In Descent from a Second-Story Apartment

by Shaun Terry

Man in Descent

I laid in bed all day when I should’ve been working.

My alarm clock went off, and I looked at the clock, knowing that I had important things to get done, but I couldn’t pry myself from the safety of my deep slumber.

I should’ve been an anxious clusterfuck, springing out of bed like a cat discovering a cucumber, but my head plopped perfectly into the indentation that my cranium had formed.

People always get lonely in November.

“Why’d you leave your last job?”

“Well, it was the Holiday Season™, and there was this bullshit with this girl, and I just didn’t give a fuck about anything, including my life, health, happiness, or welfare. But what kinds of benefits do you typically provide entry-level employees? And honestly, I have some management experience that I think you should consider because I don’t feel like sucking dick and doing shit work for the next six months, if you don’t mind.”

I laid in bed, thinking that I should be working on work stuff. Even if I don’t go into work, if I at least get some shit done, that could be fine. I can’t really miss today’s meeting, but I mean, if they think I’m sick but still getting my shit done, maybe they’ll be impressed. Maybe I’ll get a raise. But instead, I laid around, doing nothing, thinking nothing, trying to get my ass fired.

I watched videos about how to get your meringue to stiffen up just right. Even after watching the videos, I still don’t know how they make meringue, to be honest. Something about eggs, right? As far as I’m concerned, it’s some culinary magic, and I’m happy to let it remain that way. I’m a curious person, but I’m also lazy. Let there be some magic in the world.

I haven’t visited her Facebook in six months now. How? I think about doing it everyday. A few weeks ago, I used the company computer and accidentally ran across her YouTube channel. I thought that I was going to go into cardiac arrest. I didn’t even watch any of it. I just saw that she had recently posted a video. It felt fatal. Cardiac arrest.

Maybe that’s wrong. I don’t know what “cardiac arrest” means. But I could feel my pulse in the ends of my appendages and I was worried that someone could see my heart violently pumping, causing my shirt to expand and contract. I was cold and sweaty, and I knew that everyone around me must be staring at me, wondering how long it would take me to die.

I collapsed into my rolly chair and stared at my computer screen. If my boss had come by and asked me what I was doing, I would’ve done one of a few things: I would’ve cried hysterically, I would’ve punched him in the dick, I would’ve vomited on his Kenneth Cole loafers (fucking dickface stupidass boss), or I would’ve simply staggered out of the building and waited for the cops to meet me near the door.

I didn’t do anything today. I barely moved. My bed and my body started to fuse. My ass hurts, to be honest.

I grabbed some snacks after a few hours of looking at Facebook, YouTube, and YouPorn, and I brought the snacks to my room after taking a long piss. Are there crumbs in the goddamn bedsheets? You bet your ass there are. But I bought these sheets at Target, and I think that the threadcount is a negative number. I don’t know shit about threadcounts, but I guess that’s probably pretty bad. It’s probably impossible, but that’s how shitty these stupid fucking sheets are.

I did one productive thing, actually: I discovered this band while YouTubing. Does “YouTubing” mean something? Well, you know what I mean. I looked at a video, and then got railroaded into watching some other suggested video, and then, that became hours of wasting my life. Anyway, this time wasn’t as wasteful.

I found this song by this band I’d never heard of and I played it on repeat for a few hours. It was kind of a shitty little pop song that sounded like it was recorded by a drunken band at 8am. I mean, the singer sounded like someone woke Rod Stewart at 8am on his 29th birthday, and had him sing this song twice and then just settled for that and let him go back to sleep or something. Like, you know when there’s no reverb on anything and the guitars aren’t even really tuned? Maybe you don’t. Maybe they don’t even make songs like that. I don’t know what the fuck I’m saying, but I try to sound like I do.

If you talk about guitar tuning and meringue, then stupid people can be impressed. Some people will fuck you if you talk about guitar tuning and meringue. Those people are very stupid. Which is stupider, though? Which is more pathetic? It’s a tough call, really.

At work today, they’ve probably already filed 12,000 TPS reports. I think I’ll skip tomorrow, too. I didn’t mean to just make two references to Office Space, but I guess I’m okay with it, since the second was incidental. I just meant that I really don’t ever want to go into that nauseatingly stupid, oppressive place again. Maybe Peter Gibbons was right, somehow.

I might be behind on my electric bill, but it’ll all work out. Somehow. I guess. Maybe I just need to get laid. Maybe I should meditate. Maybe I should pray. Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t know who to pray to, and by this point, I doubt it would help.