Monthly Archives: March 2011

An Image

After a week hiatus, this is my second week in the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. (It would be week three, but last week I didn’t realize that I needed to sign up again. My mistake)

My challenge comes from Zee. The challenge:

Write about the biggest decision you have ever had to make and include at least one lie in your story…

What I found to be the toughest part about this challenge wasn’t so much the content, but how to make the content interesting. What I mean by that is that if I am talking about myself, why should you, the reader, care? We don’t know each other, what makes you want to know about my life?

It’s a fine line, in my opinion, between a ‘dear diary’ and creative non-fiction. My challenge was to aim for the latter.

Hopefully I succeeded.

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It’s funny how one brief moment of insight can push you to change your life. But maybe ‘insight’ is the wrong word. Maybe ‘inspiration’ or better yet, ‘warning.’

See, it was my first year in college and I made the decision to stay at home. It made sense, no need to pay money for rent or a dorm or food. I could just bus to school everyday.

But the problem was that when I was home, I wasn’t doing anything. Most of my friends were gone, so I would just sit around in my room all day, alone.

What eventually changed was that my Uncle moved into the house. I can still remember my Mom insisting that ‘he will only be here for two weeks, at the most.’ Four months later and he was still there.

One day I was sitting in my room, as I usually did, watching Family Guy, and eating Pringles. When I ran out of chips and needed to get more I saw my Uncle sitting in the living room watching Family Guy and eating Pringles. Basically doing the exact same thing.

That was my moment of insight. Or warning. It only lasted for a second, but it felt like an eternity. In that moment, I saw myself in 30 years, sitting exactly where he was sitting. In that moment, I was my Uncle. I had never grown up, never moved on.

When it comes to the town I grew up in, if you don’t leave when you have the chance, you will never leave. I decided it was time to move away. Far away.

As far away as I could get of that image.

I didn’t tell my parents when I started looking into international programs through my college. My first choices were in Asia. But no, I thought, that would be too difficult, learning one of those languages. Maybe an English speaking country? Yes, that makes more sense. England itself, maybe London? Too common a choice.

What about Ireland? That’s perfect. I had always wanted to visit Ireland, it had a beautiful image in my head. I settled on Dublin.

I was already finished with the applications when I finally told my parents. They said they were okay with the idea. I’m still certain that they thought it was just a notion that I was entertaining. That I would never, could never go through with it.

I still remember the looks on their faces when I got accepted.

Fast forward three months later and I am standing in the security line at the airport with my Dad. He convinced the ticket lady to give him a security pass, so he could see me to the gate. My Dad and I, we didn’t say a whole lot to each other, waiting for the boarding to begin. When it was time, we said our goodbyes and that was that.

On the plane, I look at my reflection in the window. It is an image of myself, and no one else. But I can picture you. Yes you, sitting at your computer, reading this.

By now I bet you’re wondering what in this story was a lie. Well, I’m not going to tell you. Not specifics anyways. Because if I told you why would you, why should you believe me?

The truth is that no matter how hard you try to tell the whole truth when you write about yourself, you are going to lie. Guaranteed. To tell the complete truth would make for extremely boring reading, because if you leave even a single detail out, you are lying by omission.

Lets also not forget the fact that deep down, we are all salesmen and women. We all seek to sell a crafted image of ourselves to each other. I did that here, everyone does. Think of every single memoir or biography you’ve ever read. Every single detail is crafted so that you’re reading a version of them that they want you to read. We all do it, even if we don’t realize it. Think about it, how many different versions of yourself are there? One for your co-workers, one for your friends, one for your spouse, for your kids. For your readers.

Maybe nothing in this story is true. Maybe I’m a completely different person than the one I specifically crafted here. I’m a 40 year old comic book nerd living in my parents basement. Maybe everything is true, and this admission is the lie. How could you possibly know? And maybe, just maybe this whole post-story-rant-to-reader is me further crafting an image of myself to you.

Or is it better to not think about it?


Urban Decay

I came up with the idea for this story, surprisingly enough, while I was driving around earlier this week. I was excited, because I had the idea to write this from the second person perspective. Not I, not he/she, but you. It’s a perspective you almost never see (outside Goosebumps “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories) and for good reason, it’s really hard to do.

I’ve also noticed that my stuff has been on the heavy/depressing side lately, and I wanted a bit of a change of pace.

Enjoy.

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You’re driving down a road and it becomes immediately clear that you do not belong here. Your car, while reliable, is slowly falling apart and being passed by people driving Porches and Ferrari’s. You even swear that you just got passed by a Rolls Royce.

You look around and see you’re surrounded by houses that should really be called “mini-mansions.” They are built from the brick of Depression Era houses; also mansions, tore down and rebuilt anew.

You’re driving down a road in which the medium income for residents is somewhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million a year. Driving along, you think to yourself how you’re almost entirely sure you won’t make that much in a lifetime, let alone year after year.

To your left is a private golf course that you have no hopes of entering.

But anyways, you continue to drive down the road, which begins to bend. And after the bend you notice that things aren’t quite the same.

The road, which was pristine and smooth as silk behind you, is beginning to show some wear and tear. It’s not horrible, but it is noticeable.

You look around and see you’re surrounded by houses that could be called “functional.” They are all built from the same cookie-cutter pattern, a sea of clones. The cars, like the homes, can be called “functional.”

There are no golf courses here. You can picture yourself starting a family somewhere very similar to this place, but not yet.

And so, you continue to drive down the road. On your right you pass a lake, in which you can see litter on its frozen beach.

The road has deteriorated severely. Potholes plague the street every few feet. After hitting a few, you curse to yourself and begin to swerve around the holes like orange caution cones.

There are no homes here that you can see. Plenty of shops, sure, and some places you frequent occasionally, like that cafe on your left.

A bit further still, and you can see places of residency. Apartment complex after complex, walls of them on either side. You notice how the signs are all written in two, three or even more languages.

You can’t imagine seeing that near the private golf course.

The condition of the road has become completely unbearable. It has turned into one gigantic pothole. The rattling of your car forces you to continuously turn up your radio, to drown out the grinding noise. The vibrations cause the panel on your steering wheel which houses the airbag to fall off. It dangles by a single wire, for the horn. You quickly tape it up again at a red light.

And finally you turn off this road and into your own apartment. You enter and find the four flights of stairs more exhausting than usual.

You walk inside your own apartment room, which is a mess. You see dishes in the sink, overflowing onto the counter, neglected for days, maybe even weeks. You pass the dishes and open the fridge. There isn’t much food, but you weren’t looking for food. You were looking for a beer.

