In the Usual WayMature

Be careful what you wish, for you do not comprehend the lengths to which true desire is enslaved.

He awoke that morning in the usual way. A whispered curse, a moaning grumble, a not-so-hidden disdain for those that manage the hustle and bustle with an easy, ignorant bliss. These were the smoldering coals which kept Dashell Mason’s soul alight, much to his chagrin. He had once loved people, the world at large, and even, at times, himself. 

The squeal of balding car tires scuttling along a turn too tight for their aging grasp brought Dashell abruptly to a sitting position. Having been particularly content staring at the broad-beamed ceiling while weighing heavily the pros and cons of actually getting out of bed, this was by no means a welcome ergonomic promotion. For that matter, an involuntary promotion of any kind went strictly against Dashell's general "leave me the fuck alone" demeanor. Reluctantly he decided to join the world of the living once again.

Meandering along the long hall which transgressed his spacious loft, Dashell mused over how his gait and grunts must certainly resemble those exhibited by the antagonists from one of George Romero's classic films. He nearly giggled. This was perhaps the first positively amusing thought of Dashell's day. His smirk formed quickly into a scowl upon first sight of the bathroom mirror's reality. Chastising himself once again for stripping away the comfort of long hair and hefty beard all those years ago, Dashell grimaced at his pasty cheeks and nape. Though he always felt his chin was far too lacking in the cleft and jut department to be presented sans facial hair, his moustache came and went with the seasons. Having the utmost confidence in his philtrum, Dashell was hesitant to cover up what most would consider, at least he hoped, to be a definitively stiff upper lip.

"Just another small portion of the requisite fee to dance in the grand ballroom," Dashell thought, all the while knowing how fully well he did not want to attend that party. He was momentarily taken aback by the formality of his own mental process and grinned ever so slightly as he dropped his laundry to free up the plumbing for a morning constitutional. But dance he did; Dashell wasn't one to disappoint, especially when it came to the fairer sex. If any man ever had a weakness, his was women. And money. The two together, well that was something along the lines of a ten megaton death's head of personal Kryptonite.

Deposit complete, Dashell rose from the throne and replaced his unmentionables. "At least this is the one moment of the day I have to myself," he determined. "Most of the time, anyhow", his inner monologue retorted. It was as self-indulgent and private as Dashell could ever hope for at this point in his life. Often he went so far as to rise extra early in order to assure no one was privy to his morning ritual. This may not seem a major doing, but anyone who knew Dashell in the slightest would undoubtedly realize how unimaginable it was for him to do such a thing as get up more than an eye's blink before his strategically timed last-moment alarm. That only meant facing his self-imposed demons sooner rather than later. Being a born-and-bred procrastinator was of no little import to Dash.

After brushing that which required brushing and trimming that which needed trimming, Dashell proceeded to prepare the requisite first meal of the day. "It may well be my last, so I best make it something proper," Dashell considered. "Hell, who am I kidding? I'm not nearly lucky enough to meet my end any time soon," he concluded. With that thought in mind, he heated the griddle for bacon.

Stepping out into the brisk fall wind, the door shut behind him with a resounding "thud". The dead latch ground against the strike plate with a morose sound Dashell thought could just as likely have come from a malevolently dulled guillotine. He weighed his options: Either venture into the office or find a relatively suitable excuse to have the day off. With all the time he had been taking off from work as of late, a "relatively suitable excuse" might likely require the demise of an immediate family member. Counting on his fingers, Dash came to the determination that after the last year he did not, in fact, have enough mothers, fathers, or grandparents left to go around. Too bad he had let slip in recent conversation that he was an only child; an expired sibling would be godsend. "Damn Robinski's chatty ass all to hell, and double-damn me for bothering to indulge him," Dashell mentally kicked himself. He placed an internal sticky-note to guard his personal information more staunchly. Defeated, Dashell strode off down the sidewalk toward the office in a valiant attempt to go there more-or-less directly.

The End

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