A short story by Andrew Fritz.
It was all a lie; the town I was living in, my education, the clothes I was wearing and my job. This pitiful fucking job. It ate away at my soul like the way Dahmer ate his victims. Piece by piece it devoured me; the fucking computer, phone and the kiss ass attitude around the office. It was as if we were all kissing the ass of the person with a little more seniority than us. An orgy of ass kissing, that was our modus operandi. If you didn’t kiss well enough, then you could kiss your own ass goodbye.
I wanted to say goodbye. I wanted to say goodbye to the traffic I battled just to get to my shitty job. Who does that? Who subjects themselves to such agony? Me. Who dresses like an asshole to fit in with a group of people they don’t really like. Me. Who comes in on the weekend, when all they really want to do is just sleep. Me.
Sometimes I would pinch myself or stare at objects in my office to see if there were any signs of this just being a nightmare and perhaps that I was just a moment away from waking up from such a miserable state of existence. No. That was really me sitting there in that chair, dressed in those clothes and working at that desk. I was a whore with a tie. Yes sir! Yes ma’am! Whatever you want, right away!
What happened to me? When did it all go wrong? I think back to freshman year of high school. I wanted to drop out. I knew it wasn’t for me. I never wanted to go and couldn’t wait to leave when I was there. Sure, nobody really fully enjoyed high school, but I hated it with a passion. It wasn’t easy for me to make friends with guys, I was too afraid to talk to girls and my grades were suffering. Don’t get me wrong, I was smart, but once you lose motivation, anything can go down the toilet.
I wanted my job to go down the toilet, but I didn’t know how to flush it. I didn’t have the courage I suppose, just like when I didn’t run away. I remember as I would drive to my job I had during high school, I would envision myself passing the grocery store, getting on the highway and heading west. I didn’t know why I dreamt of going west, but I just knew that was the right direction for me. I never went. Obviously.
I was still at my shitty job, taking the same shit from the same people, doing the same god damn thing every day. Nothing changed. That was what killed me the most, that nothing changed. My life felt like summer television – reruns.
I wanted change, but I didn’t know what to do. That was a lie, just like everything else in my life. I knew exactly what I wanted, but I was just too afraid. I was too afraid to walk out of the office, find my way to my car in the parking lot, drive home, pack a bag and head west. What was stopping me? My lease for my apartment was up at the end of the month. I had no girlfriend (not by choice). Was it all of my belongings? No, I was not to attached to them. What was it then? Maybe it was my student loan debt? No, that couldn’t be it, that didn’t feel crippling in the least bit. Maybe it was flat out my fear of the unknown. I couldn’t bear to think of having no plan. Oh, but it excited me. Oh, but the fear. I was so used to everything being planned out. There was security in knowing exactly what would happen next, but as you may have guessed, there was also agony knowing each step of the way.
What was my next step? How did I get out of this mess? I could have escaped when I was younger. I could have ran away and started a new life somewhere else! That ship has already sailed. My mood sank just thinking about it. What was I going to do? I couldn’t take another minute of pressing my lips on Bob’s hairy ass. Should I just stand up and just walk out? It would be as easy that? What happens when they find out I wouldn’t be returning? I could never use them as a reference. It would be like starting all over. Did I even want to get back into doing the same damn thing again? No! Then shut the fuck up about it. Right! What about money? You have some savings, but you will run out eventually. Think about all the money you will be burning through because of gas, food and your student loans.
Fucking student loans. It was the scam of the century. Sure education was necessary for some, such as doctors. We don’t need someone holding a scalpel and right before you pass out the doctor says, “how do we do this procedure again?”
I was lucky, well, at least I think I was. There were some people I knew that went to college, took a deep dive into student loan debt and ended up with no towel to wipe away the tears as they worked at Walmart. Yeah, holy shit balls and candy ass. I knew you were thinking the same.
Everything was going to remain the same if I didn’t grow these nuts and roll out. Society set a trap and I was the naive animal that fell for it and ended up in the cage. Can’t you see it? This beautiful invisible prison, how lovely it was. I could still smell the scent of ass on my lips. I needed to get out of there. I needed to be free, free like the man on my screensaver standing at the beach. Was that future me? It seemed too perfect. It didn’t seem real. I imagined myself crying on the side of a desert highway due to a flat tire. That seemed more like it. What a bitch I was…
I needed to man up. I needed to unglue my paralyzed ass from the chair and walk out of the ass kissing orgy and embrace the crisp air of the unknown.
“You can do it,” said the devil on my shoulder.
“It’s better to stay here, where it’s safe,” said the angel on the other side.
Just do it! Just do it! What was this, a Nike advertisement? Why weren’t my legs moving? Fuck! Okay, on the count of three, my ass better be moving like a broke stripper. One! I’m a scared little bitch. Two! Anything is possible. Three!
I couldn’t believe it. I was on Route 70 driving west. Did you hear that, fellow reader of the blog? I was driving west! I removed my lips from Bob’s ass and I unglued my own hairy ass from my office chair. It was a dream come true.
I was crying like a little bitch. I already had the car jacked up, but I was sweating my balls off and running out of water. Bleep! Bleep! Bleep! And the Bleep! Profanity entered into the desert air. I wiped the sweat off my forehead and continued…
Oh, you wouldn’t believe what I was looking at, fellow reader of the blog. I sat on a bench in Santa Monica overseeing the Pacific Ocean. Ah, the sweet smell of salt water and ass. Ass? Did Bob follow me? No! No, it was just a homeless person sprawled out behind me. Phew! Fellow reader of the blog, this was my dream! I was doing nothing, had no place to live, had very little in the bank, but I was happy. I was free! The old ball and chain were gone. Despite being alone, I didn’t feel lonely. The waves rolling in were therapeutic. The Kombucha I drank tasted heavenly. Was I in heaven? Did I die back on route 70? I wanted to pinch myself, but I was too scared. I looked up and suddenly, a seagull landed on the fence just in front of me. Oddly enough, it looked at me, dead in the eyes.
“Are you coming to the meeting?” Said the seagull.
I looked at the seagull as if it were crazy.
“Are you coming to the meeting? Said Bob. I snapped out of it and glanced away from my computer and looked up at Bob.
“This isn’t the time to day dream, are you coming or what?” Bob continued.