You take a drink and look out the window. You see the skyline of the city begin to light up right in front of your eyes, in the evening air; the city coming to life. You smile, musing on the beauty of it.

You are home.


Stars are Cool

So I decided to participate in the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. The idea is that each week you challenge someone with a writing prompt, and in turn you are challenged by a different person.

The challenge for my first week comes from runaway sentence, who challenged me to:

Write a first-person narrative that begins and end with you lying in your small child’s bed.

***********************

As I lay down the first thing I notice is how the smell of a child lingers long after they’ve gone. It is a sweet smell, a clean smell. My son’s bed is covered with images of Spongebob Squarepants. It’s his favorite show. Or at least, it was. My son is dead now.

His name is Daniel. Was Daniel. Will always be Daniel.

Daniel, he was our miracle baby. My wife and I, we struggled for a long time to conceive. The doctor told us that it would be impossible for us to have a child. Something about a low sperm count. And yet, ten months later, Daniel was in our lives.

I am lying on my back right now, on the ceiling I can see the adhesive glow in the dark stars that I put up. One night, Daniel and I were looking up into the sky, and he asked me what the stars were. I told him they were just like our Sun, only very very far away and that was why they looked so small. And in the typical fashion for a small child, that answer wasn’t enough. It just raised another question in his very young mind. Then another, then another. I answered to the best of my abilities, but what I remember the most was the way Daniel’s eyes lit up. He stood looking at the sky for a long time, then looked over to me and said, “stars are cool.”

I liked that; Daniels curiosity. I put those stars on his ceiling as a reminder for him to never ever lose that sense of curiosity; that sense of wonder and awe to the world around him.

It was a car, and a young man distracted on his cell phone. Daniel was five. I don’t have it in me to be mad at the young man. No one ever means to do what he did. Daniels death, and the guilt that goes with it is something that he will have to live with for the rest of his life. And for that, I pity him.

I rise from the bed and move across the room to the dresser. On top are various actions figures and trinkets; such as Daniel’s first pair of shoes, bronzed over into a monument to the past. They are covered in dust now, everything is. We haven’t touched his room since his passing. I’m told it helps the healing process, to leave your child’s room exactly as it was at the time they died. I’m careful not to disturb anything.

Today is the day of the funeral and a chill runs up my spine just thinking about it. Since the day of the car accident my life has felt hazy, as if I was in someplace other than reality, like I was in a dream. The closer to the funeral the more the haze begins to lift. Like I’m waking up. No parent should have to bury their child.

I can hear my wife calling my name, saying that she’s ready. But I’m not. I’m not ready for the haze to lift, for this dream to become reality. And so, I walk back to the bed and lay down. I smell his pillow, look up to the stars, close my eyes and see Daniel looking at the sky, waiting for me, if only for a few minutes longer.


This is the Real: Chapter 2

This is an excerpt from a failed novel of mine last year. Nevertheless, there were a few parts that I think turned out pretty good. This is Chapter 2.
**********
When you’re watching TV, you are practically guaranteed to run into one of those As Seen of TV commercials. Those commercials that seems to go on and on and on about a useless “miracle product” that absolutely no one needs. A blanket with sleeves, a pen that magnetically attaches to a necklace, the Clapper.

Well, you might be surprised to learn that people actually buy those pieces of crap.

It may also be a surprise that all of those products are developed, marketed and sold by one single company; the aptly named As Seen on TV.

“As Seen on TV, Customer Relations, how may I help you ?… So you want to return the Product? May I ask the name of the Product?… Oh, sir, I’m sorry but it is company policy that we cannot allow for returns on this Product, it says that on the packaging… We cannot accept returns for the Easy Wipe Toilet Paper Holder for health code reaso-… No, I apologize but we cannot accept returns for that particular Product even if it broke in half after its first use… We may be able to give you a new Product, or possibly a refund, I will happily transfer you to the manager… Have a nice day.”

It takes a certain type of person to actually order the crap As Seen of TV sells, but it takes a person of several magnitudes of “certain” to actually call Customer Relations of the Company. In short, those people who call in are very rarely “normal” by standard definitions of the word.

As Billy Drolek transfers the Easy Wipe Guy to his manager, he finds that he is beginning to space out and gives his palm a good stab with a pencil to snap himself out of it. He looks at his hand to see a graphite period in the middle of his hand and decides to scribble in a second period and a parenthesis to form a smiley face.

Billy has been working in the Customer Relations Division for two years, he was 23 years old. CRD only contains two employees, Billy himself and his manager, Mr. Shomster. Really Mr. Shomster could to the entire job himself, (they honestly don’t get a whole lot of complaints, as most people would just as easily throw the stuff away) but he just can’t stand the types of people who call in to complain about the crap products they sell. Right now, He is in his office in the middle of his third game of Minesweeper of the day, more than a little annoyed at the fact he has to talk to one of them.

The cubicle Billy occupies is in the middle of a veritable gray sea of cubicles. He’s always wondered why everything in office buildings have to be gray, even the carpet. He supposes that it’s because gray is so uninteresting that it keeps people from staring at the walls or the floor so they can do some work. Yet that doesn’t make a whole lot of since because As Seen on TV is more than fine with letting it’s employees decorate their cubicle with pictures, posters and knick-knacks.

Compared to other people Billy keeps his cubicle relatively knick-knack free. He has a few quotes he likes that he’s printed off and tacked onto the wall in front of his computer. He is partial to quotes from Marcus Aurelius’ The Meditations. Billy pulls up a game of solitaire and (rather ironically) reads quote 3:12 to himself:

If you do the job in a principled way, with diligence, energy and patience,
if you keep yourself free of distractions…

The other noticeable thing in Billy’s cubicle is a calendar he keeps on the wall to the right of the computer. It’s a calendar of American authors and each month a new person is featured, showing a picture of that author and a complete bibliography of their works. (One problem for the makers of the calender was that that definitely needed to feature Thomas Pynchon, but they could not find a picture of the damn guy. So the month of March just features a big Question Mark and his bibliography. It made Billy chuckle a bit)

What Billy likes to do is try to read through as much of the bibliography as he can before the month is out. It’s the middle of June and Billy is looking at a wild haired guy and has been trying to power through his copy of Infinite Jest. Underneath the picture and on the square for today is written “ Dr. Dobreski, 6-7 pm.” This is written in for every Tuesday and Thursday on the calendar, up through December/Hemingway. Today is Tusday, by the way.

