Its a Monday morning just like any other. I’m on my way to work. Sleep walking through the waking hours. Resentfully immersed in the mediocrity of life; the wasted hours of nine to five. My feet move beneath me. They carry me along the dusty pavement and then through the pristine shopping centre doors. I smile mechanically as I pass familiar faces, each a blur of color as identical as the next. They bid me the same welcome over and over: “Hello, how are you?” or “Hows it goin?”, and my reply is always the same. All these greetings entangle until they become a single liquid mass of noise, of cold static, of sound, “sound and fury” (Shakespeare).
My hand scribbles in the sign-in book and I begin the dayily routine. My body slaves in repetition. Doing as I would have it do before I think to request. Dusting, sweeping, mopping and other tasks that need neither consult nor conscious thought. All this activity makes the hours tick by quickly and my shift is over before I know it. Just another day at work. Its not important. Just lost time.
I’m waiting at the train station now. The particularities of the trip here are foggy. Brief flickering memories. Today’s or maybe yesterday's, or tomorrow’s. It all blurs together in a haze of incoherency. But I’m here now and there’s more familiarity. Passers-by like the pavers blanketing the ground beneath my feet, no one has any more appeal than the next. All of it, everything, is made of the same bland, dreary matter, like the pages of a faded newspaper read over and over again, like abstract metaphors that cease to symbolize anything. It’s not important. Just lost time.
Food falls ashen, opaque and tasteless upon my disdainful tongue. I stare idly at the metallic ticket dispenser as I eat and wait for the screech of an approaching train. It seems as worth while an activity as any, or as worthless. The dispenser has only been there a week and I wonder if it was always tarnished with a thousand finger prints. I don’t remember. It’s not important. Just lost time.
A stranger approaches me. Her pale face is lightly sprinkled with amorous freckles. Black eyeliner, applied generously, draws attention to her burning hazel eyes. Her mouth is small and delicate. Her lips are blood red and brand the synthetic gleam of cheap lip gloss. Her dark brown hair sits at shoulder length and wavers a little in the afternoon breeze. I can hear her heels against the concrete world as she walks towards me. They make a sharp click that stands out from the distorted mass of background noise. I can almost hear her breath disrupting the array of dust particles and cigarette smoke that suffocates the air, if that’s possible. A random stroke of colour upon a grey canvas.
“Hello” she says, “Can I kiss you? I like your mouth.”