The routine

It doesn’t always have to be poetic to paint a picture. Sometimes it can be pure narrative, but narrative that really rings true to real life. Sometimes, we look past all of life’s little mishaps and simple pleasures, which is why I wrote this article. This was actually how I began to feel when I first started in the working world, since it was such a departure from the university life I grew so accustomed to. Enjoy!

Every day, the alarm goes off long before the sun even thinks about rising.

Fall out of bed.

Jump in the shower.

Turn the water on.

Jump out of the shower after you realize you’re still wearing the clothes you slept in when you entered the shower.

The water takes forever to warm up since you live on the top floor of the apartment complex that boasts bad water pressure as a selling point.

Once it heats up, you enjoy the feeling of the steam rising, the blood flowing in your body, and you begin to zone out and think of things that you normally wouldn’t think of, like when was the last time you went to the park.

All of a sudden, you snap out of it and realize you’ve been in the shower too long.

“Well, maybe just two more minutes…”

Running late, you heave your waterlogged body out of the foggy column, dry off, and put on the first articles of clothing you find: A wrinkled, pink-striped shirt and corduroys.

Rushing out the door, you catch a bus to work, standing room only because the much crazier people that woke up earlier than you had already claimed all the seats.

Flying through the door, you clock in and get settled at your desk fast enough so that your boss didn’t even realize you weren’t there on time.

Sitting in the corner of the labyrinth of computers, desks, phones, and 5-foot tall walls to house each of them, you revel in the fact that your cubicle is next to a window. You bask in the light of the morning sun, which is reflecting off of the building adjacent to yours since your window happens to face away from the street.

Finally, ready for work, you realize that you left the headphones to your mp3 player on the table at home.

Begrudgingly, you’re forced to listen to the symphony of the office: the staccato of keys typing the same 26 letters and 10 numbers we all learned as children, the same ringtone that passionlessly bleats from every phone, the sounds of people sipping the coffee that you neglected to drink since you’re been trying to cut down your dependency on it, and the sound of silence that permeates the office that is only disturbed by one of the preceding three sounds.

You begin to talk to yourself, where the conversation doesn’t end, whether or not you’re speaking to yourself out loud or in your own mind.

“Gotta print this report, due at 10, due at 10, due at 10…”

You send the command to print the document and make your way through the human maze of alleged productivity to get to the printers, “conveniently” located the length of the office away, only to find the small display blinking the mind-numbing message that incites rage in any worker that sees it: “REPLACE TONER CARTRIDGE. REPLACE TONER CARTRIDGE. REPLACE TONER CARTRIDGE.”

Finally, 12:30 comes around – the part of the day that you look forward to the most. It’s time to get some lunch. Eagerly, you venture out of the front doors only to be overcome by a strange sensation; as you walk through those doors into the real world, it feels as if someone hit the play button on your life. You see commotion, hear the sounds of traffic, people socializing, movement, life. You feel the wind in your face, the sun on your skin, the smell of the bread from the deli down the street. You finally catch up to what you’ve been missing.

Back to work, you put life back on pause and walk through the front doors before your break is over because catching an elevator is impossible.

You want to take the stairs, but all of the doors to each floor are locked from the other side for security measures.

Finally back in the office, you look for the piece of cheese that sits on your desk.

Once there, you look forward to the end of the day.

You remember the words that your friend from another country once spoke so eloquently: “The only true God is Time. You think about it all day, you plan everything in your day around it, you check it several times a day, and it is the basis for all of your memories.”

Closing time comes around. Time to shut down, pack up, and head out into the real world again. Finally, you get to go at your own pace. Walk around the city. Catch the late train. Go home and unwind before getting up to do it all again tomorrow.

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