He was just getting started on his game of solitaire when the guy who works in the cubicle in front of his computer stood up and turned to Billy. “Hey man, are you up for McDonnell’s after work tonight?”

Billy kept focusing on the card game at hand. “Nate, we go over this all the time, I’ve got my shrink appointment tonight. I can make it there around seven thirty tonight.”

Nate Krulman is Billy’s drinking buddy and McDonnell’s and his best friend (and for that matter, pretty much his only friend, really). Nate was hired at As Seen on TV around the same time as Billy, but while Billy was hired for Customer Relations, they hired Nate for the Product Development Division. It amuses them both that the stuff that Nate makes in PDD is directly responsible for all the weirdos that give Billy his job.

The phone next to Billy’s computer started to ring, further interrupting his exciting game of solitaire, he looked up to Nate, “I gotta take this, we’ll talk later.”

He sat back down and said to Billy, “I hope it’s not one of mine.”

“As Seen on TV, Customer Relations, how may I help you?…Okay, so The Clapper is defective? Is it not working?… Can I ask what you mean by ‘works too well?’…No, you see it’s activated by things that sound like claps, not only and specifically claps. If you don’t want it to turn on and off, you need to flip the switch off…Ma’am, As Seen on TV is not responsible if the sounds of your marital relations is causing the lights to turn on and off, and causing you to become a joke in your neighborhood. You just need to turn it off before you have marital rela-… I would be happy to transfer you to our manager. Have a nice day, ma’am!”

He hung up the phone and both Billy and Nate began to laugh.

Billy went on to play solitaire for the next three hours.

The office of Dr. Dobreski, PhD is located about five blocks away from the office complex of As Seen on TV, putting it about fifteen blocks away from Billy’s small, one bedroom apartment. The office is almost stereotypical for a psychologist. Dr. Dobreski has that weird chair that people in his profession are seemed required to have. Billy prefers to chose the option of sitting up right in the normal chair next to the weird bed-chair. Dr. Dobreski sits in his desk chair, pulled in front of the desk. The Doctor believes that his patients cannot connect with him if he is behind the desk.

Billy is currently avoiding direct eye contact and is reading the titles of the books on the shelves behind Dr. Dobreski. “I wrote my first entry last night.”

“Did you? And do you think it helped to put your immediate thoughts about it down on paper?”

As far as he can tell, the only books are on psychology, but that makes sense, he guesses. “I suppose, I mean, I don’t think I really ever actively tried to think about the daydreams. I always try to forget everything about them. I brought my notebook with me, did you want to read my entry?”

“If you have to ask me to read it, then I don’t want to read it.”

Billy now looks at The Doctor. He appears to be in his mid forties, and has a fondness for red sweater vests. He always keeps his notes down on his lap, but Billy thinks that might be The Doctor hiding his gut. Also, he always wears reading glasses and has what is normally called a bit of a“Jewfro.” “Uh…I’m not really sure I know what you mean.”

“Everything we talk about or do at our sessions are all up to you. You don’t need to ask me anything. You know that. I think the fact that you needed to know if I want to read the entry means you don’t think it’s too important. If you do think it’s important, you will never need to ask. So…do you think it’s important that I read that entry?”

“No, I really suppose not.”

“Okay then, and Billy, just remember that you never need to ask. Have you had an Incident since you wrote this entry?”

“No, but that was only last night.”

“Interesting, I wish we could talk about this more, but we’ve run out of time. I just want to end with one thing that I want you to think about: perhaps the reasons that these Incidents keep happening is that they are trying to tell you something. Maybe if you keep writing it out you will see something. This is just a thought, nothing definitive of course.”

“I’ll make sure to keep writing down all my daydreams, thank you Dr. Dobreski.”

Billy then got up and walked out of the office and into the waiting room. There was a young woman sitting there, completely entranced in one of the magazines that The Doctor subscribes to for his waiting patients. She must be knew, Billy has been going to Dr. Dobreski every Tuesday and Thursday for six months. Either that or she switch to new days or something.

He couldn’t get a very good look at her, every time he tried her eyes would dart to his and Billy would instinctively look towards something else. She was around Billy’s age, it looked like. And she had wavy reddish blondish hair. The young woman looked up and smiled. Billy, now embarrassed only managed a slight nod in her general direction before walking out of the waiting room and sighing.

Billy then proceeded to walk the twelve blocks from The Doctor’s to meet with Nate and knock a few back at McDonnell’s.


Visioneers (inspired by the movie of the same name)

So this story is a bit on an experiment for me. It’s in the first person, which is something I don’t do very often when writing fiction. The other thing is that this story is actually based off a movie called Visioneers. The premise of dreams and exploding, and the Jeffers Corporation all come from the movie. It’s on Netflix Instant Watch right now, I recommend it. Plus it stars Zach Galifinakis, so that’s a bonus.

Enjoy:

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I am a terrorist. Or a violent dissenter. A Crazy. The Enemy. It changes depending on the talking head that night on the network news.

I am all of these things because I have dreams. Not dreams in the “When I grow up…” sense, but dreams as in when I am asleep. No healthy people have had dreams in something like 15 years.

That’s the first symptom, dreams. Once you start having them it means that at some point in the very near future you are going to explode. Literally. Like, your head blows up like a bunch of TNT. The collateral damage has killed many, with millions of dollars of property damage. And I could go off at any time. That is why I am all of these things.

No one knows exactly why people are exploding. Nor do they know why those who explode begin to suffer from dreams. The only thing that is certain is that the two are somehow connected. The leading theory is that the explosions are caused by a build up of stress and overall negative emotion.

And I certainly fit that description. Once I started having dreams I went to therapy sessions. He told me to start writing my thoughts down as a way to release my negativity in small, safe bursts. He said to just write about my life. He told me this a few months ago, but hey, better late than never right?

The Jeffers Corporation is probably the source of most of my negative emotion. It’s where I work. Mr. Jeffers subscribes to the philosophy in which “Mindless productivity = happiness.”

I am a level 3 Visioneer. It is my job to read document after document and then fill out a form stating that I have read them. That’s it. I am not to correct, the documents nor am I allowed to critique in any way. Just read them.

About five months ago, all of the employees received a memo from Mr. Jeffers telling us that Daniel Smith, a Visioneer down in level 2 had exploded. There was to be a small memorial service for him in the cafeteria that day. I didn’t attend. I had never met Daniel Smith. That was the first time I had heard of anyone exploding.

But reports started coming in the next day. It was 16 people, I think, that exploded. It was explained that they were “suffering from dreams.”

