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The Persistence of Routine [WRAP]

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posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 11:29 PM
The sound of the alarm clock-radio set into motion...

It's four o'clock in the morning
Dammit, listen to me good
I'm sleeping with myself tonight..

Not quite 4-am either but close enough to make the bed and the pillow feel like a warm lover on a soft summer night.

The rumble of thunder… not quite distant. Or was that thunder at all?

Dig out the eye-glue. Ewww. Focus? Focus!

You ever notice how hard and cold the floor is in the morning? Oh, and why is it always further away than the night before when you lifted your feet off of it? What in the hell is with that anyway?

Then you itch… like your body has been freeze-dried in an old coffee can for the last century. There’s just no choice. They get scratched right now or you will embarrass yourself later.


The shower, finally. Warm... nay, make that HOT water, running over your head and down your back that feels like fingernails dragging the flesh from your body.

The radio is still at it...

…Shot through the heart and you’re to blame
You give love, a bad name!
I play my part and you play your game
You give love, a bad name!

Another deep shaking that comes in from all directions. Is it supposed to rain today?

Out onto the bathmat, wrap in a towel, proceed to sink.

Feet get cold, quick, even with all the rugs placed at strategic locations.

A century ago, this was what was known as a ‘sweat shop’ where women and children toiled endless hours sewing clothes for the rich and elite. Now it was a collection of lofts, with the rough-hewn wooden floors sanded and sealed to prevent splinters that could probably go from heel to toe.

The bathroom was a new installation but outfitted with antique fixtures; a cast-iron claw tub and shower curtain that could be pulled a full 360 degrees. It was strictly nuevo retro... or maybe neo metro?

No matter. At $1800 a month, it was whatever it was.

Another rumble, this time prolonged. The concussion was enough to disrupt proper navigation of the razor. A glance in the mirror and yes, there was blood. Damn!

Clothes? The ones you like? Dirty, of course.

The ones that don’t fit, don’t match and make you look like an illegal immigrant from The People’s Republic of Lower Slobovia? Clean, pressed and hanging in the armoire just waiting for this very moment to attack.

Last check in the mirror? No, you know better. Just be sure and remember to have your stuff laundered before it happens again. Move along, nothing more to see here.

The elevator was original, too, with manual cage half-doors and an archaic swivel-action handle for up and down transit. You had to get used to this part because the doors wouldn’t open if you missed your floor by more than a fraction of an inch.

Oh, and it was slow... with a prolonged, capital ‘O’. The building itself was only eight stories but it could take almost that sum of time in minutes to go from your upper floor loft to the basement that was now a parking garage.

How many desperately poor people once rode this contraption to work stations that paid pennies for the heat and abuse? The history concept was once again enough of a distraction to make the long ride a little less aggravating.

After some adjustment, the elevator agrees that the floor alignment is acceptable and the cage door becomes operational. The parking garage is dark, cold and a little foreboding.

The damp, ancient brick and mortar lend a certain musty smell to the place that is just entirely unique. Even in the middle of the day, in the middle of the summer, you can see your breath down here.

Less the cost of the loft, there might be something a little different parked down here. The 1987 Volvo was at one time just the car you would want to drive. But 24 years later?

A mechanic would have known what the various knocks and clunks coming from under the hood meant. Would this confounded contraption blow up? One day, no doubt... but hopefully not today.

Then came the next rumble, this time followed by a bright flash of light.

This was wrong. Somewhere inside, you know when things don’t fit and in this instance, isn’t the flash supposed to come before the bang?

Flash-bang. Flash-bang. Not bang-flash. You know that.

Now there was no motion. Not only that, but there was no anything. No dash lights, no clunking motor, no smell of exhaust.

Turn the key. Nothing

Headlights? None.

The handle still works. Exit, slam the door.

Now, there was a new set of smells.. acrid, carbonic and heavy.

Oh my gawd, was there an attack? One of those bombs that spew death and destruction to machinery?

What is it called? Think!


