Entry Eighty-eight: Adam Mahoney, You Just Won!

[The next many entries are the current story I am working on. This is eighteen of who knows how many will be posted. Enjoy it while it lasts...]

Chapter Seven

Adam Mahoney stood in front of the stove, scraping the scrambled eggs to the edge of the skillet as they cooked, sipping a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette. Even though it was three in the afternoon, he had decided to cook breakfast food when he returned from the grocery store and had finished putting away the supplies. He had enjoyed a few minutes of pride for having survived his first trip out of the house but the mindlessness of stirring the eggs gradually turned his thoughts back to his situation, one that he was far from comprehending at any level, and the emptiness of the chasm returned.

What was he going to do? Yes, he had ventured out for gas and food, but what now? What was he going to do with himself? Everything that occupied his days before the note was moot. He now had no job to go to and any reason he had to earn a living was gone. His original motivation to work was to pay bills and possibly save a little money for retirement. Answering complaints on the phone all day long certainly didn’t fill any latent needs he suffered because of a rotten childhood or a bad relationship with his mom. His “career” had been necessary but far from fulfilling. The one positive with the current situation was he would never be fired.

As he stood over the sink and ate his eggs straight from the skillet, he worked up a mental list of things he could do with all the time he now had in front of him. One possibility was to catch up on his reading but he’d never been much of reader, at least of anything of substance like books or literature. His forays into reading had usually been saved for an occasional hot rod magazine or a graphic novel, both dominated with pictures and art. He was pretty sure he wasn’t going to turn over that new leaf. Television was out, not by choice but by necessity. He had rechecked it earlier and when he cruised through the channels nearly every one of them was now visual white noise, the computers feeding the shows to the stations long ago ceasing to work and they weren’t coming back. “So much for entertainment,” he thought. He rinsed and washed the dirty dishes from his meal and then scanned the living room as he dried his hands. The house was a wreck, something that had not bothered him a mere three hours before but now gave him a sense of purpose. “I can at least look civilized,” he said as he began to pick up dirty clothes and to straighten cushions and furniture.

He started cleaning with the idea he would merely tidy up, get everything in its proper place and make the house presentable. But as he began working, something came over him and he became obsessive, the desire to clean overwhelming him to levels he had never experienced before. Every new surface that was cleaned revealed another that was worse and he refused to stop until he was satisfied. He wiped baseboards, mopped floors, dusted the tops of every visible surface in the house and used an old toothbrush to scrub the tile in his bathroom. He got lost in the effort and by the time he stopped, unable to find another chore to begin, exhaustion engulfed him and he crawled in to his bed, pulled the freshly washed sheets up to his chin and slept.

All words and images ©2006/J. Colle

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