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The Way It Is



            The whistle signaling quitting time was always his favorite time.  It was the high water mark for the rest of the day, representing that first moment of freedom matched with the highest level of energy he’d have for the rest of the night.  He turned his dirty earth-moving machine off, ceasing the rumble in his seat and in the engine.  Quietly, he pulled the earplugs from his ears, and collected his gloves and cooler.  The cooler held remnants of his lunch which had consisted of two ham and cheese sandwiches, a dill pickle, a bag of chips, and an apple.
            Each step back to his truck, parked four blocks away, ached down into his core.  Shifting his weight right, he could feel the burn on his ankle and knee.  Shifting his weight left provided the same effect on the other side.
            The cooler dangled from his neck by a scrap of black and orange nylon rope and the heft of it swayed back and forth across his chest with each heavy step.
            The truck, in a sea of trucks, was moved toward with the slow, exhausted steps of a soul lost in the desert, inching its way to an oasis.  Once in the car, once the key turned over the ignition, and once the air conditioner quenched the hot, flushed feeling on his face, he began the long drive home.
            Getting home safely was always a challenge though that five o’clock lull.  He could feel his energy waning.  Being at rest, settling into the plush driver side seat, his eyelids grew heavy.  He sighed and snapped himself back into wakefulness.
            Every few moments his head would droop with his eyes and he’d awake with a jerk, almost over correcting the wheel of his truck into another car.
            The closer he got to his home, the more his body ached for his easy chair and his booted feet yearned to decompress in the open air.  As he pulled in to the driveway he could almost feel his soft, comfy easy chair conform around him, and before he knew it, that was the case.  He kicked his shoes off, pulled the remote from his side table and clicked on the television.  With two hundred channels, there was still nothing on, but that was okay since his brain wasn’t on either. 

The rest of this story has been collected in a three pack of stories called "The Whiskey Doctor and other stories of the New Great Depression".  It's available digitally for Kindle and the Nook.

Comments

Gerren Wegman said…
Nice story. Check out my first published short story at http://www.imusedtoit.com. Thanks!
The Girl said…
love the your descriptions. looking forward to looking through the rest of your stories
Bryan said…
Thank you! I'm getting a book ready for publication soon, too. I hope I'll have your support then, too!
nikh said…
Nice one.... !!Me Being an Indian It was something different knowing abt real and average ppl life at U.S...!! Well... Even here the situations hav changed to similar way in Metropolitans...
L A Munro said…
I dig that it leans toward a Fahrenheit 451 era, with no real human contact.
I write short stories too... but mine come from my weird, white trashy childhood. Check it out if you get the chance!
http://domesticatedkitty.blogspot.com/
Mango Woman said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mango Woman said…
I just came across your blog, loving your stories
Sez said…
Love your story, I am trying to do the same with my blog putting a few of my short stories out there for others to read and get a little feedback on
Nice story! I was wondering if you can help promote my blog...I just started posting short stories on my blog..I'm a beginner and I need some support to continue writing on my Blog... thank you :)Keep up the good work BTW :D
Link to my blog :
http://jannahshortstories.blogspot.com/
Ethereal said…
It's an interesting story and an interesting concept. There are some points that are lacking, and even more than are clunky, and difficult to read. That is, there are parts that lack the flow that the story seems to want to follow.

Also, the last sentence doesn't fit. That is, the whole story you're writing in a third person omniscient perspective, and suddenly, just for the last half a sentence, you shift to first person. It throws people off, and in this case particularly, makes the story seem entirely too pointed, and barbed, like you're trying to wake the world by prodding it with a pointed stick, rather than gently shaking.

Hopefully these comments make a little sense, and you don't take offense at the comments, I'm merely attempting to add my critical voice to those that commented before me.
Lakshya said…
nice story
check out my story here:
www.arcia1.blogspot.com
I post everyday
Nice. I love the diction and introduction. It sets the tone very well. I just started posting short stories on a blog and I need some support. thanks.

my blog:
www.mynameisnotaaron.blogspot.com
Rob T said…
Thanks. Enjoyed reading :)
Luke said…
Great read! Can you read my short story? Many people liked it, and I'd like to get your opinion on it. Thanks! http://lukehd.blogspot.com/2011/03/innocence-short-story-by-luke-dery.html

P.S. - Follow Me
Miranda said…
It's great to have your stories back, yay! I liked this one in that there is virtually no dialogue so it kind of adds to the sense that he never gets to spend time with his family and makes him seem all the more lonely.
It reminded me of death of a salesman and the whole "working too hard for nothing" and the "what's up with capitalism?" kind of ideas.
Congrats on your books!
Happy to see your post! The couple in your story don't even gripe at each other, must have just given in to the grind. Familiar, but we still nag, guess we have it a little better. Nice story!
Kathy

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