About a week later I had my first dream. At first I had them only occasionally, but they became more frequent as time passed. Now I dream every night. It’s always the same. I picture myself as George Washing as I/he prepares to and then crosses the Delaware.

So I went to the doctor, who told me that the medical community had no preventative measure for exploding. It was then that I was referred to therapy sessions. They had me going twice a week to get my stress in check. All the while reports were coming in night after night of more people exploding:

“A man in NYC exploded in the subway today, killing 5 and injuring 11.” “A woman in Tulsa exploded when the grocery store was out of her brand of deodorant, injures 7.”

The therapy sessions were going nowhere. My symptoms started getting worse. Dreams aren’t the only symptom. Overeating and impotence have been known to manifest as explosions become imminent. Since my first dream, I’ve gained 15 pounds. As for impotence, well, let’s just say I haven’t had so much as morning wood for a month.

At the Jeffers Corporation the explosions started to become a serious problem. Each day we were given memos listing the employees who had exploded the previous day. We were all given these teddy bears that we were required to hug if we felt at all stressed or negative in any way. The bears squeaked when you hugged them.

I’ll never forget the look on John’s face when the bears were handed to us. John worked at the desk facing mine. It was a look of ultimate despair, like he wanted to cray, physically trying to cry but couldn’t, which made him want to cry more. John gave the bear one squeeze, then exploded. I was thrown into the wall.

Those bears were just the first step made by the Jeffers Corporation to quell people’s negative emotions. It escalated quickly. The Jeffers owned media outlets began to report that those who were exploding were trying to disrupt the country. We sought to destroy everything. We became terrorists.

And that’s when the crackdown began, when the “T” word was finally used. The “attacks” reached the 100,000 mark when the government (on behalf of the Jeffers Corporation) began the official policy on those exhibiting symptoms of explosion.

The Jeffers Corporation made the Inhibitors, which were installed on people with symptoms. They prevented any negative emotions from rising in the wearer and replaced them with happy thoughts. Many people had Inhibitors installed voluntarily. Others went into hiding. People were told to report “suspects” to the authorities for Forced Inhibition.

I did not go and get and Inhibitor placed on me. Frankly, I find the things disturbing. You see more and more people wearing them everyday; at work, on the street, at McDonalds, in the grocery store. You see them anywhere there used to be a sense of discontent. It has been replaced with content, but a false content. At least when there was discontent you get a sense that someone is alive, on the inside. That they can feel, sometimes strongly, that they have hopes. That they have dreams. Dreams of a better existence, something better than this vapid 9 to 5, mindlessly productive life that I live.

That inner life is now replaced with an empty smile and dead eyes.

Luckily when the government required all therapists to disclose those with symptoms to the authorities, mine had already exploded. But it’s just a matter of time before they find me. Mr. Jeffers required all his employees to take an evaluation last week. It was designed to flush out any dissenters from hiding. I failed it, I know I did. I didn’t even take the test, I drew a picture of George Washington crossing the Delaware. I don’t know why I didn’t just take it, why I didn’t lie. I guess I just don’t want to anymore.

I haven’t been to work since. I locked myself up at home and just decided to write. I have a reason to now, I didn’t when I was first told to. Back then I thought my life was meaningless, now I know it for a fact. But that doesn’t matter. For better or worse, it’s my life and I shouldn’t be forced to change it. I’ve been filled with negative emotion and stress all my life. It’s who I am! At least I can feel something right now, even if it is just stress, depression and rage. It’s better than nothing, right? And I feel other things too, like passion. It makes me human, for better or worse. And now I hear a pounding at the door. It’s the police. They’ve come for me. Funny, I was afraid of exploding, but hearing that knocking, and knowing what comes next…exploding doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Goodbye….

What a nice day.


To Walk Through the Valley of Something or Another

As the Boy was pouring the last of the Mother’s hidden stash of vodka down the bathroom drain, the Father was busy clearing the sidewalk of approximately 22.6 inches of snow that had been piling up since the previous day. The Mother was passed out on the couch. The Boy was nine years old.

He, the Boy, thought that the water-like substance that made the Mother sleep smelled like the fat black markers that his teacher was reluctant to let him use. The Boy liked the smell of the markers, and of the vodka. It was a sharp, penetrating smell; one that made his frontal lobe feel fuzzy in a way he would not understand until years later. His teacher would tell him that smelling the markers was bad for him, that it could hurt him. Buy why was the Mother allowed to drink something that smelled the same?

The Mother and Father fought often and they fought loud, but they wanted to avoid the possibility of damaging the Boy’s developing psyche from their confrontations. So as their debates became more and more heated, they would march down the stairs to the basement, allowing the volumes of their voices to rise incrementally with each step downward. Their hope being that the Boy wouldn’t hear them (as his room was on the second floor of the house and on the opposite side of the house as the basement stairs, not to mention that the house had fairly thick and soundproof walls).

Unfortunately the Mother and Father, blinded by mutual rage never once in their hundreds of fights noticed the fact that their sparring location in the basement was located right below a heating vent. The sounds of the fighting carried through the vent work in much the same way that some string will carry sound between two emptied cans, something the boy had done the previous year for his school’s annual science fair.

And so on a near nightly basis, the Boy woke to the sound of his parent’s disembodied voices screaming from the vent on his floor. He would rise out of bed and lay on his stomach with his ear pressed against the heating vent (this would prove to be a particularly difficult thing to do in the winter, with the heat running and often burning the poor Boy’s ear, which he would hide by wearing a winter cap to cover the burnt ear). At the current moment, outside, the Father’s breathing was becoming heavy as he continued to clear the sidewalk of the heavy, wet snow.

The Boy poured another bottle of vodka down the drain. He watched as it circled the edges of the sink, falling towards the center and into oblivion. The disembodied voice of the Father always said “those fucking bottles of vodka are tearing this family apart.” It was the idea of the Boy that by disposing of the booze he was saving his family, one bottle at a time.

In the next room over, the Mother began to stir, causing the Boy’s heart to skip six or seven beats. He peaked out of the bathroom; she was still out, but had moved into a different position on the couch. The Boy was scared that the Mother would catch him disposing of her drinks before he was finished. At the time he poured each bottle one at a time in a slow, cathartic fashion. There were eight bottles left, and so the Boy began pouring each one down the drain as fast as he could.

Not even the Father knew where the Mother kept her bottles of vodka, and the Boy knew it. The disembodied vent Mother always said “you will never find it.” And occasionally the Boy saw the Father snooping around, checking any nook and cranny for the Mother’s contraband. Outside, the Father had stopped moving the snow and was using the shovel as a means of support.

