Wednesday March 12th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: getting the monkey off your back.

Inspired by Alex Burrows of the Vancouver Canucks scoring his first two goals of the season tonight. After leading the team in goals last year it's been a very rough year for him, between a foot injury on opening night, having a puck break his jaw in December, and just seeming to have no luck around the net when he has been healthy.

So I'm happy for him, and happier for his team which managed to pull out the win this evening. They needed it, rather desperately.

Mine:

Outside rain falls, marking the passage of time with pitters and patters as we march toward dawn.

I would sleep if I could. This maelstrom of thoughts inside my head won't let me. They are all demanding to be heard and considered, fairly and at great length. My timely arrival at work come morning is no concern of theirs. Nor, I believe it's fair to say at this point, is my peace of mind.

She must be aware of all this suffering she causes me. It must be written on my face every time we meet, echoing after every word I speak to her. If it is not as plain as day by now then I am an exponentially greater actor than I could have ever imagined.

Asking her out is my only exit. Of course it is. So why haven't I? Does some remote corner of my brain actually want this madness to continue? Surely I am not so self-destructive as that.

Outside the sky begins to lighten while the rain does not.

It is the fear that keeps me silent. It always is. The terror lurking within the what ifs. What if she says no. What if she laughs while saying no. What if she tells everyone in the office about it.

What if she says yes?

This cannot last much longer. There are only two ways for this to end. Either I quit, find work somewhere else. Far away, preferably. Or I ask her out.

Enough with the delays. Enough with the sleepless nights. I pick up the phone and consider the numbers staring up at me. It is time to dial.

The only question which remains is this: will the number I punch in belong to the office... or her?

2 Comments:

Greg said...

Go Canucks! That sounds like a pretty miserable season for him, but maybe this is a turnaround.
I guess you're also feeling better, with the longer piece today. You do a nice job of conveying the feel of near-addiction that the narrator has, and the last line, though perhaps a little cliched, is nonetheless strong. I think it actually gets stronger as it moves towards the end, which is a nice consistency.

The monkey on his back
"You've been chasing a monkey?" Dr. Fraud tapped the word monkey into his notebook and tried not to sigh at the sight of the hourglass icon turning, turning, turning....
"No, I said I've got a monkey on my back!" The middle-aged man sitting on Dr. Fraud's floor -- he'd refused the couch -- was wearing a pale blue shirt and a tweed sports jacket, and did not visibly have any monkeys about his person. The notebook beeped, and a list of definitions of monkey came up.
Then a list of idioms.
Then a recommendation from Windows Office Assistant for pest control services in Malaysia.
"What species of monkey?" asked Dr. Fraud brightly. "Capuchin?"
The man on the floor looked at Dr. Fraud as though he were mad, which was proof to Dr. Fraud that the man himself was mad. "What?"
"Capuchin?" said Dr. Fraud patiently. "They're very common when hallucinating monkeys, probably because they're very photogenic. No-one ever hallucinates a bonobo though, at least, not after they've found out about the sexual frenzy...."
"Sexual frenzy?" The man on the floor looked worried, which Dr. Fraud interpreted with his usual accuracy, as interested.
"Ah, you do have a bonobo!" he crowed. "That is superb, I can definitely get into the text-books with this. Would you like to show me what he's doing now? Vait, vait," his accent got stronger as he got excited, "let me get the camera set-up!"
The man on the floor slowly curled up into a ball and started crying.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah... or maybe he's injured again now. This one doesn't sound as bad, hopefully he'll only miss a few games, but... sigh.

Thanks for the comments on mine! I actually rather enjoyed reading this one again, which is not always the case.

Hah, the bit about the pest control services made me laugh. And I do so enjoys our visits to Dr. Fraud's office - if only because I am not being treated!