Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Day in the Life

It begins with technological breakdowns—a printer stops working, then the copier—which in today’s modern office results in a dead stop of activity, save for the unrealistic demands from up above. When the call comes from on high and the machines revolt, there’s little more to do than sit and panic.

After staying at the useless office until 7 at night, just before the alarm is about to go off, the sight of an approaching bus is welcome, especially if it is one that will take you steps from your door. Sadly, the bus driver may, at will, decide to stop the route 1.2 miles before your street. The sun is out still and the weather is nice, so you walk it all the way home, only to realize that tomorrow is street cleaning and you are parked on the wrong side. You will get a $50 ticket if you don’t move your car. So you walk to the two blocks, find the car and spend twenty-six minutes looking for parking. Everyone else got home earlier, so there are slim pickings at this point.

The car parked safely, you walk home. The light has dimmed and night has fallen. On the sidewalk in front of your building, two rats fight for a scrap of food some asshole thoughtlessly discarded. You dodge the vermin and make it upstairs, thinking you ought to call your landlord but the last time you did the landlord didn’t do much. Just told you they laid poison in the back where the garbage cans are, poison that undoubtedly drove the rats to the front. You make a note to call the city, though you worry that—considering the breakdown of technology, the transit system and, seemingly, all established systems of order—nothing will get done unless you do it yourself. You think of maybe buying your own rat poison and peppering the ground with it but you realize that you’d also have to make a warning sign to dog walkers and does this constitute taking the law into your own hands?

Finally you pour a bowl of cereal and collapse in bed, no time or energy to study or read or talk to your overly inquisitive roommate. You just stay in bed and watch the shadows dance against the wall and think about how early you’ll have to go into the office and how a little bit more of you slips away each day.