Saturday, May 31, 2014

Story 34: The Round Table

Every day, the four of them met for a few moments during their lunch half-hour.  Cigarette breaks were no longer approved and coffee breaks were relegated to a laugh in the face, so they had to sneak their time in this way.  They would assemble for five minutes, then separate to spend the precious remaining 25 as they chose.  One of the round tables in the cafeteria fit their needs nicely.
Worker 1: I almost got fired again today.
Workers 2 & 3: Aw….
Worker 1: I just got another warning instead.  I think my boss is afraid I’ll burn the shared drive if I’m let go.
Worker 3: Guess that’s a good thing to let her think.  I'll have to remember that.
Worker 1: (To Worker 4) Why are you so quiet?
Worker 4: I’m trying to will myself into having an aneurysm.
Worker 2: Don’t do that!  What if it doesn’t work right and you wind up a fully conscious immobile?
Worker 4:  I didn’t think of that.  Thank you – you've saved me and my health proxy a lot of trouble.
Worker 1: Are you still trying to kill yourself?
Worker 4: No, I’m still trying to achieve a state of oblivion: there’s a difference.
Worker 2: I don’t understand – why would you want to be in a state of oblivion?
Worker 4: Why not?  It’s not like my life has an impact on anything.  Good people drop like flies all around me, and I’m still here taking up space – why is that?
Worker 3: Maybe you’re supposed to do something with your life and make the world a better place.
Worker 4: Well, I’ve been here for decades and still haven’t done any of that, so why continue consuming dwindling resources is my theory.
Worker 1: Maybe the act of your willing oblivion is actually deflecting onto other people and that’s why they’re gone and you’re still here.
Worker 4: You make a good point.  My resolve remains, however.
Worker 2: I still don’t understand – you have good health, freedoms people literally die for, the use of all your faculties, and other blessings that people pray every day they would have and never receive, and you want just to toss all that away.  You are the biggest ingrate I have ever met in my entire life!
Worker 4: And yet another reason why my blessings should be distributed to people who’ll do some good with them.
Worker 1: (Looks at watch) This is the first time I’m glad our time’s up.  Same time tomorrow, then?
Workers 2-4: Sure, sure.
Worker 4: (As they scatter) Suppose I should hold off on the willing for a little while longer – I forgot my show’s series finale isn’t on for another two weeks.
Worker 2: Yes, that’s a worthy goal in life.  Would you do us all a favor and volunteer at a soup kitchen, please?
Worker 4: All right, but only if it'll make you happy.