something ch 3 something: A day late and a dollar short, oh whatever.

Leaves scuttled across the empty street as Mikhail walked along the side with his head down and collar of his threadbare jacket turned up. Evening’s arrival was early.

He went to a bar where they didn’t know him too well and sat in the corner with his face on the sticky table, ignoring his drink. He was not so foolish as to think the answer was at the bottom of the glass, though the proprietors of the various establishments he frequented might beg to differ about this.

How appropriate to get kicked out of yet another place—this time for failure to pay the rent—“delinquent,” as was often said about him—hardly a surprise for someone with a failure to work. It was all quite fitting for one who contributed nothing to anything. To be paid for work would imply that the service rendered was of some use—and to be of continued use—why, that was something else entirely.

Yet, there were counter-examples to this. Mikhail could think of many who maintained employment yet added no value—perhaps it didn’t matter who did the work as long as somebody would do it—and then you throw them off for someone a cheaper price.

It wasn’t worth spending mental effort on this.

Some people simply couldn’t deal with the sight of someone who refuses to play the game that they themselves were forced to play. He chuckled. And there were others who would ensure you lose the game, whether you chose to play or not, simply because they didn’t like your face.

Then there were the rule followers. They play the game and get what they want. Yet—there were those who played by the rules and lost as surely as the one who wouldn’t play at all. In fact, they were the biggest and most numerous losers of all.

The most direct and effortless way to reconcile all these things was to admit the obvious—everything was totally devoid of any fixed meaning or value.

So why pay rent?

He sat up and raked back the hair that had fallen over his face.

Women—they seemed to more easily swallow the rules and beliefs crap. He squeezed the back of his neck. A certain face surfaced in his consciousness from time to time, but he pushed it down. It would be difficult to reconcile that face with these thoughts—if all things were pointless, then a person must be as well.

But that was too ugly, even for him.

His mother believed in a lot of crap, too. Which—he could not but laugh again—probably contributed to her being the only person who ever seemed to care about him.

No, not the only person—the face surfaced again.

If emotions mattered, it would be quite sad to think that someone had to live in fear of a vindictive sky-daddy in order to care about him; and it would be quite sad to think one had to work in order to pay their rent.

He watched a doofus trying to flirt with an inebriated woman at the counter. Two living, breathing stereotypes. They deserved each other.

Mikhail had tried therapy once with a community counselor who, in nasal tones, suggested some medication on the second and final visit.

“Do you take medication?” he replied.

She was taken aback. “Well—Sure. We all do. Nothing to be ashamed of.” She leaned forward. “Is shame a factor for you?”

He finished his drink without stopping for air and headed to the bathroom to wash up.

At the least contaminated available sink, he splashed his face under the motion-sensor faucet that allowed only three seconds of water at a time.

How is it that people who have no answers purport to guide anybody else? “Hi, I have no answers, so swallow this, and you’ll still have no answers, too.”

He patted his face dry with a paper towel, and as he tossed it near the garbage can, something on the wall caught his eye. How kind fate was to him—an ad for a low-rent apartment. He took one of the slips with the landlord’s name and number.

13 thoughts on “something ch 3 something: A day late and a dollar short, oh whatever.

  1. This scene is rich with introspective thoughts on worth and the value of effort. I wonder if the reappearing face when she left took his sense of worth and effort with her. I liked the go for it again in the end. You did a great job of putting me inside the character’s head and helping me feel the struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for thinking about it, I appreciate when people do that. The last time I wrote about these characters, it started out as a joke about a guy with a Russian name wanting to kill himself, but then I got into it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this, Mikhail comes across really well, his musings given a great glimpse into his life. I also agree with his philosophy. But that might not be a good thing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, Mikhail sounds like the cynical guy to me, who is fed-up with the world. Why does that reminds me of someone?

    Anyway, I’ve just come back from a long trip where I had to be on the road for more than 8 hours. So my brain is not thinking enough. Please be content with the small observation I have provided, for I am not able to think of anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

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