Stephen M. Tomic
Jul 12 · 2 min read
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The tired man felt exhausted. He worked long and difficult hours and the soles of his feet hurt. A vague sense of dissatisfaction ate away at him, as if his daily efforts were in vain. He thought often of the tale of Sisyphus, that poor soul doomed to roll the same damn rock up a hill for eternity. His story didn’t even have the good decency to have an ending. The monotony of life stretched on and on indefinitely. Not even the mirage of a holiday did much to soothe his parched soul. The salve of love and friendship had dried up long ago.

The tired man came home late in the evening feeling much too worn out to cook a proper meal. The cupboards were sad and empty and covered with a layer of dust. Grease-soaked pizza boxes were stacked on the kitchen table. Fruit flies flew above the remains of their departed kin, fated soon to join them. The bananas were no longer yellow. Squirming larvae slipped down the sides of the overflowing trash can. The disgust the tired man felt at his own situation nearly surmounted his aching need to sit down and relax.

The tired man slipped off his shoes and stripped down to his underwear. He plopped down onto the recliner and turned on the TV. The pizza he had ordered was delivered and he guiltily ate all of it. Afterwards, he added the empty box to the stack on the kitchen table. He could still remember a time when he had the energy to actually do things worth doing, to engage in a life worth living. As he sat there watching millions of red, green, and blue pixels rearrange themselves into recognizable shapes, his heavy eyelids slowly closed the curtains on his monochrome day.

The tired man awoke in the middle of the night feeling parched. Netflix asked him if he still wanted to continue. It seemed at that absurd hour to be the most profound of existential questions. He went to the kitchen and poured a glass of water from the tap, downed it in one shot, then made his way to an unmade bed.

When the alarm rang a few hours later, he waved a hand across his bleary eyes and dragged himself to the shower. He finished brushing his teeth before realizing he had forgotten to eat breakfast. But then he recalled the state of the bananas and shrugged. After dressing, the tired man sat there leaning forward in his recliner, socks in hand, motionless and unthinking, waiting for the last possible moment before he would have to leave for work in order to start another long day.

The Junction

The Junction is a digital crossroads devoted to stories, culture, and ideas. Our interests are legion.

Stephen M. Tomic

Written by

writer* fiction* editor* smtomic@gmail.com

The Junction

The Junction is a digital crossroads devoted to stories, culture, and ideas. Our interests are legion.

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