Thursday, February 13, 2014

16 Tons

8:30 a.m.
I arrive at work with heady enthusiasm ready to take on another day. Carpe diem.

8:31 a.m.
I’m bored.

8:33 a.m.
The soul-crushing thought of another 8 hours trapped in the cubicle farm has sapped my will to live.

8:39 a.m.
I have turned my computer on, hoping the light from the monitor will brighten my mood and allow me to go on.

8:43 a.m.
Our morning meeting has begun. My mind is wandering to my days as tugboat captain in New York harbor: Me and Tony “The Big Toe” Canoli pulling the cargo freighters into port during the day and prowling the streets at night for an underground tetherball club. We had . . . wait, did someone just ask me a question? Shit, I have to answer . . .

“Yeah, I took care of that yesterday.”

Wow, that was close. I have to pay more attention in these meetings. Hmm. Everyone else is back at their desks. The meeting must have ended.

9:50 a.m.
I have a request open in front of me, but instead of working it I’m staring out the window. There’s something in the middle of the alley that I can’t make out. What is that? I stand up and press close to the glass. Yep, I was right. It’s an ear.

11:08 a.m.
I did some work for the last hour. I feel a small sense of accomplishment, but not enough to energize me to do more.

11:17 a.m.
Curiosity got the better of me. I went out into the alley for a closer look at the ear. It’s human with a three gold hoop earrings in it. I was trying to decide what to do with it when a dog came out of nowhere and snatched it away. The last I saw he was trotting down Queen Street chewing on it like a rawhide toy.

12:04 p.m.

12:35 p.m.
Lunch is over. Back to work. Not much going on outside.

2:14 p.m.
There is so much dirt under my nails. Was I sleep coal mining again? Was I buried alive and had to dig my way out of the grave? Where did all this dirt come from?

3:45 p.m.
I took apart my watch because there must be something wrong with it: It can’t not be quitting time. I was only supposed to be here 8 hours; I must be going on a hundred and six.

I put the watch back together again but I did something wrong. It says the time is 3A76 Greenwich Mean Time. I don’t know what that means.

4:23 p.m.
The dog is back. He’s dropped the ear at the base of my window as some sort of gift. He’s eaten about half of it, the rest looks like regurgitated cheap ground beef. I thank the pup anyway. It’s the thought that counts.

5:00 p.m.
Oh sweet merciful God it’s finally time to go home. I don’t know how one day can feel like a century but it managed.

Huh. My watch says it’s next Tuesday.