500 Words for Lunch 6/29/15
(500 words or fewer) stories during my lunch breaks. Using it as a way to keep me thinking creatively, “mental push ups” if you will. This is all flowing from a 27 year old software trainer who got an A on his 1st semester psychology paper back in community college…So you know this has got to be good. Content is the driver on this road trip so grammar will probably end up riding in the back between wry humor and that sweaty guy who won’t keep to his own side of the seat.
LOW BATTERY…LOW BATTERY…LOW BATTERY…chirped the cell phone, as if the LED indicator flashing red wasn’t enough to remind of its current state. “I get it” he hazily grumbled at the phone. Navigating without GPS would be a challenge but not impossible, thankfully he vaguely remembered the way from an earlier practice run he had forced himself to do days before. The more pressing issue was the misleading amber glow on the dash that indicated there were about 20 miles left until empty. Amber is such a calming and peaceful color, why did the corporate types in Detroit choose amber as the color for your car to communicate to you that you are very nearly fucked? After dealing with his immediate problems he was again underway, putting $10 into a hybrid these days actually gets you about half a tank. Plugging in the car charger and popping open a can of Red Bull offered a brief sense of victory; however, remembering his destination, the feeling quickly wore off. He took a bitter swig of his drink and silently left the fueling station.
What is it now?
Why do I keep doing this to myself?
It takes me almost an hour to get there!
Why do I have to deal with this shit right now?
He was now fully awake and used the rest of his 43 minute commute to work himself into a caffeine fueled tantrum. The text message that prompted this 2AM trip was short, just two words: “ITS OVER”. It would have been so easy to have gone back to sleep and let the other guy deal with it, if he hadn’t screwed up the last time he probably would have done just that. “BRT..I H8 U”, he responded while still about 20 minutes away. He had the road to himself, save for a few self driving 18-wheelers in the far right lane. Nearly at his destination he clenched his steering wheel in one last pang of frustration and immediately let it dissipate. He was a professional and knew to control his emotions in these types of situations. While anger came easily to him, he realized that a calm and understanding tone was needed to get a clear picture of what was going on. Why was he called here in the middle of the night? He stepped out of the car and immediately felt a wave of oppressive humidity. The hike up the narrow stairs was made more difficult by the wall of hot wet air . Atop the small platform was a dimly lit room with a radio and a stunning 360° view of the surrounding area. The other guy didn’t acknowledge him, he just stood there with his eyes wide in disbelief, mouth twisted to one side.
“What’s so important that it couldn’t… wait.. until…?”.
Now entirely fixated on what the other guy was pointing at, his words became sludge at the bottom of his throat.
Let me know what you think.