Tag Archives: frustration

Snap Decision

“I don’t know,” he said with resignation. “It looks like I’ve run out of ideas.”  Ben exhaled his cheap tobacco and flicked the butt into a yard in desperate need of mowing. All goes quiet after 10 o’clock at night, and the only action to be seen was a stray tabby trotting down the sidewalk. With a little bit of attention, I-69 could be heard somewhere off in the distance.  Yellow squares of lamp light hung in a random sequence down the street. When combined with the street light, it looked like indecipherable Morse code. It might as well be the S.O.S. for the time being, as everything seemingly lacked rhyme or reason in the past 48 hours.

This area of town was definitely known for its sloth. There were a fair amount of students from the local uni renting property nearby, and they weren’t diligent with chores. They were stereotypically spoiled Americans. Ben wagered their ancestors would have killed to be in that position in their living years. Since they’re not anymore, he later surmised it didn’t matter. George, Ben’s sounding board for the night, had given up on looking presentable for the neighbors a long time ago. That’s a shame. Exercise is exactly what George needed.

Smoothing his naturally curly hair over for the last five minutes, Ben started to grow impatient with himself. “This was happening now for a reason,” he thought. “The move to Texas definitely sparked this whole chain of events, but why did it have to start with such little time left to take care of anything?” He slapped the palm of his hand on the armrest of the rocking chair and crossed his legs the other way as to not let either of them fall asleep.

“It doesn’t sound pleasant,” his audience finally responded. “Though you usually fix things, and it comes out all right in the end.” The stout nature of the respondent allowed for a couple of rocks before he could start his journey to the refrigerator for a beer. “However, I have never seen you like this before. You really must be scared.”

“Oh, not scared,” he huffed, “just struck dumb.” His pride would never admit the slightest bit of fear. “She claims the child’s mine, but who knows? It could be an attempt to keep me from leaving for Dallas. She could also truly be pregnant, but from another guy. There’s no time for a paternity test. If it exists, or is even mine, she knew that I would be very tempted to stick around to raise it. I’m not one known to run from responsibility. One thing is for certain though: I’ve got to leave tomorrow, if I want that job. That’s my ticket out of here, to a better life, the life I’ve worked eight years on a shop floor to get. I don’t want to be a line worker forever, George.”

“Well, then, what’s the next move?” The generous host offered Ben another beer.

“No, thanks. I need to drive.”

“That’s a first.”

“…and to answer your question: I have no idea.”

“…and there’s another.”

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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Some people have writer’s block. With such concerns beautifully outlined in Folio and Ink’s post “The Separation of Art and Craft in Literature,” I could see why people would feel uninspired. In a rough way, I would assume this lack of inspiration from the core aids and abets the dreaded blockage. Although… I’m not sure if inspiration is completely out of my reach. It feels like wafts of smoke above my head waiting to be pulled down and inhaled.

The bigger problem, in my mind and to the best of my… limited… abilities, is the distraction of restlessness. I want to be entertained and entertain as well. I want to create something of value from these wisps of vapor and mold it into something we all can appreciate. Often times, though, I find myself running my fingers through my hair and the subsequent oily digits massaging my forehead as an endless stream of thoughts and desires run around in my mind like a centrifuge.

I’m vaping, drinking pop, eating snack mix, and watching In the Heat of the Night with Sidney Poitier while writing my thoughts here. If it weren’t so late, I’d want to grab a beer at the tavern down road. It’s closing by now. I’d like to be anywhere right now, I suppose. I get wanderlust often.

On the other hand, I have this thought, this scrap of an idea that I want to develop in my head. I’m tugging at the tendrils of the cloud, but I spin out. It’s so hard to concentrate when my mind’s in several places at once. Some of it is external (e.g. the movie isn’t helping), but a lot of it is internal. If it’s not the lack of concentration, it’s the fatigue and depression. It’s all so frustrating at times.

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Johnny Come Lately

The bar wasn’t too crowded, which gave a sense of relief to Gary. A crowded bar wasn’t what he needed, although in any other situation it might have. This would do nicely. It was low-key, with a nook to sit and think. The anxiety of “making your own fun” was creeping in again. He didn’t want to go back home, but was hard pressed to think of alternatives.

Leaning forward, he felt his anxiety build. This anxiety was also making him want to use the restroom. “Being this high strung sucks,” he spat and adjusted his posture on the seat.

“What the Hell do people do around here?” The question wasn’t original. He had heard it from more than one person, and found it a valid enough question to adopt after they all shipped out. What did people do? To him, there had to be more than met the eye… a gem of an idea that would be worth hiding.

The cell phone told him it was six o’clock, which provided some comfort. “The workers won’t be piling in here for another couple of hours.” He was proud of himself for remembering the habits of those wretched line workers, and his ability to adapt to it. His beer sweat it out in front of him, almost terrified of being drunk. He would not be drunk though. Oh no. He knew that the Otterville police would be out en masse on a Saturday night. The notion that he knew the schedule of Otterville’s finest also made him feel better. He could easily outmaneuver anyone in this town. “Wouldn’t they like to ride me out on a rail,” he muttered and frowned at his drink.

With a handsome job offer in hand, Gary moved into this sleepy little town just shy of two years ago. The economy was garbage, and still was to this day. Anything that glittered was gold to him. Had he known of the abject isolation he was in for upon arrival, he would have seriously reconsidered the move. There was no way he could have known the company turned down five of the locals for the position. It was obvious they were bitter about it, but would never be confrontational. Cowards.

Virginia was a much better place for Gary and hindsight is, of course, 20/20. At least he had people to talk to back home. The jury here was still out on Gary, and probably wouldn’t return for a few decades. Even if they did, it would be hung, no doubt. Rough, rough, rough.

In a moment of frustration, he slammed his fist on the table, which caught the attention of a few townies watching the football game at the end of the bar. They only took a few seconds to identify the source of the noise and resumed watching the game. They kept their air of disinterest well.

Looking out the window, Gary could see the smoke from the Miiratek factory rise into the 5 degree Fahrenheit evening. Winter was such an obvious presence in Otterville. There didn’t have to be any snow on the ground to know how cold it was at any given time. He felt the wind burn on his cheeks just thinking about it.

Gary finally finished his beer. The lack of a successful resolution to his problem made his pint hard to swallow. “Damn it all,” he said aloud. He didn’t care who heard this time. He was frustrated with his equation: no life, no wife, no home and alone. It all amounted to nothing. With bitterness and townie envy, he picked up his possessions and and left.

As the door shut, a group of guys each gave one another a sick smile. At this rate, they figured it wouldn’t have to worry about the transplants in a couple of years. All the beer mugs clinked together. Let the good times roll!

© 2013 by Corvidae in the Fields, all rights reserved

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