Knowing that the Father had not found the liquor, the Boy began his own secret crusade to find the stash. And so he followed the Mother around in secret, hoping that she would lead him straight to the source. The Boy started pouring the vodka too fast and began spilling onto the counter and the floor. His hands now also smelled like fat markers, soaked with the Mother’s vodka.

He found the vodka, the Boy. The bottles were hidden behind a hard to notice removable wall panel in a closet in the basement. They were stored to the tops of several brown paper grocery bags. Even a single bag was too heavy for the young Boy to carry. The snow storm gave the Boy the perfect opportunity for disposal. He knew that the Father would be busy outside while the Mother would be asleep. Plenty of time for the Boy to make multiple trips to the hidden stash and then pour them down the drain.

One question arises: why didn’t the Boy simply tell the Father that he had found the Mother’s vodka? There were two main reasons. The first was that the Boy didn’t want the Father to know that he had known about his (the Father) fighting with the Mother. Neither parent wanted the Boy to know and the Boy was afraid of how they would react. The second reason was that he wanted to surprise his parents by being able to tell them that he got rid of the problem tearing the family apart. He thought they would be happy. Outside, the Father was coughing and gasping for air.

Inside, the Boy could hear groans coming from the Mother. He checked couch and could see that she was beginning to stir awake from here drunken stupor. The Boy ran back into the bathroom and continued to pour the contents of the bottle down the drain, only this time he decided to lock the door, to prevent the Mother’s wrath from disrupting his mission.

When the Mother finally rose, he could hear her footsteps as she walked towards the stairs leading into the basement, and to her secret stash. The Boy had just finished pouring the last bottle down the drain when he heard the scream.

The Father heard it as well, but as soon as he started running he could feel a sharp pain in his left arm. It ran from shoulder blade to finger tip.

Before the Boy had the time to even react to the scream, the Mother was pounding at the door yelling “you little fuckin’ piece of shit, just wait until I get a hold of you, I’m gonna twist your neck until your head falls to the god damn floor!.”

The Boy backed away from the door, with the last empty bottle of vodka in his hand. And forgetting that the bathroom floor was soaked with spilled vodka, the poor Boy slipped and fell. His whole body was up in the air, and if you took a picture at the right second, it would have appeared as if the Boy was levitating. The Boy’s arms extended above his head, and as he landed the empty bottle of vodka was in between the floor and the head of the Boy.

Outside, the Father crawled on his hands and knees, struggling to make it to the house. His left arm slipped out from under him and his whole body collapsed to the ground. He never got back up.

The last thing the Boy remembered before slipping into unconsciousness was seeing a pool of his own blood slowly drift towards his feet. The Boy then remembered the sensation of floating, as if some benevolent force was rescuing him from an existence that he was too young to realize was sad.


Innovative Dynamic™

Edgar was moments away from signing the contract that would give the last of his farmlands over to the man sitting across from him at his coffee table. There was an air of tenseness overtaking the modest house. Unfortunately, that tenseness was being somewhat overshadowed by Edgar’s own living room. See, Edgar’s wife had a thing for collectible bear figurines. Her typical weekend included scouring various garage sales in the tri-county area in search for a new bear find. The house was covered head to toe with bears in tutus, bears that are on a boat out on a lake labeled “Gone Fishin'[sic]” and any and every assortment of Winnie the Pooh figurines imaginable.

The bears were coated in a fine layer of dust. Edgar’s wife would always attempt to clean her figurines as often as she could, but the dust would resettle faster than she could clean it off. It coated everything.

And the dust began to settle on the man sitting across from Edgar; his name was Patrick. Patrick Boyle. He was the Contract Manager of the Agricultural Department of the Communications Division of Innovative Dynamic™ [All uses of said company name, and any and all description of and general mood around the office are heretofore used in accordance with any and all legal permission, and it should be mentioned that it was at a hefty price, complete with bullshit levels of red tape no less]. Patrick, being intent on making Edgar uncomfortable [a tactic he felt gave him a stronger edge at the negotiating, or coffee, table] would not stop staring at him. “This deal will be very good for your family. Times are tough, I know. And it’s just getting tougher; the soil conditions are not looking to get better any time soon.”

Edgar studied the contract sitting in front of him. It was several pages long and was in a considerably tiny font [ranging from 6pt and 8pt to be precise], and contained so much technical language that Edgar wasn’t entirely sure if it was even written in English at all. He sighed, “It just doesn’t feel right. I’ve worked this farm my whole life, and you guys are just expecting me to throw that all away?”

Patrick patted some of the dust off of his suit coat [Armani], “Listen, I understand how you feel. But here is the thing: we at Innovative Dynamic™ are willing to give you a lot of money. Your payment will be adequate enough for you and your wife to be able to retire nicely in the city.”

Edgar twirled the pen around his fingers, his eyes still fixed on the contract, “And all because people need to talk to each other.”

*****

Patrick’s job with Innovative Dynamic™ was to survey viable land for new cell phone towers for the Company’s vast communications network and buy out the current land owners. See, there are two main factors as to why towers are where they are. The first factor is that they need to be kept in flat areas with little to no aerial obstructions. And the second is that the towers are ugly as shit, so they need to be kept from densely populated areas or else the townsfolk [read: potential customers] will be pissed. The middle of farms are the perfect locations for the towers. The land is flat, the trees have been razed and only the farmers have to look at the damn things.

*****

“Let me just ask you one question Edgar: How many years has it been since you have had a successful harvest?”

The hint was taken. “Hell, you can’t grow a thing here, the land is dead. It’s dead everywhere.” Edgar took the pen and signed away the rights to his farmland. He signed away the only life anyone in his family had ever known.

*****

But it’s not like the farmers get a bad deal in regards to the cell phone towers. Companies, such as Innovative Dynamic™, are willing to pay good money to buy out farmland. They’re tall, but they don’t take up a lot of space [square footage-wise]. And not only will these cell phone companies pay a massive sum up front, they will pay the farmers a huge stipend for every year the tower is in operation. In the end, the price for the tower is worth more than any crop can possibly make, using the same amount of space. Honestly, it was a win-win deal for the farmers and the cell phone providers.

*****

“You made the right choice, Edgar. For your family.”

So it was Patrick Boyle’s job to go out to these farmers, on behalf of Innovative Dynamic™ and convince them to sign over their land to him. And he was good at it too. Damn good.

