Whiplash.

Whiplash.

A Story by Desert Rose
"

live from the cube farm..

"
Overtired, Overdriven,  
my a*s glued to my chair,& that tingling numbness in my quadriceps, 
Reduced to nothing but a head that swivels, confined between the two blue particleboard walls of my desk, i may be a bit luckier than a few, cause i have a glass panel that i can see through.
Nevertheless, Corporate Dogma dictates that you should remain still,
Combined with the watchful eye of Sauron up above you, right on the back of your head, 
don't fret..Big Brother's got your back. 
(not even the courtesy of looking you in the eye) 

The only two things that remind me of my pseudo-existence are this cup of coffee,
that tends to taste like mud when it cools down;
& that pain in my neck...
Like a leash, but it feels more like a screwdriver crammed inside of it.

all this time, i kept saying to myself & to others that work sets me free,
little did i know, i'm starting to edge toward the other side of the learning curve..already past that inflection point between conscious incompetence & unconscious competence..

the child in me can't help but picturing himself playing a high striker game,
why wouldn't he? that workplace feels like a County Fair anyway,
you got animals, you got clowns, moles to whack, the ladders, the Horse Race..
..the whole freakshow..
in the beginning, work did indeed set me free..
The weight of the classical mess, was off, reduced to a puck
watch it rip the air as my hammer hit the lever..
*DING*
Congratulations!! You are a Strong Man!! *..Neo Happy..* 
but that f****n' puck kept staring at me..& taunting me as it was slumping..
i swear i could even hear it say "can't break me"..

so..repeat... & when you hear that *DING*..you're done for the day..
it grows on you..
it's addictive..
it makes you feel stronger..
it makes you feel productive..
it gives you a vocation..a raison d'être..

it's been six years..& i'm still playing high striker..
not that i don't want to stop....i just can't stop..
it seems to me that the whole county fair will cease to exist if i do.
or maybe it's just my raison d'être & the forcefield that i generate along with it that will cease to exist.
either way, i'm caught between the hammer & the anvil here. 

Work sets you free...carry on..maybe it will one day..2 more years & i'm outta here, then two more..then two more..
then that child in me drops in again for a surprise visit & starts injecting pictures in my head..trips like:
"fast forward 20 years, i see myself as a skeleton..& some guy passes by & throws in a file..& expects me to work on it" 
or "7 years from now, i'm 40...bald..pale, looking more like a pig than an actual human..300lbs with like a gigantic skateboard or a warehouse cart to hover my way out of work at 5:00pm, 
or...y'know..nothing changes..nothing evolves..same jokes..same technical terms..same words..same fears..same hopes..

then these funny dystopian pictures suddenly turn to timeless existentialist questions:
"..who am i?" 
..what am i doing here?..
how the hell did i get here anyway??? 
was it worth it??
am i happy?
is that what it has come to?
does the breath of my life come at the cost of my freedom?
why am i doing this to myself? do i care this much??
why is my hair greying, where did all those cracks in my face come from?
why are my eyes swollen? 
was the thing that i have always despised, the right thing to do in the first place??
is this the meaning of life? "birth, school, work, marriage, kids, loans, roll over, die?"  
just yesterday i was taking rides, dreaming of touring the world on a motorcycle, hair flailing in the wind, best friends, wonderful loving woman, food, drinks, pointless talks,
toasting "à la vie, à la mort" with every shot of Jäger..music..video games...running endless miles..
Do or Die..
Rock n' Roll....
What?! Went?! Wrong?!

then, not so long ago, after a silent shutdown..which i can only define as 'a long period of time that now seems like a second long..."
of which i can only recall that flickering dash on a screen, like after a reboot..or a check engine light..
only then, came the big one:
"....is it too late for me??"

...f**k...

what ensues then is that soup of expectations & reality push/pull, where i'm trying to justify myself but at the same time, checking what i can cross off my list..
i mean, i did travel!....several times...for vacation...
i did buy some of the stuff, books, CDs, games that i have always wanted...
i still shoot some Jäger...only on 'borrowed' weekends when i fly back home.
i finally got the money to get that bike...but would it really take me places?
i finally got that down payment for a house, where i can pull all nighters & play video games & enshrine my action figures..but i have to pay mortgage for the next 20 years..so i must go to bed at a reasonable hour so that i can clock in the next day.
..even if it may be too late to commit...i suppose i can still 'settle' with some girl...recite Rumi poems to her ear, she wouldn't understand them but she could go like "ermahgerd he so deep he so romantic xoxo" in front of her friends, then once things are fine & dandy...she can start her transformation..she can then proceed to take me for granted once she's only knee-deep in the pool of my soul..but hey, we'd have kids, all hyped up on sugar, ready to play high striker too...i'd gladly pass some of my 'wisdom' too.. secure the progeny, that would make both her lineage & mine happy..
i could lie to myself & say that it's perfect...& say that i made it..would be blissful & promising in the beginning, then when it all fizzles out..i'd fall out of love & still pretend that it's nice..it wouldn't matter to me cause i'm 'settled'...the 'system' is already there..no use straying out of it..

maybe i'm OK with all that..maybe i'm not...but work sets you free..so..same difference.

