Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Listen to the Beat of the Doldrums

At first Dave thought he was sick, or something. For going on two weeks, he felt listless, always tired, and noticeably irritable. Normally very active, Dave was content to lie on the couch, for hours on end. His life ground to a virtual halt, with the annoying exception of his job.

“I don’t know what it is, man. Don’t feel like doing anything,” Dave confided to Marv, the man in the next cubicle. “Maybe I’m coming down with something....”

Marv stood up so he could look over the partition that separated his desk from Dave’s.

“Dude! You’re not sick; if anything, you’re completely normal,” Marv said. “Look around this place...do you see anyone jumping for joy?”

Dave shoved a foot against his desk, causing his desk chair to glide into the aisle. He looked around, listened. A low mumbling seemed to emanate from every cubicle, an almost mournful sound that would have screamed “blah” if only it could muster the energy.

“It happens like this every year, at the end of the summer,” Marv said. “This is your first year here, so you haven’t been able to adapt completely.”

Dave scooted back into his cubicle, and sighed as he stared at his computer monitor.

“So ennui is contagious around here?” he said, mustering a dry chuckle.

Marv stood up again.

“If you can muster the strength to make a joke, then you’re not as far gone as the rest of us,” Marv said. “Seriously, you’re wearing me out.”
“So when does everyone snap out of it?” Dave asked. He knew he was about to lose Marv’s attention, and the closest thing to an interesting conversation he’d had in a week.

“What? Who says we ever do?” Marv forced out a sigh of his own, popped in his ear buds, and melted into the background.

Dave sat for a while, pondering Marv’s words, thinking about the lethargic environment that threatened to trap him, like an insect in amber.

I probably could own this place, this whole town, Dave thought. All I have to do is fight off the creeping torpor...stand out in the crowd...make a name for myself. He stood, stretched, enticed by the opportunity that awaited him.

Eh, he thought. Maybe later.

Dave slumped back into his chair.


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Postscript: This was another exercise in Flash Fiction, directed, in particular, to the Three Word Wednesday blog.

1 comment:

Jessica Prescott said...

A very interesting story. Love the ending.
My 3WWW: http://bit.ly/qRXKRg