And he certainly looked the part, all fancy and official looking. He made a point to always wears the finest suits that he could afford at the meetings, usually a three piece, with some Italian leather shoes and his brown hair slicked back. Today was his one Armani suit, he felt like dressing his finest for this particular meeting. Though the dust was becoming bothersome.

Patrick and Edgar sat together in silence, with the now signed contract, for a few moments. “It’s getting a little late; would you care to stay for dinner?” Edgar asked Patrick.

These people are too polite for their own good, Patrick thought to himself. “No thank you, it is probably best that I be going.” He rose to his feet and began to walk to the door.

Walk to the door?….No no no no no no, that’s not what’s supposed to happen right now! PATRICK STOP WALKING THIS MINUTE!

“Is something wrong, Edgar? Honestly, it is unnecessary for you to yell.”

“I didn’t say anything. I’ve just been sitting here.”

“Then who was shouting at me? I could have swore that I heard someone yell for me to stop.”

“Patrick…there was no one yelling. It’s dead quiet in here. Is everything alright?”

It’s not Edgar who shouted, Patrick, it was me.

“Okay Edgar, you heard that right?”

“Heard what?”

He can’t hear me Patrick. It’s just the two of us. Holding our own little private conversation. You don’t even have to say anything out loud. Let’s just say that this conversation is all in your head.

Who are you? And where are you speaking from?

Honestly, those questions don’t really matter Patrick. What does matter, however, is that you turn around right now and join Edgar and his lovely wife for dinner.

Why do I need to stay here for dinner? I’ve got a ton of work to do for the rest of the night.

That’s a load of bullshit Patrick. You and I both know that all you’re going to do is get into your car and drive to the nearest motel to spend the night, maybe microwave yourself a meal and beat off. Staying here for your dinner will be a much better use of your time.

That’s not really answering my question as to exactly why I should stay? I don’t need to listen to you, whoever you are.

Why? Because you’re meant to stay here for dinner Patrick. You can call it fate or destiny or whatever you want, I don’t really care, but it is supposed to happen. You might say it was written.

“Is everything okay Patrick? You still in there? HELLO?”

And you do have to listen to me Patrick. So right now you need to tell Edgar that you’re fine and that you would love to stay for dinner.

“Sorry Edgar, I was just caught up in my own head for a minute there. On second thought, I would love to stay for dinner. You’re my last stop for the day anyways.”

There you go Patrick, good job. Now we can keep going.

*****

And so Patrick joined Edgar and his wife, Jan, at the dinner table. Even the dining room was covered in bears, one that particularly caught Patrick’s eye showed a family of bears sitting around a table, eating honey. Jan walked in with the food; it was a baked chicken with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob SynthetiMeal© [Brought to you by the SynthetiFood Division of Innovative Dynamic™. Slogan: “Fighting the Food Shortage So You Don’t Have To!”].

Jan sat the plate down in front of Patrick. He almost groaned when he examined the plate. Even it had bears on it. This isn’t where I belong.

Actually there is no other place that you belong.

Anyways, Jan broke the silence of the dining room, “So, Patrick, how does a big shot business man like yourself get stuck doing work out here?”

“Well Jan, it’s just part of my job. I’m the Contract Manager of the Agricultural Department of the Communications Division of Innovative Dynamic™ and my job is to come out to places like this. The higher ups say go there and I go.”

“Well it must be nice, being able to travel all over the country meeting new people.”

“Yes ma’am, I suppose it is.”

“Are you married.”

“Actually no, no I’m not.”

The conversation came to a momentary pause as Jan began eating some of her SynthetiCorn©. Next to her was Edgar, who hadn’t spoken a word during dinner. She finished her bite and said “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. A nice, young, handsome rich fella like you should have a wife. Is it just because you haven’t found the right girl for you yet?”

“I don’t really picture myself getting married. I don’t think the whole ‘get married, have kids and start a family’ thing is right for me.”

Oh, come on Patrick, we both know that that isn’t true. Stop lying to them. Be honest.

“But I am being honest.”

“Honest about what, Patrick?” Jan asked.

You used to be in love once, remember?

That was a long time ago.

Tell them anyway.

“To be honest, I was actually engaged once. About five years ago.”

“Is that right?”

Patrick stared at his bear plate, dust was slowly setting onto the food. “Her name was Karen. We were deeply and truly in love.”

“So what happened?”

“Well back then I wasn’t working for Innovative Dynamic™, I was actually working at my fathers business. Boyle & Son Watchmakers. My father was a watchmaker, and I was planning on taking up the mantle. Money was really tight, no one uses analogue watches anymore, everyone uses digital.”

“Or their cell phones.”

“Yeah. And so I wanted to get Karen an engagement ring, but I couldn’t afford even the smallest diamond. I quit my job with my father and found a job at Innovative Dynamic™. My father stopped speaking with me, basically disowned me right up until he died two years ago. I didn’t care at the time, I was able to get Karen the ring she deserved. I eventually got promoted to this very job, but the problem was all of the traveling. It was hard on us, and Karen thought that my job was morally wrong.”

“And you don’t?” Jan interrupted.

“I have a responsibility to the Company. And I wanted Karen to have the life she deserved. A life where money wouldn’t be a problem. She left me. But the Company still needed me.” Patrick smiled weakly, “I guess you could say I’m now married to the job.”

“Do you like what you do?” Jan asked.

Patrick was surprised at the directness of the question. “Excuse me?”

Jan took a sip of wine, “Do you like what you do at Innovative Dynamic™? You say that you’re married to the job. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you like what you do. I mean, personally I don’t think I could handle what you do, kicking people out of their homes.”

“I have worked with Innovative Dynamic™ for quite a long time now. Without them, I would still just simply be the Watchmaker’s Son, and I am thankful for that. Working at Innovative Dynamic™ gives me the chance to be a part of something bigger, to really change the world. And besides, what I do for the Company, what I do for people in your situation, it’s a service. You needed help, you needed money. I gave that to you.”

Jan got up and began clearing the table, “If you say so, My. Boyle. If you say so.”

When she left the room Edgar finally spoke, “I’m sorry about that. My wife can be a little outspoken sometime.”

“It is not a problem.”

“Would you care to go outside for a smoke?”

*****

It was dark outside now. Patrick had been at the farmhouse much longer than he had anticipated. The night was nice, cool October air kept the temperature at a good level. There was a slight breeze. Edgar handed a cigar to Patrick. All around them, in the distance, was an eerie red glow. The light pulsated; red would envelop the landscape and then fade to black. It came from dots that seemed to float in the air.

