Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Jake. A truly unremarkable man. A man who, while not without his charms, remains neither the first nor last person you'd ever want to jump at to get to know at a party. On his face he wore a generic smile that seemed none too genuine and eyes that scanned but never lingered on anything for more than a moment. His haircut was businesslike and seemed to just scream conformity. The outfit he wore suggests that only the minimum amount of effort was exerted to look decent, and all this hung on a slouching piece of meat trailing across the pavement in the busy city.
You wouldn't think to spare a second glance at him, not unless you may have caught him doing something utterly embarrassing or was lying in a pool of his own blood in the middle of the street about to die. Because really, no one ever pays attention to the ordinary. They neither harm nor edify us; neither inspire great love or unyielding hatred, never surprising and always predictable. Even his job as an accountant at the modest organization of Rick & Tisdale could at best spark some rolled eyes as if to say oh really? In the most sarcastic tone.
For the past two years since he finally got out of the torturous phase of education from Olympia University, he's been doing much of the same thing every day with few surprises in between. On weekdays, he would wake at 7am. Half an hour dedicated to maintaining his personal hygiene, another 15 minutes to get dressed and it was off to work. By 8.30am he'd have his car parked and, while it was only a 5 minute walk away to his office from his designated parking spot, he would insist on making a detour to Mark's bakery in the opposite direction. That trip would take an additional 10 minutes, 5 minutes to place his order and exactly 15 minutes to make it to the office at 9am sharp.
Little time was spent in the office socializing with coworkers. In his head, the period from 9am-6pm was strictly business and anything beyond that he would take personal offence to as someone deliberately wasting his time. At 6pm sharp he would clock out of the office, head to his mother's apartment for dinner at 7pm. Her table conversations are routinely about how Jake shouldn't be spending so much time at home with her and that he needs a life beyond the structures he's set. You needn't search far to see where he got the tendency to rely on habits, but that's just the way he liked it. By 9pm he'd be out of her place and driving back home for an hour of television and it was off to bed for him.
Have you been bored yet by his routine? Bear in mind the boy was 22 years old and entering the prime of his life. Yet he has to this date not taken a single sip of wine, tasted the thrill of spontaneity or even thought (this word here is important) to be in love. The latter being the one he identified as his greatest regret, had he been charged with continuing his lifestyle to the end of his days. Yet this is how he saw life should be lived. A comfortable routine that leaves no room for anxiety eliciting surprises and so long as he remained in this zone, he'd be able to anticipate, predict and control for any variables that may ever appear.
That is, until his mother died.