More smells... like rot, decay.

Legs and feet don’t work unless the brain tells them to... and at this moment, the brain is working overtime trying to hide in the corner. Fear; naked and raw... the possibilities are endless but there’s no way to know for sure unless you look.

Walk to the street ramp. Look outside. Set aside your fears or...

Light. Eyes adjust. Shapes take form, sound mates with image.

What is that? A tree? Many trees?

What is that? Tracks in the middle of the road?

What is that? Dominion Textiles?

The noise is loud. Like those smells and now too, the scenery, totally unfamiliar. A trolley passes with bells ringing. There’s a horse attached to a wagon, and then another. The odor of manure...


The road is missing around the tracks as if there is either some construction or demolition in the process.

Walk to the intersection. Get a handle on the situation.

Over there, a large group of men are laying bricks in between the tracks.

In the opposite direction... is that a man with a camera? Why is his head under that black cloth? And... is he waving at me?

Breathing becomes difficult. I feel the urge to run somewhere.

A woman’s voice from behind, “Mr. Adams! There you are! You should probably not be standing in the middle of the junction! There is much work going on and the trolley comes right through here on the half hour!”

The voice is familiar. I know her but... from where?

Turn and follow. Maybe this will all make sense.

“Mr. Adams, as you are aware, this week's production tally has not yet been met and there are several girls out today who have taken ill. Mr. Redmon has asked if we could employ some day help from the mission.”

Making sense now… we are shorthanded. A virus has been going through our workforce. We need some help on the heavy stitching machines.

“Oh, and there is this invoice for a coal delivery. It needs your signature, sir, so that the jobber can be compensated. Mr. Adams, are you well?”

Of course, payroll is waiting for you back at your desk, along with the invoice for this week’s coal supply. Must be coming down with that ailment that has so paralyzed production. I think a proper tonic is called for.

But wait... what is that music?

There is no pain, you are receding
A distant ship smoke on the horizon
You are only coming through in waves
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying

Wait! Eyes blazing in light... slowly fading into oblivion.
The music remains and is now louder...

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone

Warm, wet, where am I?

“Pink Floyd to round out the 6 o’clock hour of the Friday morning show. Next up, today’s forecast from your weather experts here at Remix 95.1 FM, and then by request, classic Beatles!”

Oh my gawd, it’s 6 o’clock? Hair still wet?

Clothes? The ones you like? Dirty, of course.

The ones that don’t fit, don’t match and make you look like an illegal immigrant from The People’s Republic of Lower Slobovia? Clean, pressed and hanging in the armoire just waiting for this very moment to attack...


posted on Jan, 15 2011 @ 11:55 PM
A very nice combination of mystery and humor. I love it.

posted on Jan, 16 2011 @ 02:46 AM
Wow...loved this. I love
ink Floyd as well and know the songs. My fave being Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Wish You Were Here. Amazing to blend the songs into your story. Very cool. Thank you...

posted on Jan, 16 2011 @ 05:10 AM
reply to post by redoubt

This was so cool.

posted on Jan, 16 2011 @ 05:27 PM
Thanks all for the comments and compliments

The story is somewhat condensed from larger concept that I have toyed with for quite a while. But my own... um, persistent routine is a real booger.

I thought that finally, in retirement, there would be more of that time, not less.

Oh well.

Thanks again!

posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 06:00 PM
Very cool, redoubt. Love your knack for describing all the tiny details that really make the story...well...sing. And not just the musical interludes, but the textures, the trip through the your thoughts, the running commentary about the surroundings that blends so well from the awake to the asleep states and back. It flows very well and makes you want to read more. In fact, would love to read the more expanded version of this.

posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 07:20 AM
reply to post by redoubt

You're really good at describing things, you made it very easy for me to imagine the world & I found myself smiling more than once while I read your story. It was easy to understand & follow and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it



posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 02:53 PM
reply to post by redoubt

S&F Very nice writing, images, phrases. (Good story too.

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