It was the sight of hundred, maybe even thousands, of cell phone towers, all of them equipped with that blinking red bulb thing that’s used as a warning to any airplanes that might be flying low. The blinking of all of the lights was synchronized, allowing for the red glow to pulsate all around.

“You get used to it,” Edgar said, “the lights. It’s kinda like living next to an airport. At first you can’t stand it, then you get so used to it you don’t even notice it, and then you realize that it’s difficult to fall asleep without it. It’s funny, I think I’ll miss these stupid things when we move away.

“It is beautiful, in a way.” All around Patrick was his legacy, proof that he was changing the world, a part of something bigger than himself. It was staring him in the face.

Edgar let out a puff of smoke. “And yet, at the same time, I have to say that I hate these stupid things. This sea of towers, I remember when it was a sea of corn and wheat. I knew all the people who used to work the land around here, until they started selling out. Me and Jan, we’re the last ones left here. Hell, maybe we’re the last ones left at all. I haven’t even seen a man who calls himself a farmer in a long time.”

“The soil has been dead for too long, you can’t make a living as a farmer if there is nothing that can grow.” Off in the distance, only visible with the aid of the red glow, was the swirling mass of a dust devil. It moved along in the distance slowly.

*****

The deals that the cell phone companies made with farmers, it was a win-win situation in the beginning. Companies like Innovative Dynamic™ would buy out a tiny portion of a farmer’s land for a tower. That farmers got a fat pay check. The problem was that both sides started to become more and more greedy. Cell phones grew massively popular, people wanted to have constant connectivity with each other. They wanted to be in touch with people all of the time. A “No Service” area was terrible. Something that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. The only way for the companies to stay ahead of the expanding competition was to build more towers; they needed to get total coverage for their customers. And they found that lumping many of their towers together nearby in a cluster was a fantastically simple way to boost the total area signal up to ten-fold.

But what no one saw coming was just how popular the deal would get. Farmers began to see out huge tracts of land to not just one, but multiple cell phone carriers. They signed a bunch of contracts and boom, no more having to work the land. They could just sit there and let the money roll in. All the various companies started getting pissed off that the farmers were selling tracts of land to their competition, so they all independently added clauses in the contracts that gave all of the farm land to that single company. With the farmer off the land, the company would be free to build even more towers on the land, without worrying that the farmer would sell to another company.

And the farmers were okay with moving completely off of their land. Too many towers got built. The constructions companies needed to tear up the soil in order to lay down solid foundations. All the construction began to ruin the land, the topsoil got totally destroyed. The topsoil, with the grass, kept the soil anchored in place. With it gone, all the soil got displaced.

And with the land turning to shit, the farmers that didn’t originally sell out their land for towers; they were forced to do so. It was the only way for them to support their families.

It was a new Dust Bowl for the 21st Century.

*****

Patrick and Edgar were still talking outside. “You know, you might be right,” Patrick said, “I mean for my job I have to find farmers who are willing to sell. And they’re all willing to sell, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find farmers at all. Maybe they really are all gone.”

“Well what does that mean for you? And your job?”

Patrick laughed as he was inhaling his cigar, causing him to cough, “I’m not worried. I’ve put in years of quality service. Innovative Dynamic’s™ Communications Division wouldn’t be the success it is right now if it wasn’t for me. If all the farmers actually are gone, I’ll be looking at a nice promotion, working at the Corporate Headquarters. It’ll be where I belong, after years of hard work and sacrifice. I wont be out here in the middle of nowhere anymore.” Patrick inhaled again, “No offense.”

“None taken.” Edgar and Patrick stood together in silence, watching the dust devil dance around the towers. “It’s really hard, you know, leaving this. My father was a farmer, his father has a farmer and his father was a farmer. It’s the only life that I know. It’s the only life that I’ve ever wanted to know. And now that life is gone. A part of me died when I signed that contract, I think.”

None of this was Patrick’s problem. It wasn’t his job to care about the feelings of the people he dealt with. “I think it’d be best if I left.”

They shook hands, “Don’t think I’m ungrateful, we needed the money. I’ll miss this life, sure, but I have no regrets making sure that my family is taken care of. That’s all that matters to me, in the end. I do have one thing to say to you though, Patrick.”

“And what is that?”

“It’s always better, I think, to simply be the Watchmaker’s Son and be happy, rather than the Man Who Changes the World, but alone in it. Of course that’s just me.”

But if people know that it was me, that it was Patrick Boyle who changed the world, I won’t be alone.

It’s a nice thought, isn’t it Patrick.

*****

Patrick had parked his car at the end of the driveway, near the county road and it turned out that it was quite a long walk, especially so in the dark. The silver company car had been coated in a fine layer of rust colored dust; it fell onto the car like a fine layer of snow. He hopped into the car and began driving off.

Patrick had no place to be, nowhere that Innovative Dynamic™ told him that he needed to go to, so he decided to stop off at the first motel he could find for the night. As it turned out, it was a Motel 6 [complete with free HBO] that was about twenty miles away from what was formerly Edgar’s farm. There was a dirty move of a pornographic nature on HBO and Patrick decided to watch it until he eventually fell asleep.

The next morning came and gone, and by the afternoon Patrick had still not received any word from Innovative Dynamic™. This was unusual, as normally Patrick needed to be on the road immediately in order to make the next contract appointment. It wasn’t like the Company to be AWOL like this on him. And this kind of empty time was straight up frightening. When the higher ups say go there, Patrick goes. When the higher ups say do this, Patrick does, but what about when they don’t say where to go or what to do?

And so, Patrick decided to do something that he had never done in his long tenure at Innovative Dynamic™: He decided to call the Corporate Headquarters. The Innovative Dynamic™ headquarters was located in the tallest building in the world. It was an ultra-modern looking glass building that looked like it had been twisted to create the effect of a spiral. It was the top floor, the floor reserved for the higher ups, that Patrick hoped he would one day belonged, after working so long and so hard down in the pits of the farms. The higher ups were the ones who made the world go ’round.

Anyways, so Patrick decided to personally call up his boss, a man by the name of Mr. Allen, the head of the whole Communications Division. The confused secretary tried to argue with Patrick, but he insisted to speak with Mr. Allen, and after some arm twisting she finally relented and transferred him to Mr. Allen.

“Patrick, I’ve got to be honest, I’m a little surprised to be hearing from you. I figured that you would need some time to yourself.”

