** 40TH STORY**
Song I listened to while writing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW9Fzwuf43c
"Last stop, Market Street." I walk to the edge of the train when the doors open. My feet move forward but my mind needs to catch up. I shake the fog from my head and move forward. People crowd the subway station. There's a staircase marked "E" over to the left. I duck through the people running to catch the train. Moisture gathered in the corner of my right eye. It had been bothering me for five days now. Ever since... wait... five days ago. So that meant today was... what was today? Doesn't matter.
The streets were noisy. There was a construction project two blocks behind me and three more scattered in front. I pulled earmuffs over my ears. Noise still found its way through. Grunting, I kept walking.
My destination was twenty paces away. I made my way through the throngs and found myself at the cold cobblestones outside it. It was a cold blue building. The lights even looked cold. Blue looks cold. I shivered.
Up the elevator. Waiting with strangers. Letting metal arms pull apart an opening for me to move forward. Thousands of feet above the ground. There was a couch– dead cows– that I sat down on. Magazines– parts of the lives of stupid people– lay in front of me.
Suited-up men surrounded me, all wanting to talk to a person. Wanting their business. Such a lovely concept. One of them was from a rival firm. Cory Milton, the other hardware supplier. I frowned at him, though I had no personal hatred for him. That was business. Maybe we'd be good friends if he didn't work there. Eh, well he does.
"Hello? No, can I take a message?" The secretary said. She was talking about the future customer. The one I had to convince. He was there, she didn't say that, though. She made it sound like she needed to take a message... for when he got back.
The full absurdity of my world became apparent in the split seconds of talking, the small fragments of voice splitting from the mouth of the employee. Why would she choose to lie? Was the client such a buffoon? Why was I here? No, there was no purpose in arguing. That was the way things worked. My boss had asked the secretary at my office to do the same. Plenty of times.
"Mr. Dahlia, you can go in." I got up and walked to the door. The handle was rusty. I pulled and went inside, warm air meeting me. The client was sour-faced with a bald head. I shook his hand. It was sweaty. Avoiding his gaze, I rubbed it off on my pants.
"Ah, Jonas, what can I do for you?" He'd seen me before, Mr. Murdoch. That was his name. I'd seen him some months ago. I could never remember our meetings. They all seemed the same as with other clients. It was September... I think.
"I heard you need some more routers and monitor connectors." I clicked open my briefcase. There was a wire inside. A clustered strand of metal covered in rubber... used to connect ourselves... what was the world doing?
I couldn't... what was the purpose? Why had I squandered my life and sold, well, whatever hardware was? Where was the truth, the purity to my joys in life? Did I have joys?
"Ah, yes. I need some USB cords while you're at it." he said. My brain snapped to it. I pulled out a legal notepad. What figures did he want? Ask him that.
"What figures are you looking for?" I said. His eyebrows stayed the same. Some people's go up when you ask about money. His didn't.
"Eh, I'd like about 200, need some backups," he answered. 200, that was about $2500. He had the money, I knew he did... did I know that? Did I really know anything? How stupid the world was, how little I cared for what I did. That isn't life, no... that's not life. Life is a celebration, a gratefulness, an enjoyment. What was I enjoying? There was nothing for me in this shell of my mind, the monotony of the world... why did I stay?
Jimmy LaFonn was losing. All of his money had been swindled from him, stolen by a hand much crueler than ever before, the house. His head in his hands, he started on his way home. There was nothing that he could do that could keep him away tomorrow, he knew that. Jimmy was losing to the house in more ways than one; willpower was in their pot now.
There was something that he'd been picking at in the back of his mind. Whenever there was a thought itching to be put before the light, he had to get on his knees and dig for it. As he sat down on his leather armchair after slamming the door, the process began.
When did the thought arise? After losing his second to last hand.
Why did it arise? Because he thought about why he was there.
Why was he there? Because he had nowhere else to be. Ah, that was getting there.
Jimmy was thrown down the path of thought as most visionaries are, thrust into the palm of distinct genius... but Jimmy was no genius. He was tossed around between the traintracks that carried his idea on their shoulders and pushed him back and forth with it.
He had dreams, of that he was sure. Or at least he used to. Not twig-rustling dreams but the kind that uproots trees and sweeps you down onto the torn soil. They had fueled his passion as he countered and parried his way through school... but where had they gone?
Gone. That's where they were. He needed to find them again, to be lost in the sunlight of a brighter day, a dawn of a new life.
"Why does no one stop to help me?" he thought. Why would no one try to wake him from his slumber? As he lay swept on the shores of life, the world kept going. It always did.
Oh god, even the streets are... absurd! They just don't make sense, they feel out of place. Why am I here? Where are my dreams?
The world kept going.