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Monday, 20 February 2012

Chris' Sandwich

 Well again, an entry that is something taken from my Creative Writing course. After last week's challenge I was left without an item around which to base a short piece. However there were four that had gone before. A button, a chicken a toothpick and a statue. So, for the sake of attempting something a bit different, I thought I'd try and weave something around all of them! Why not! 

Chris sat at his desk counting away each second of the day. A long day. A Monday. Time had not only begun to drag, for him it was going backwards. He swore that for the ninth time today the clock on his PC ticked passed three o’clock. If he consumed another cup of tea not only, he was sure, would it be a world record but he was certain that his bladder may also explode killing not only himself but everyone within a three mile radius. At this point in the day, he didn’t care.

He prodded another chocolate button around his notepad before spearing it with a toothpick. One more sugary sacrifice - he consumed it with glee. Making a game out of such mundane activities normally passed a good few minutes of the day. Well, an hour on a good day. But, it being a Monday, the magnitude of boredom was hard to tackle in such a way. Chris knew that he could sit a mannequin at his desk, a statue in honour of the tedium, somewhere that any data processor could worship at and not one of his colleagues would bat an eyelid. People could come from all over the world, a pilgrimage of sorts. Some to pray, others to share memories of when they too were trapped in an office, chained to a computer, brains switched off and emotion left at the reception door. Others to simply pity the poor fools who’d yet to find the enlightenment of promotion, the higher consciousness of middle-management. Maybe Chris could sell tickets. Guided tours? Sell small souvenirs and charge £5 for a photo of you sat at the desk. Black and white of course.  Either way he was sure that not a single person in his office would notice in the slightest. “Not even if I were dead” he mused. “Not even then” his sandwich retorted.

Now, Chris’ mind and fervent imagination frequently wandered to the realms of ‘what ifs’ and on the more optimistic days ‘if onlys’. He often discussed in the recesses of his mind what colour he would be if he were a dragon, for example. But he had, until now, refrained from starting philosophical conversations with his lunch. He looked at Sal and Shelly, sat opposite. Neither had looked up from their keyboards and the clatter of nails on keys continued uninterrupted. After a moment more, he looked down and whispered, incredibly self aware that he may be crossing the line into utter insanity, “I’m sorry. What did you say?”

“I was just agreeing with you. Nobody would notice. Not even if you keeled over right here.” Chris was taken aback, almost hurt by this. To think it oneself was bad enough but to hear it from an inanimate snack, wow, that was something. “Well. They might. They might miss me?” he replied more with hope than assurance. “No, they don’t even know your name. If you were going to make a lasting impression or a name for yourself you’d have done it by now mate. I don’t know why you even bother. Your problem is you’re chicken.” There was no small irony in it’s statement. But the sandwich, meat content aside, was right. Chris’ heart sank as he pondered this for a moment. He slumped back into his ergonomically adjusted chair. He’d heard the same from his friends, his ex-girlfriend, even his mother. But this time, for some obscure reason, it hit home.

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