“Oh, is that why you had not called me after the last job for my next assignment? Did you think that I needed a vacation? Because, sir, I don’t think I really want a vacation right now, I just want to keep on working.”

The phone line was silent for a moment, then Mr. Allen began speak slowly, choosing his words very carefully, “Um…Patrick, did you not get the message I left on your phone? I called you yesterday.”

“Yesterday? I did not get so much as a text message yesterday. Was was at my last assignment.”

“Strange, you must not have had a signal where you were. Patrick, I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’ve been terminated.”

For Patrick, the words didn’t exactly register immediately. “Terminated?” His lip began to quiver and his face began to turn beet red. “I’m being fired?”

“You know the company policy. We don’t like the word ‘fired.’ But yes, you are being terminated. But don’t worry, your severance is substantial. Think of it as a gift for all the considerable work you’ve done for Innovative Dynamic™.”

“I don’t, I don’t understand, sir. I’ve put my whole life, my whole existence behind this company. I threw away my family, my fiancee for this job. You just said it yourself that my work here is considerable. If I’m such a valuable asset, why am I getting canned?”

“Terminated, Patrick. And the truth of the matter is that, yes, you were a valuable asset. Were, past tense, and the situation has changed. That farmer whose land you acquired for us, Edgar, he was the last one.”

Patrick slumped over his knees, he thought of vomiting, “The last one what? Farmer? How is that even possible?”

“Yes, the last farmer. We had a final few prospects, but they were bought out by competitors during your meeting with Edgar. There is no more farmland for you to get for us.” Mr. Allen laughed, “Patrick, I hate to say it, but it’s possible that you did too good of a job for us. You worked yourself to obsolescence.”

“Don’t, don’t I deserve a promotion for what I’ve done. You don’t just throw someone away like that!”

“Patrick, these are tough times, not just for the hick you dealt with, but for Innovative Dynamic™ as well. The Company can’t afford to give you the salary increase that a promotion would require. But we can’t simply bleed money out to you for a job that no longer exists. This is goodbye, Patrick.”

The other end of the line became quiet as Patrick was left in the Motel 6, alone and without a job, thinking about what it was that he should exactly do. What was the next step? Honestly the next step was easy, booze. Booze was the next step.

So upset and breaking down, Patrick got in his car to drive to get himself some liquor. Unfortunately, he was in a dry county so he was forced to keep driving. To drive as long as was necessary, the distance wasn’t a factor. He drove until the middle of the night when he found himself in the middle of what used to be a farm town [and a wet county]. Now the only thing left was a gas station and a liquor store; also, another sea of floating red lights. He was the one who made it happen. It was his legacy.

But it wasn’t his legacy anymore. It was the Company’s.

Patrick stopped and walked into the liquor store. The man working the counter mentioned how they never really serve business man types like him. Patrick bought a bottle of cheap whiskey and left without saying a word.

He got back into his car and kept driving. He took drinks directly from the bottle, chugging the bottle dangerously fast. To his right, he could see the blinking red lights again. They were just standing there, pulsating, mocking him. Patrick pulled off the road. He stepped out of the car, and sat on the hood, drinking his whiskey and watching the pulsating.

Then he did something he hadn’t done in five years: He got out his phone and called Karen. There was no way to know, after five years, what her cell phone number was. But Patrick remembered the phone number to the house that the two of them bought when they were engaged. Karen was the one who kept it.

The phone rang three times before someone picked up the other end. Unfortunately for Patrick, it wasn’t Karen [it was a man, who sounded rather tough]. He hung up immediately. The dust swirled all around Patrick, coating him and his Armani suit. His, though dust coated, has clean streaks from recent tears. He took another swig of the bottle.

What am I going to do?

I’m going to tell you what to do.

You again?

So you’ve stopped questioning my appearance.

It’s not like anyone else is around.

That’s true. Of course I am always around.

What do you want?

What I want, Patrick, is for you to get into you car, take a hard right, a slam yourself into that field of towers.

And why would I do that?

Because there is nothing left for you. You already know that Karen has moved on. That was her husband. They have a daughter, she’s two years old and beautiful.

So you want me to kill myself because of that?

Well, that and you lost your job. The job that was your sole reason for existing.

I can find another job.

No, Patrick, no you can’t.

Sure I can, I’m plenty qualified. Maybe Global Communications could use me. I’m sure that they would give me the job a deserve.

For fuck’s sake Patrick, do you still not get it! You will not get a job with Global Communications because I wont let you. I’ve been controlling you the whole time. You don’t even really exist.

Don’t exist? How is that possible?

It’s possible, Patrick, because you in a story. A story that I’m writing right now. I am your God, and you are not Forgiven. Look, the whole point of this story is that you, the guy who threw people out of their homes, the guy who ruined so many lives, gets his comeuppance in the end. That was the goal from Page One Word One. Poetic justice.

I don’t want to die.

I know, I know. But think of it this way. You don’t really exist, so you aren’t really dieing. So there’s that. And I’ll admit, I feel bad for doing this. You’re nowhere near as slimy as I first thought I would make you. If that makes you feel any better.

It doesn’t. But I guess I’m ready when you are.

I’m ready. Good luck Patrick. And I do feel bad for this. But I have no choice.

There’s always a choice.

*****

Patrick threw the bottle of whiskey to the ground and returned to his car. He started the car and made a hard right turn off of the road and began to accelerate the car towards that see of light.

The final thoughts of Patrick Boyle, Contract Manager of the Agricultural Department of the Communications Division of Innovative Dynamic™:

I gave them my entire life. I gave them my entire life, and they didn’t even give a shit. They didn’t even care. And what do I have to show for it, these fucking towers. What do they even matter? They’re not even mine. I could have had a life a real life. i could have met someone gotten married had kids. but no but no i dedicated my existence to that company that damn fucking company what good was it it did nothing for me but chew me up and spit me out. there was no time there was there there was no time for relationships for love or kids or even fucking happiness the company just made me go they said go and i go i always go and for what for nothing karen is gone and now shes happy without me the company used me they knew i was good at what i did but thats all that matter to them i dont matter i dont matter look there are the towers i can i can see them see them i towers see them getting more and bigger and ill show them show them all what it means to fuck with patrick boyle and gonna ram this car right up their ass ram it right into the one of the towers i brought it into this world i can sure hell as take it out this is it this is the end the end of a wasted life and no one will care no one will remember it non of it matters why did i waste everything for a job that doesnt even matter this is the end and i want it i want the end that tower is huge lets speed this car up speed up car a little this oh sweet embrace of death here tower it is calling calling for patr