going to work - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Night had come around again too soon. Eddie rested his head against the cool metal of the front door. With the lights off the sunset crept in through the open blinds, casting the dirty ceiling a rusty grey. Ahead the nightshift yawned, twelve house with a bunch of jocks he wasn't sure really qualified as higher primates. His hand ferreted around in his pocket for a pill, just half a sleeping tab, not enough to put him under but sufficient to dull his mind. Management didn't like smart folks in the warehouse, to be "meat on legs" was all the job demanded. With the medication he was almost stupid enough, just a little play acting required. With a sudden jerking movement he stepped back and opened the door, the cool damp air rushing in with a few spots of rain. He turned, locking the door in three places, and left with his hoodie over his face, neither looking left nor right yet having complete awareness of the street. There was a boy on the corner fronting drugs for the estate gang and an addict rounding the corner to make a purchase. The houses were all lit up, everyone home or pretending to be. His feet moved over the sidewalk cracks, his body casual, his ears taking in every sound. It was the same routine every shift, look casual, be vigilant – "surprised" wasn't an emotion that brought good things on the gutter streets.
In the summer sun Rachel's hair had bleached to a lighter shade of gold; not evenly, but in streaks, leaving warm caramels in-between. Against her honeyed skin it was more beautiful than any salon-perfect “do.” But today wasn't a day to be self conscious, she tied it up behind her head and in its messiness it was even more attractive to Adam. He watched her head out of the door, just a silhouette of her scrubs against the morning light.
The cobblestones are wet with the night's rain and made slippery by the wintry temperature, casting the water film into ice. Edward's worn shoes slip and bend, were there any sharp edges he'd feel them though his thinning grey socks but these over-sized pebbles were pounded smooth by the Atlantic ocean long ago. The road is one carriage wide with slim pavements at the edge. As always he takes his chances with the traffic, walking in the middle of the street; a better choice he feels than receiving a bucket of sewage or bath-water from an upstairs window. The crocked houses that are build without gaps, save the odd alley to the long gardens behind. The homes are either redbrick with bare ivy tendrils reaching the rooftops or the tudor style, white with dark beams. He no longer notices the stench, or the sea air that mingles with it. He has no thoughts for yesterday or tomorrow. He only knows that he must reach his employer by dawn or his family won't eat today.
Before the day has started for the masses I am already in my kitchen, fully dressed and ready to go. Outside it is as black as night, only by the clock can I tell the difference between the time to sleep and the time to rise. The dawn will come as I walk to the factory, lighting my way first in monochrome and then with subtle hues of colour. I will be at the machines long before the day is bright. I miss the many subtle greens of the trees and the grasses, I long for the multitude of vibrant hues from the city parks, the sky and even passing cars. Under the artificial glow of the street-lamps they are sallow and dull. By the time I leave for home it will be well onto twilight, I can only hope for a sunset, a burnt orange sky to warm my fitful dreams.
You'd think the road would be empty at six in the morning. Everyone should be asleep, right? Maybe except a few doctors and nurses, those wonderful folks the world can't turn without. It isn't though. My car joins a train of others, mostly other office works with “vital” paper to push for twelve or more hours. In summer there is daylight, not so much for the rest of the year. We follow the red tail lights by morning and night, never seeing the sun, not caring what the weather is. We form a river of tin and flesh, the best any one of us can hope for is a boring day; “interesting” means stress, lots of stress. This morning the sky has an unusual dash of orange cast onto the otherwise pale grey cloud, otherwise the day promises to be like every other. The road is washed black by recent rain and the sidewalks are almost empty. As my car hits the street my mind moves rapidly to the autopilot mode. The rest of the day will play out like a terrible computer game – none of the fun but with the same black hole in my memory once it's done.
I have two selves. One for work, one for play. Lately they've been blending in a way that won't end well. When work was just nine to five I could keep the other "me" in a little dark box until clocking off time, but with all the unpaid overtime I'm struggling to coax him in after breakfast. It's hard to be professional with him pondering if zombies would swarm hospitals or graveyards first – he's swinging toward hospitals - all those wounded people and so many of them unable to run away. So as I walk the streets to the poorly lit bus shelter I fight to think professional thoughts, imagine interacting with the boss and at important meetings. The problem is I always slip into “auto pilot” and he takes over, analyzing how best to take the heads off passers by should they go “full zombie.” The biggest problem is my eyes glazing over at these times; I can' stop it happening any more than an expanding gas can be kept in anything of a fixed volume.
There's that feeling in my stomach again, a soft of mixture between nausea and electric tingles. My head has begun to buzz and my heart rate increases as if I'm running away like I want to. Work lies ahead. Even though I'm walking it feels more like the sidewalk is a conveyor belt; like I'm a cow in the slaughter house heading toward the captive bolt. The boss man likes to intimidate while appearing to be professional. We all know there are ways to be professionally nice and ways to be professionally unpleasant. He is a master at the latter. He knows just what to say and never on record. He never ever leaves a paper trail other than our pay stubs.
This time last year I went to work for the first time, enthusiastic and naive. Now every morning is spent doing the necessary preparation on autopilot while my brain prepares for every possible scenario it can, finding solutions to problems that don't yet exist - just in case. I can't think of a time any of it has paid off, it's more a function of my anxiety than anything else. At least I know that much. By the time I'm on the bus I "know" how I'm dealing with the boss; by the time I'm off it I "know" how I'm dealing with the lech who likes my ass. As I walk through the door I know none if it, not a damn thing and the day moves on without any single part of me being ready.