Just caught myself staring again. Not good. That’s the third time this morning, and it’s not even 9 a.m.
This isn’t your springtime longing glance out a classroom window, either. This is more your unconscious stupor, forgot where you were for a second, open-eyed catatonia.
With no blinking, I see both all and nothing (every time a car turns right, the sun glints off its windshield, driving ice-pick daggers into the base of my skull. But I keep looking. Barely flinch. The ache behind my eyes screams for the mug of cooling sludge sitting on my desk, its rising steam I’ve also stared at. I smelled it brewing from the stairwell coming in, and almost vomited. I know too well it will go down like a cup of lukewarm chalk. Besides, no amount of caffeine can cure what ails me).
The middle-aged receptionist from the second floor takes exactly twenty-seven steps from parking lot to front door. The same spot every day, one row back, three spots in. Two brothers work across the hall, both tall, maybe twins. They go to lunch together, every other day, at 12:05 p.m.
I’m not un-busy. To the contrary. I simply can’t stop. Can’t focus. Can’t do anything but stare.
“Is everything all right?” My boss. Busted. Again.
“Oh, sure. It’s just that my life has become a cycle of ceaseless dread. What started as minor Sunday evening melancholy has gradually spread until my entire Sunday is wasted in moping gloom. Now Saturday too. For a while I was cursing the whole way home Friday evenings. Now every evening. I can see the whole rest of my life in a seamless stretch of horrific Monday mornings.”
“Is that all? Look. There is no point in dreading Monday any more than any other morning. They’re all Mondays. It gets better once you stop dreaming, abandon intention, and embrace the fact that there is nothing left to look forward to.”
“Thanks. Exactly what I needed to hear.”