In the past I’ve shared some of what I’ve written here. It may be good, it may be terrible, but I need to get it out into the world. If you like what you read, let me know. I’ll be posting the stories in installments, and I will eventually put up a pdf of the full story.
Live Your Dreams (part 2)
John was at work. This was meeting number 3 for the day and it wasn’t even lunch. The fluorescent lights flickered and buzzed. The air conditioner hummed. The omnipresent soundtrack of daily life in the cube farm.
‘If I fell asleep in this meeting, I wonder how long it would take for people to notice.’ He thought to himself. The manager continued to drone on, trying to make pointless corporate buzzwords and double speak sound exciting. This was another in a long series of updates that really had nothing to do with his job, but he had been put on the committee.
The manager was new, still very excited and gung ho. His soul hadn’t been crushed by the corporate machine yet. John thought that there must be some kind of psychological paper you could write tracking a person in Corporate America from exciting optimism at the beginning and see how long it took before they were another crushed soul.
“You are a very important piece of our company…” The manager continued on.
‘Now sit down, shut up and get back to work. Don’t question the system, just go with the flow.’ John added in his head. ‘No wonder people brought guns to work. The system will break everyone.’
John had to get out of here. Every day it gets a little harder to not just run screaming from the building. He saw everything as a facade. Fake walls separated the desks and cubes, pretend friends and fake smiles in the hallways. All of it hiding the soul crushing depression they were all feeling.
‘Stephanie wants me to work on my novel. She has seen the notebook with ideas.’ He thought to himself, focusing on her, on his life outside of work helped him to put the nonsense of work into a proper perspective.
“If you write your novel, you could get of that crappy job.” She told him when he complained about work. ‘So easy for her to say that, it’s another thing to actually do it.’ He thought to himself. ‘Stop it John. You are being defeatist again. Stephanie would not approve of this attitude.’
“Focus on your strengths, and you can pull yourself out.” She had told him that back when he decided to make a serious effort at writing. He had begun repeating it to himself as a mantra every day to keep himself focused on what was important.
‘I can do this.’
“You coming John?” A new voice interrupted his thoughts, it was Tommy who sat across the row from him.
“Oh, meetings over, hope nothing important was discussed.” They shared a laugh as they walked back to their desks. The job was not his favorite, and it was not his first choice. However, he was reasonably good at it, and liked his coworkers. There were a lot of worse things he could be doing. Focus on the positive.
It was finally 5:30 on Friday, time to go home and not think about work until Monday morning. John made a promise to himself as he walked across the parking lot to his car, this weekend I’m going to get some work done. Come Hell or high water, I’m going to move this thing forward. He felt energized and ready to go. Stephanie wouldn’t be home for a few hours so he had the time to himself. This was the worst part for him, he was so tempted by the TV, the internet or just relaxing with a book.
“No! I’m not going to waste this time. I’ve wasted too much time already.” John said to the empty house. He felt that since he had said it aloud that he had made a vow with some unseen force, and he was determined to stick to it.
He stuck to it and forced himself to just keep the thoughts going, keep the pencil moving, just get the words down. He was thinking like a sculptor, you don’t start with a statue, you have to shape and carve, build some sections up and tear others down. It’s a first draft, not a final piece. He kept these thoughts and images in his head whenever he started to feel like he was running out of steam. It doesn’t have to be good right away, you have the talent to make it good. Stephanie’s words repeated in his head. He wrote until Stephanie came home. He finally stopped when he heard her come home.
“Oh no, don’t stop because of me. You seemed like you were really on a role there.” She said as he started to get up from the desk.
He got up from the desk and walked over to her. Immediately putting his arms around her and kissing her and leading her across the hall to the bedroom.
“What got into you?” She asked.
“What? It’s Friday and I’m glad to be home with you and off work.” He said.
“That’s not what I’m talking about. I haven’t seen this level of passion or excitement in you for quite a while. I don’t know what changed, but I’m glad it did. I was getting worried for you.” She sat up and looked into his eyes.
“Honestly, I don’t know what changed. I just made a promise to myself that I was not going to waste any more time. I was going to get something done, be productive, for good or for bad.” He smiled.