring sound of a conveyor belt starting up does not startle you - you are used to it. The first can of spray paint comes along. You can see the colour of it from your position: it is a dark red. Looking to your left, you see rows of different coloured caps. Reaching out, you grasp onto a dark red one that matches the oncoming can and wait for it to pause in front of you. It does so, and you click the cap into place and make sure it is secure. You check the can for defects but do not find any and replace the can onto the belt.
You repeat this process for the next can, which is also dark red. There are always five of the same colour in a row, before it switches to the next. You repeat the process for all of the cans. This is your job.
You lift your left arm, and stare blankly at your watch for a while. It is a simple design and is good enough for you – it told the time, and that was all you wanted to know. It reads 12:23. Your lunch hour would commence at precisely 12:30. You spend the next seven minutes doing your job. This company was the only one who would employ you, having dropped out of school at the age of 16. Your emotionless face looks expectantly at your watch, which is synchronised with the one on the wall. Your gaze drifts to the lunch bell. As the second hand on your watch and subsequently, the clock on the wall, reaches the top, three loud dings signify that the lunch hour has started. You pick up your backpack and unzip the middle section of it. There is a plain brown paper bag on the top of the pile of miscellaneous objects in there. You plunge your hand into the backpack to retrieve the bag. Unrolling the top of it, you insert your hand and pull out your sandwich. It contains the same thing every day. A slice of tasteless ham and some processed cheese. It is all you can afford to eat – apart from the ready-to-eat no-name brand lasagne for dinner and the grey no-name brand box of corn flakes with curdled milk for breakfast.
You take the cling wrap off the sandwich and sink your teeth into the white bread of your sandwich. There is no flavour, but it sates your hunger. You rip the top corner off and chew it. You always chew it 4 times before you swallow, and it always takes the same amount of time to finish eating a bite of your sandwich. A short amount of time later, you are finished and you brush the crumbs off your hands onto the ground. You scrunch the cling wrap into a ball and return it to the paper bag, which you place in your backpack. You zip up the backpack and amble towards the nearest water tap. You turn it on by pressing down on the lever and let the frigid water flow into your mouth. You spend 5 seconds drinking, as usual and resume your previous position at the conveyor belt. You narrow your eyes at a spot on the wall, and continue glaring until the bell ringing breaks you out of your reverie. It is time to start work again.
When your shift finally does end, you feel as though you want to end your life as well. You return home via the same route you used to get to work and sit on the couch in your apartment that you found on the side of the road. It is a two-seat couch and is very shabby but it serves its purpose. You turn on the small portable TV that you have, it displays only black and white and you have it plugged into the mains instead of running it on batteries. You cannot afford them. You open the freezer, which does not work very well, and look aimlessly at its contents. Four rows of small boxes stacked five high. Twenty boxes of lasagne are all that occupies the freezer space. You grab one of them and put it in your microwave. It takes twice as long as it should, as your microwave is old and heats unevenly, as well as being inefficient.
You go to your bathroom at 10 pm, after dinner. You splash your face with water, desperate to rid yourself of the dark purple bags under your eyes, the yellowness of your teeth and the grime in your hair. You pick up your toothbrush, which is old and tattered and far past its recommended use. You soak the brush in water and start moving the brush around inside your mouth – toothpaste is another luxury you cannot find the money for. The brush does nearly nothing to remove the bacteria and the plaque and the food in between your teeth, but it gives you a certain sense of satisfaction.
You stare at the growing stubble on your chin and raise the razor to it. Before touching it to your skin, you change your mind and before you comprehend what is going on, you feel the cool metallic blade in contact with your wrist. No one will miss you – you have no family, no friends and no one who is remotely aware of your existence. You slide the sharp, thin blade across your wrist, making sure it digs deep and cuts through the vein. You hiss in pain at the sting as the crimson blood oozes out of the cut and drips onto the floor. You are unable to cut your right hand because you can no longer move the left. You settle on slicing the blade through your jugular.
You can faintly sense the blood flowing out of your neck and wrist. It is an amazing experience for you. The thrill of knowing that you are about to die. It is a nice change from life, you suppose. You hope that perhaps death will be better to you. You close your eyes and draw in a deep breath. You are never to exhale that breath.