..work sets you free my a*s..
work sets you free in the beginning when you're happy to learn something new, when you start to create that illusion that you're actually living your foolish dreams while you're slowly shedding that bad skin of your past experience,
but work sets you free in the end too, when you're old & useless & can barely make your way to the gutter without tripping on that plastic cup, the same one that had your piss in it..& your name on it. 
bottom line, you're either free when you get that job, or you're free when you're dead meat..screw what's in between...

& Big Brother knows best....that's why he tailor made this job..just for you..
Don't think man..just do..regardless of how happy or sad it makes you within the moment..just do..& die...
notice how he cleverly bent the "or" to an "&"..



this coffee officially tastes like mud now..& that pain in my neck is only surpassed by my head swivels.

...but Work will, inevitably, set me free.....*DING*

© 2016 Desert Rose



Author's Note

Desert Rose
enjoy..


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Featured Review

Wow...there are so many thing I want to say, but I have no idea where to start. Perhaps I should start with "ermahgerd" ;P ... you know how long this piece was - and I didn't get bored, not even ONCE! I love the humor you used in between, and I did notice how you cleverly bent that "or" to an "&". ;P You really have a way with words.. humanity is stuck in a vicious cycle, and there is no way out.
I thoroughly enjoyed this piece.

EM55*

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Desert Rose

1 Year Ago

haha, i'm glad you enjoyed it!! thank you so much!! i hope you were as 'engaged' reading it as i was.. read more


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Reviews

Wow...there are so many thing I want to say, but I have no idea where to start. Perhaps I should start with "ermahgerd" ;P ... you know how long this piece was - and I didn't get bored, not even ONCE! I love the humor you used in between, and I did notice how you cleverly bent that "or" to an "&". ;P You really have a way with words.. humanity is stuck in a vicious cycle, and there is no way out.
I thoroughly enjoyed this piece.

EM55*

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Desert Rose

1 Year Ago

haha, i'm glad you enjoyed it!! thank you so much!! i hope you were as 'engaged' reading it as i was.. read more
wow.. really cool. do and die.. DING!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Desert Rose

1 Year Ago

Thanks man! (^^)
So I've never read a piece that has references to Tolkien & Orwell in the first paragraph before. I'm not sure if this is purposeful or not? Is it? Either way I love it. It also reminds me of the first scene in Fight Club.

"recite Rumi poems to her ear, she wouldn't understand them". Brilliant!

Happy to have stumbled upon this. I'll be reading this again.


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Desert Rose

1 Year Ago

I tend to get carried away,
whatever i think about, i usually write, scribble & connect late.. read more
You know, I don't know whether I love this or I hate it just a little. Maybe its a mix. This is a strong write, I like the way it ruminates - a stream of introspection peppered by the reality of neck pain and bad coffee. Cubicle hell - the corporate promise is only servitude, and you've sold that point well with a biting humor and a shot of reality. (that's the hate part. I have lived this myself. You reminded me of that)
The bit about settling down, finding a girl to read Rumi to - that was a gem! Well done. My only suggestion is - don't worry when posting work that's a little lengthy as this is - sometimes the readers here shy away from longer work - to their detriment.


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Desert Rose

1 Year Ago

this is by far the most constructive comment that i have ever received! :) thank you very much!!! read more
I like this........... ☺☺☺☺

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Desert Rose

1 Year Ago

thanks man!
Uday Bhasuthker

1 Year Ago

You are welcome
I really like this!
Well done!

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Desert Rose

1 Year Ago

Thank You!! (^^)
well neo,this was a great story,we all can relate to !

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Desert Rose

1 Year Ago

oh yeah, tell me about it :) thanks again!

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Added on March 16, 2016
Last Updated on April 17, 2016
Tags: work, life, pain, body, mind, thinking, corporate, dreams, young, old, happiness, sadness, drama, strong, weak, addiction, fear, willpower, will, death, decay, mood, truth, free, stress, love

Author

Desert Rose
Desert Rose

Jounieh, Lebanon



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