Deep Joy…

28 Nov


Unable to switch off the alarm clock, John decided to think outside the box….



              The alarm clock crows it reveille at four o’clock in the morning. After fumbling in the darkness and waking the wife, I finally succeed in bitch-slapping the electronic chicken (the alarm clock not the wife!) into silence. Rudely awakened I am obligated to relinquish the tenuous threads of dreams and impelled to return to reality.  After a couple of halcyon days at home it’s time to rejoin the workforce.Life and career wait for no man…..!

 If I don’t go, then as sure as morning breath and dribble sodden pillows, The Corporation will find somebody from the unemployed masses to fill my shoes. Let’s face it nobody is irreplaceable and corporate America is not exactly a patient animal. Despite the early hour, ritualized ablutions and the life saving qualities of tea prepare me for the forty five minute drive and my reenlistment into society. The past few days have been great. Four days of family time, an abundance of food and a collection of empty wine bottles in the rubbish bin attesting to pleasures past. I sit in the car, switch on the radio, turn on the heater and shift my brain into neutral. Before I know it I am half way there.

The only redeeming factor of the drive is that it gives one time for personal contemplation, private moments of necessary introspection. Whether it is life in general, the audio book streaming through my head phones, or my one sided tirade with the brash propaganda machine of the N.P.R. that clarions its sponsored rhetoric through my speakers.

“War in the East, peace in the West, global warming and plane-state tundra temperatures, public obesity and world food shortages, the latest call to arms or the lone gunman at McDonalds.”


This weeks mystery guest on N.P.R. was a toughy….

The verbal diarrhea detracts from the happy glow acquired over the past few days. I check in my rear view mirror to see if I am being followed by four horsemen and breathe a sigh of relief to see that it’s just another motorist on his way to, or returning from, god-knows-where. I often wonder about my commuting comrades at that hour of the morning. Dark o’clock is a little too early to be on the road for anything but the most banal or the most illicit of activities.

Surely they can’t all be going to work?

Perhaps they’re  returning from romantic rendezvous, just leaving the after-hours club, dashing home with the windows open in the hope that the speed of the air rushing through the vents will sober them up before they are pulled over by the police. Who knows? Just dark, seemingly empty vehicles steered by shadowy wraiths, aware of no other reality except their own. Selfish perception confining ancient mariners to their own thoughts and troubles,  oblivious to their fellow motorway travelers.

After screaming my last at the radio before finally discovering that with a simple turn of the knob the tele-screen can be silenced, I settle in to enjoy the last few minutes of the drive. Shades of Thanksgiving drift back inside the vehicle and I once again reflect on the pleasant time I have spent at home with my family.

With an arse-jarring thud I turn the corner and there it is. The monolithic monstrosity built for one purpose and one purpose only, the creation and worship of money. A cathedral of capitalism, a financial temple, a modern day pyramid. Like a contemporary Ozymandias I struggle through the desert sand to take my place on the cables attached to the giant stone block. Metaphorically speaking of course as ten tones of shaped stone is more than one man can drag alone and is almost certainly a two man lift at best!

Shift 5 hated their long week….

Twelve hours from now I will be free to return to the Arcadian lifestyle I have left behind, secure in the knowledge that three more days of stone heaving will guarantee me a pay check, a couple of days respite, and Pharaohs good favor. Like the obedient wage slave I am, I shoulder my burden and drag my rock into the air-conditioned building.


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