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I awake slowly. Red veins crack the white of my eyes as I lie motionless, thoughtless. The alarm clock begins to ring as I am collecting thoughts. In thirty minutes I have to be out of the house, ready for work. The morning sun shines through the windows of my room patting the checkered black and white tiles on the floor.
I swing my legs off the bed and my feet meet with the cold tile. My daily planner and a pencil sit aside the droning alarm, I turn it off, then I write: Cigarettes… Work… Cigarettes… Die.
I walk downstairs and head towards the kitchen where every morning I boil some water and pour a bowl of oatmeal while smoking a cigarette. The warm flow of nicotine greets me. I awake more and more as time pendulums away. I have fifteen minutes until I have to be at work, so I shower slow, I dress slow, and I leave.
Inside my Ford Escort, I can feel its depression. Oh it has been well to me, as I have been to it, but the scent it pulses from the vents can make rotten carrion smell pleasing, it isn’t far from death. The busted sound system plays west coast rap as I drive to work. Credits seem to roll across the windshield, listing names of people who have helped make my life as bad as it is. I shouldn’t blame others for my misery, but I do and I will. I arrive at the plaza.
I turn the Escort off and walk into the lobby. From here, sadness is palpable. I enter the elevator, and uncomfortably squeeze next to two heavy set women who both smell equally terrible. The doors shut and the sound of smooth jazz fills the small and smelly corridor. If there was any genre of music that I would blow my brains out listening to, Smooth Jazz would be that music.
The doors finally open and I am greeted with smiles, they are just as sad as I. I am the newest asset to the company, the senior marketers here have found refuge in prescription pills they eat like candy and piss ant therapists. I wear the smell of my Ford Escort which is acknowledged by turning heads as I pass by cubicles. I walk along the aisles taking lefts, straights, and rights. The maze ends and I arrive to my cubicle, I sit in my chair and I begin work. I position the list of names and numbers and begin calling. Selling.
It is ten O’clock, and time bleeds slowly through the day, relentlessly moving. I watch the clock above the wall tick and wait for it to reach five O’clock, slowly it comes and I leave work.
I enjoy a silent drive home as I let the days tiring conversations ooze from my ears in a bright yellow puss, the same color as my car.
I sit at a flashing red light as I watch the connected string of train cars methodically roll down the orange rust tracks. I look to my left and then to my right. From both sides the train cars stretch across the town’s horizons. I can’t wait this long. Even though I have nowhere to be, I feel an overwhelming state of impatience, so I decide to maneuver away and occupy impatience at the nearest gas station.
I pull in to the Circle K, shut off the Escort, and walk inside. I walk to the back of the store where the refrigerators stretch like a funeral procession. I observe the labels of energy drinks, each day competing beverage companies present a new flavored drink that equally tastes metallic and repulsive, my eyes then focus in on the product I will be purchasing.
I open the glass door and proceed to grab an ice tea and as I turn around, two gunmen who are both wearing ski masks approach the door. Finally, I readily accept my death. The clerk standing at the register screams, submitting to the men who rush in shouting. I stand sedated, numb and bliss, my adrenaline soars. One of the gunmen begins to approach me shouting, I hear nothing. He grabs my neck and pushes me to the front of the store where the other gunman robs the cash register and holds the clerk at gun point.
I had become a rag doll, an instrument for their robbery. I sway with the masked vandals pushing and punching and as time draws on, I feel an uneasy tension building in their voices as they yell to each other. I can tell this robbery isn’t going as planed, they are moving too slow. The possibility of police intervention grows higher and higher as each second passes, and out in the middle of nowhere, the man holding me hostage pushes me to the floor and runs out of the door. I watch him as he opens the door to the windowless van, he starts the car up and peels away, I slowly arise and am instantly clutched by the other man holding the money who then guides us to the exit. He is filled in disgust, his partner had peeled away in fear of being caught, Pussy.
He spots my yellow escort parked right near the entrance, “Dayyyyyum, is that ya car!? Bust ass trash bwah! Gimme dem keys fast,” with both hands I fish through my pockets and then I grab them. I hand him the keys and am pushed to the other side of the car, “Get in bwah!” He opens the door and gets in the driver seat while I get in the passenger seat. We sit together, a robber and a telemarketer. He puts the keys in the ignition and twists. The metal ruckus engine pouts, it won’t start. He tries over and over, still no response. The Escort has died.
We robotically turn our heads to face each other, my face blank of emotion, his face masked in disappointment. He opens his mouth and then begins to speak, “So dis is where it ends… halfway to freedom, stuck in car dat smells like a damn skunk.” I look to him while his head bows down facing his lap, “you can still run…” My suggestion settles. I contently watch him as he removes his balaclava, exposing his face to the blinding sun. “Me? You think I can really make it alive, now? I won’t be caught dead on my feet bwah!”
I come to realize the situation we are in is not going to get any better. My suggestion seemed to bother him in the same way I am bothered when given a therapists business card. He lifts the pistol and aims at my head, his thumb pulls down on the hammer *click*.
“Freeze! Drop your weapon and slowly step out of the vehicle!” Three police cruisers arrived blocking off the dead Escort, the pigs have their weapons drawn as they hide behind swung-open doors.
The robber whose name I never caught peacefully breaks the tension and removes the gun from my face, and speaking with ease, he mutters, “ya might need a thera-piss,” he stuffs the pistol in his mouth and fires, his brains dress the headrest and the driver side window. Slowly, the police arise and walk towards the car with caution. I grab the hand gun from his pulse less fingers, the saliva from his mouth wets the barrel. Holding the pistol to my face. “I don’t need one…”
The final blast rang in the broken car.