The Man with the Reptilian Tongue

Slick. Shifty. Self-absorbed. He was not a well-liked man, but somehow he managed to make everyone and anyone hang on his every word, his every judgment.

“Ellen should be married by now based on her inheritance alone, but she just can’t stop eating cheesecake.”

“We’re bros Jon, but you have to stop reading comic books and wearing those t-shirts. No one likes cheesy super hero geeks. Not in middle school anymore, you know?”

“Sammy loves being the hot girl in the office. She tries way too hard. Seriously, those skirts have to be her little sister’s or something.”

He couldn’t stop his cruel streak and the more he became known for this, the worse it became. He grew bolder and soon it became an office-wide obsession to know his latest comment and the resulting victim. The question on everyone’s mind was if he could even control it anymore. The monster he created became a self-fulfilling prophecy. He was an animal with no logic, lashing out wildly at anyone foolish enough to attract his attention.

The Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Blogging Events
Trifecta Week Ninety-Six: Animal

The New Yorker

“I don’t care if it’s six blocks. I want you to drive me there. Don’t worry about it. I’ll pay you. Just go.”

In New York it was illegal for a cab to kick you out of the car once you’ve sat down, but the rules seemed to make less sense in Boston.

“Get out. I don’t want to take you. I just don’t.” The cab driver left the vehicle, circled around, and opened her door.

“What’s your cab number? I’m reporting you.”

“Get out.”

This is why she hated small towns. Everything was inconvenient and worst, hopelessly dull. Earlier in the evening she’d gone out to a rum bar in the Intercontinental with a group of friends from college, three of which were still in love with her. Married now, but still in love with her. They caught up on one another’s lives. It was always nice to stack up her life against others’ and come out on top. She left feeling content, but not particularly interested.

They parted and she walked along Atlantic Ave. in search of a cab. Why cabs came in any other color than yellow was beyond her. Walking around Boston came with endless frustrations. People walked around with no purpose in this place. You could call them “pensive” if you wanted to be nice, but she didn’t. What a waste of time.

Growing up, her goal in life was to be fascinating. It took her some time to narrow down exactly what characteristic it was that made people worthwhile and this was it. To fascinate others was to be worthwhile. This effort consumed her. The interests section of her resume read, “living a dynamic lifestyle.” She had scotch whiskey delivered by courier as thank you gifts. Boring cities like London became unrecognizable in their brilliance when she was in town. And now being in the presence of such incomprehensible behavior with a stranger driving a cab brought all her carefully crafted confidence down to zero.

She slammed the door and snapped a picture of his license plate. Time to start over. At least he hadn’t called her “boring.” At just 2:00am the night could still be salvaged if the city would cooperate. She would ensure that it did.

The Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Dialogue

Forty Fifty

She found herself once more where she had began: lost and grasping for a clear path. It was her third month on the job and somehow the deep satisfaction she felt when she first acquired the steady 40-hours-a-week, 50k-a-year position dwindled faster than she could have possibly imagined. She was itching to leave, but for what?

Last year she had consistently worked two to three jobs, not to keep her finances afloat (she was no good at numbers and things always seemed to work out, so she spent little time fretting about bills), but to equip herself with the experience necessary for her to be competitive for the 40-50 position she so craved. The constant commuting, multiple supervisors, and endless resume revisions meant she had a minimal amount of free time — still she always had a moment to daydream about the comfort she would find in the stability of working full-time and the years of peace it would bring to her life. She found time as she walked from the subway station to her office. And during her stealthy bathroom breaks. And as she experimented with more and more circuitous routes to meetings. And when she ran from one job to the next. But her most precious moments of fantasizing about her future were those three or four minutes before she absolutely had to leave the haven of her bed and blankets in the morning.

Morning were always hard, but her 40-50 goal had given her purpose and while her fantasies about what her life would be like post 40-50 attainment could be a bit farfetched (long 10-day vacations in Scandinavia, camping or skiing on weekends, learning a new language, scuba diving in Australia, learning how to cook in Southeast Asia, writing a book or reading a hundred books…) they propelled her forward and kept her motivated to work longer and longer hours. She became an expert at asking for more assignments and checking if colleagues needed a helping hand. Her specialty though was making herself look exceptionally busy at all times. Perhaps the key to her success was the image she portrayed of herself as eager to help, eager to learn and, as a result, extremely busy accomplishing things. Her hard work soon lead to additional, similar opportunities outside of her initial position. With her appetite whet for more work and more experiences to pad her resume, she eventually accumulated a total of four different paid positions in the year and two volunteer positions.

Not too long ago this kind of drive would be impossible for her to even imagine, despite her very, very active imagination. After college, she had impulsively decided to teach high school in an inner city school district. She lasted two months. It had only taken her one to get a stomach ulcer and just a week to begin a ritual of crying every Sunday at 11:00pm. After she quit, she had drifted around, dreaming about a future where she would travel, learn about new cultures, and write. For months, she slept during the day and wandered around in her own head during the night. She volunteered sporadically and carried on listlessly. She visited book shops, but never wrote a word. In high school the goal was so clear: college. And in college: graduate. Now, less than a year out, she was lost and grasping for a clear path. What could possibly fulfill a head full of such beautiful places, such beautiful words?

The Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Backward