BALLAD OF A PEN PUSHER - U.V. RAY
I wandered around the town for a while. I didn’t know what to do with myself. It was morning, the rising sun was glinting off office block windows but it stirred nothing within me. There were no childhood memories of summer suns shimmering on seas, family holidays at pretty seaside resorts, stamping on sandcastles with salty wet feet. Nothing like that. I was always an outsider, an outcast. I was the fucking king of the rats.
My world vision was a weary one. Everything was just fading away into the blanket, white numbness of oblivion. I felt nothing and I wanted to feel nothing. This was my escape, my lassitude like a serum seeping through my tissues. I just didn’t want to do anything with my life and when I looked at everyone around me I would simply wonder: what the fuck would it matter if they were to die? It would make no difference at all. To me, human life was all so inconsequential. I had an old 1964 typewriter sitting on my desk at home. It had perhaps once documented prodigious times, life-stories from now disappeared decades. But it served as nothing more than an ornament now. It hadn’t written anything in years. I doubted you could even still buy ribbons for it. But it seemed as though it still had a barely beating heart yearning to pump blood again. Even in its inanimate state it had more soul than anyone I knew. It wept with the desire to express itself; which was more than I could say for human beings. This is how life felt to me. I preferred to be surrounded by my possessions, the things I had collected and loved, rather than the dead hearts of men.
I sat on the bench near the town clock, pulled out my pack of cigarettes and sparked one up.
This fucking wasteland. I was just waiting for that final stupendous holocaust, a great nuclear blast to blow every last one of the cretins to dust. And it wouldn’t make any difference at all. It wouldn’t make any difference; the moon would still revolve around the earth and the earth around the sun. The universe would still turn like clockwork and in the dead oceans a new and maybe better life-form would take hold. I once read somewhere that if the human race destroyed itself by nuclear war the one creature that would survive would be rats. They would survive and breed and become the new dominant species. Well I was ready. Let’s hand the earth over to the rats.
One day, my brothers, all this will be yours!
If the bomb were to drop my final expression in that split infinity before everything turned white hot would be a smile, a welcoming laugh of acceptance.
I blew smoke into the air and watched it drift away. The traffic lights turned to red, stopping the flow of traffic. I got up off the bench and trudged my way between the idling cars to my job at the government offices across the street where I would spend another day out of my life chasing up fraudulent benefit claimants. The shit on society’s shoe.
I swiped my pass and pushed open the door.
“Good morning, Mr. McBride,” said Sally on reception. I never had any idea what the vacant, grinning idiot with her auburn curls had to always be so cheerful about.
“Yeah,” I nodded, without making eye contact.
To pass the time more quickly, I often imagined I was a German SS officer stamping the papers that sent people to the gas chambers. But in reality it was just another day compiling lists of our endless tide of fucking wastrel scum. Nothing would be done, it was all red tape and every single day I constantly had to remind myself: don’t kill people.
On my way through the processing department I picked up my day’s stack of papers. I kicked open my office door and slumped down in my chair. I hated the bastards.
I was forty-two years old. Already half way through my life. What a waste. I should in some way be making history.
And for Christ’s sake! Somebody had shifted the fucking coffee machine.
BIO: U.V. Ray: writer, drinker, womaniser extra-ordinaire, swindler par-excellence, liar, cheat and all round filthy rotten miscreant. Find out more at U.V.’s official website.
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