I wake up that morning and slap the alarm clock unironically and cliched-ly.
“6:34,” it reads in red digital line numbers.
I started setting my alarm for weird times in the morning. I felt like my body wasn’t responding well to the predictable times. 7:00 AM is so predictable. 6:30, better, but half-hours are the full-hours pitiful Las Vegas impersonators. 5:15 AM. What am I, a big stupid idiot? I settle on 6:34, and if I could specify “and 12 seconds” on this infernal thing, I certainly would.
I roll out of bed.
I crawl back in bed.
“2:30” the clock says to me silently and digitally.
Welp, I’ve done it again. Slept in and missed most of my work. I don’t care – they won’t fire me there. You know it costs a company ten times as much money to hire, train, and keep a new employee than it costs to just keep the garbage one you want to hand a pink slip? I saw that in an episode of the American the Office. Or I also read it in The Atlantic. I can’t remember, but I really kind of stuck to that theory regardless.
No time for a shower, I figure. Or… all the time for a shower. I make a face to no one and wonder why I had such a dumb pretentious thought. Am I still drunk?
I pick up a sweater off the floor and dust some Doritos crumbs off it. I throw it over a white button-down, wrinkled everywhere but the collar, but the collar is still good, so why let it go to waste? I put on pants, a pair of dad Wranglers designed to carry the weight of a dozen cell phone belt clips.
I brush my teeth and look at myself in the mirror. My heart is heavy. I’m also heavy. How much weight have I gained? The scale at the gym I went to three months ago said I’d actually lost weight, but I have a feeling from the aching in my wobbly thighs that sitting at that damned computer eight hours a day was just depleting me of all muscle mass. I’m a shadow of a man. A flabby, disheveled, minty-breathed shadow.
A man shoves me to get a seat on the train. He realizes the seats are all taken and he instead stands directly in the way of the door. I ask him to move and he doesn’t hear me because he has headphones in. I’m irate and don’t want to be decapitated in the train doors so I nudge him out of my way to step into the train car.
“ExCUSE me, I pay $150 a month to ride this heap of junk to work and back, you have NO right to push me!”
“I just wanted to get past you.”
That was a big jump, but I have a Facebook feed that informs me this kind of thing happens all the time. I get off at my stop and, despite being late, go three blocks out of my way to the local Subway. Now, you may not know this, but they have some pretty phenomenal breakfast sandwiches at Subway. Did you know that? They just keep it a secret, like they want an exclusive clientele or they’re really bad at advertising or people go really upset at that Jared ordeal. Regardless, it’s good and there’s never a line.
The problem is that it’s well into the afternoon, as I’ve forgotten. Am I still drunk? I feel awkward and sweaty as the sandwich artiste stares me down, so I order a “chicken bacon ranch” which is three arbitrary words thrown together but if you say them in sequence at a Subway they actually make you a thing to eat.
I bring my sandwich to work and reach into my wallet at the door. I realize I can’t find my key card.
How in the world did I lose it? An infinitum of cards that tie me to a separate but just as important infinitum of responsibilities, and I somehow don’t place the card that helps me pay for all the other cards in my wallet?
I look at a puddle outside.
It’s me who’s the key card.
I get on a bus.