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The Great Escapism (standard:other, 3157 words)
Author: Craig AndersonAdded: Dec 21 2003Views/Reads: 1585/1008Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Ecapism in different forms...
 



The Great Escapism 

By Craig Anderson 

John. 

He lashed out at the bedside clock, as though it were some vicious yet
punch-prone alien. His hands and mind fumbled with it, he turned it 
over - what the hell is this thing, and what's with all the friggin' 
breeping?  He couldn't fathom as to why anything would make such an 
awful noise so damn early. Bloody inconsiderate, he thought. 

Some part of him, perhaps his kidneys, gathered whatever resources were
available, and established a ramshackle base camp due south of his 
yellowed pillow. He equipped himself for the long trek to the shower, 
and with open mouth and closed eyes, he set off. He decided he'd let 
the sherpa's take care of the alarm-clock; he felt they were ready for 
the responsibility. 

The warm water hugged him maternally, and made it all better. His brain
went through it's booting-up process. He had a pulse, and was 
breathing. So far, so good. It ran bladder and bowel status checks 
before going on a disorganized rant, whistling coyly and knowingly, 
kicking at the dirt and chattering inanely. He told it to shut up and 
stop fidgeting; he really wasn't in the mood. 

The water went cold, so he got out, dried, and walked to the kitchen,
where he realized his day was ruined. If it weren't so hot, he'd go 
back to bed. He knew it was ruined, the empty toaster ever more 
accurate than any hand-picked super-psychic. He needed his toast to be 
cold before he buttered it; he liked the butter to sit on top, quietly, 
like a solid and non-melting thing. On top of that he would tenderly 
trowel the vegemite, like an oil slick spread across a seashore. This 
morning, however, the toaster was as empty as his stomach would remain 
for the duration of at least a durrie and a half, whilst his breakfast 
cooked and cooled. The alarm heckled him again; cackled at his 
incompetence. Useless sherpa's, a mind-numbing brain and frozen bread - 
not a good sign of things to come, not good at all. 

He did what he had to do, that is, he smoked and waited for his
breakfast, and, with little to work with, the narrator was left to his 
own devices. Unfortunately, said devices were particularly entertaining 
and time-consuming, and John probably did some interesting stuff 
unobserved. He may or may not have stubbed a toe at some point, as he 
seemed to have taken on a limp in the interim. More likely, however, 
was that he was just faking it. He had always thought a limp made ones 
walk kind of dignified, and that an observer just may conclude that it 
was the result of an heroic dive onto a live hand-grenade. John was a 
bit of a moron sometimes. 

John was also unemployed, full-time. He hadn't worked in years. It
really wasn't his scene. He liked to stay home, smoking rollies and 
bongs. He liked daytime TV. He suspected that if he stopped watching, 
it might pucker up into itself, like one might expect one's anus to do 
if one were to fall forcefully on a greased lemon. It may very well 
have just been the drugs, but he noticed that when he stopped paying 
attention to something, pretty soon, it just stopped existing. So, 
really, there were a lot of people depending on him. 

John was single. His last girlfriend had carried on with a lot of shit,
nagging. She had always gone on about his attention span, or something, 
he didn't know, he hadn't really been listening. She thought (and 
stated, often) that he should be spending his time in more productive 
ways. He suspected that she didn't entirely accept “The Lemon Theory”, 
and he believed that it was this closed-mindedness that eventually 
drove them apart. He had heard from his mate,  Colin, that she was 
engaged now to some law-talking guy, “some-Tom-fellah”. He considered 
it possible that there was something in the universe he could care less 
about, but mankind was yet to step on and stick it with a flag. 

Being on the dole, he had little reason to wake early, and generally
avoided putting himself through this type of ordeal too often. Today, 
however, he had an appointment with Centrelink, regarding his welfare 
payments. He was hopeful of a rise, or some long-service leave - he 
sure had been with them a while. 


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