A day in the life

 

Sex, drugs and sleeping in deserted office building

He woke up in his office having slept on the floor using a laptop bag as pillow. He’d missed the last train home the previous night due mainly to the state he was in. He wouldn’t have been able to pay for a ticket anyway – in his coked-up drunkenness he’d left his wallet back at his office and only realized this at the station. His office building was a real shit hole in terms of location, architecture and level of maintenance, but at least he had his own office with a door he could lock. He’d spent the afternoon drinking and the night smoking crack, surfing porn, and jerking off. As usual he had begun dreading the future even before his last rock was smoked because it was fungible after all, it has to end and the end seemed sooner than later. The guilt, the dread, the consternation of being stuck about 70 kilometers away from his home, from his own city. Fortunately his family too were away from home for the night. He’d gone into a pill induced sleep with the images of those pretty nude women still flickering in the darkened office. When he awoke it was almost seven and his neck was stiff, his clothes and body feeling soiled. It was a Saturday morning and he had an engagement at ten. He could’ve been completely miserable.Guilty about his sins of the previous night, anxious about lying about his whereabouts and of potentially missing an important engagement today. But it was Saturday and there was a refreshing, invigorating nip in the air. He established that no buses were running to the station on weekends so he walked several inner city blocks before succeeding to catch a taxi. It wasn’t his city, he associated it with his dreary job and too frequent binges of all kinds, and it was a grimy kind of place. Nevertheless the bustle and cool fresh air elevated him. Perhaps it was what it symbolized that did the trick for his spirit: new day with its fresh start. He was running against the clock to get home, get showered and get back on the road in time for his meeting, but this all seemed OK. Time was running as it should: not too fast and not too slow. Amazingly the world felt in sync – what a contrast to the hellish previous night.

Stalking the father of a former crush

He had always found the think tank’s articles interesting and he supported their pro free market agenda. But that’s not the main reason he’d RSVP’d for this particular Saturday morning’s…what to call it…colloquium? He went because the CEO of the think tank was presenting. Years ago he’d known the CEO’s daughter, a striking beauty with a bubbling personality and impeccable manners. She was a sort of socialite/party-goer in his then youthful circle of friends, lovers and clubbers. She had dated one of his best friends but secretly he had very tender feelings for her. When she once remarked on how odd it was that he didn’t have a girlfriend since he was so good looking and intelligent, he wanted to kiss her on the spot. But under no circumstances could he mention to the father that he knew the daughter because she had become too sensitive a subject. After their youthful circle of friends drifted apart the daughter became increasingly paranoid – which was initially chalked down to her excessive weed smoking. She became reclusive. Now she was a full-blown schizophrenic (if that’s what it was) but still living in a flat in the same city but not recognizing visitors and wandering around for days and sleeping at construction sites. He’d also just wanted to do something sensible and respectable like attending a serious, socially conscious colloquium to make up for some of his less “productive” social enterprises. The event was everything he hoped it would be: intellectual, populated with some very distinguished people and a platform from which he could raise some of his less politically correct views while still being pandered to (as older men tend to do to vigorous younger ones). He had also set a date to meet an aspiring young financier at this event, the boy had made countless efforts to get some face to face “mentor” time from him and this seemed like killing two birds with one stone. The aspirant merchant banker had worked as a model and he looked and acted the part. If the model/banker thought there was value in talking to someone who’d been out of the industry for years then why deny him the chance. The CEO/father was a kind, generous and smart man, if somewhat too socially liberal for the taste of the crack-smoking-floor-sleeping-porn-watcher. He felt almost as tenderly about the old man as he had about his daughter.

The Jesus music festival

He hadn’t looked forward to this event but the kids wanted to go. It was at his former elementary school on the football field. Against all expectations he enjoyed himself – much more so than the previous night and without any guilt. God was clearly in a forgiving mood. The only part that upset him a bit was when the paralyzed former high school football star was wheeled out like a circus freak and prayed for endlessly.  He bumped into and chatted to long lost school friends. He danced to the music with his daughter and ate a burger. He began to like a recent acquaintance more and more the longer they sat together and talked with their kids buzzing around them like bees. He heard a funny political joke from a very nerdy former classmate. He heard a cover version of a former girlfriend’s song – it was the first time he’d heard it – and it was beautiful. He picked up a glow in the dark armband and later gave it to a begging toddler. When he came home with his family that night they saw something in the driveway. It looked like a cat. Then it spread its wings and flew. It was a giant owl. They followed it to where it had perched on the telephone wires and watched it. His wife took a photo and the children were overjoyed.

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