The New Routine

micro - fiction banner

Eyes open as I stretch. My face is imprinted with sofa lines matching my suit. Shoes sticky, tie-soiled. The mini shredder bin next to the sofa is loaded with paper and a sickly spew. Standing brings on vertigo, so I sit down near a blanket speckled with what resembles the stuff in the bin. My stomach churns as I reach for the TV remote.
Hitting mute does nothing to stop 120-decibel EMS sirens blazing outside my home. I want to scream while covering my ears. Maybe that will cancel them out. A half glass of water on the coffee table reminds me my bladder is full. A slow rise to my feet keeps me stable for a cautious walk to the bathroom. The door ajar with lights on looks occupied but I push it open with legs crossed. No need to turn on running water for inspiration.
I disrobe and jump in the shower. Warm water soothes me until it grows cold with the valve fully open.
I brush my teeth to rid the taste of bile, but cleaning my tongue threatens to bring up more of the same. Rinsing is preferred along with a minty gargle. I take three aspirin from the cabinet and wash them down with a hand full of water.
Wrapping a towel around me, I stumble to the bedroom longing for the comfort of soft satin sheets but the cost of cleaning them turns me away. I put on a gray two-piece suit, white shirt, red power tie, and black Oxfords.  Moving towards the kitchen, I see the auto coffee maker has just brewed my favorite, perked, not drip. White bread sitting in the toaster looks hard. I press toast anyway to start my day. Careful not to burn the roof of my mouth, I sip the coffee without cream and nibble on hard-toasted bread without butter.
The newspaper is on the table where I left it. I saved the classified but tossed the coupons for Black Friday’s bullshit sales. I circle the address of the job fair. Today’s the last day. Tomorrow is my second month without a job.


Copyright © 2018 Darnell Cureton. All Rights Reserved

  One thought on “The New Routine

  1. BlackSheep
    September 4, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Wow! I almost felt hungover while reading this. Great descriptions. Especially the details like the half glass of water. This is usually the first thing I see when I wake up from a hangover (sometimes the glass is still full if it’s been a real late night).
    Nice piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 4, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you. Some people thought I was really out of work.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BlackSheep
        September 4, 2019 at 4:24 pm

        I noticed that in the comment section. You know you got the descriptions right when people start wishing you good luck on your job search!

        Liked by 1 person

      • September 4, 2019 at 4:32 pm

        It’s one of the few pieces I really got right. As writer’s we want all our work to come out that way. A hard goal we try to make.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. March 18, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Your description immersed me in his world completely. Well done.
    The ending explains it so well, pulling it together.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. January 24, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Thank you very much Matilde for the comment. Much appreciated. 🤗


  4. December 17, 2018 at 1:57 am

    two paychecks away,isn’t that the scariest thought,especially during the winter months?


    • December 17, 2018 at 2:02 am

      It really is. My manager went on vacation. He came back to no job. – That’s low, and that can be anybody. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • December 17, 2018 at 2:03 am

        A friend of mine said her husband’s old job suddenly closed its doors with no warning 3 days after Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas,right?


      • December 17, 2018 at 2:07 am

        Yeah, and somebody got a bonus making cuts for the new year. One reason Xmas can be depressing.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. selizabryangmailcom
    December 16, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Nice description…all lending to an overall feeling of dread. Which is exactly what I feel when I think of job fairs. They’re supposed to represent hope and opportunity. But for some reason, I feel the opposite.
    Bile, aspirin, hard bread with no butter: Perfect setup to fail at the job fail later!!! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • December 16, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Exactly! He’s in no condition to go to a job fair what ever the odds. Wow! You are right on point. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • selizabryangmailcom
        December 16, 2018 at 4:35 pm

        You’re welcome! I apparently would fail at the job fair, too, since I typed “job fail” above! I’m in the same boat as your character. Lol !!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • December 16, 2018 at 4:38 pm

        Unforseen. That’s the way life is. Lol!!! ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

  6. December 14, 2018 at 2:52 am

    sounds like a heavy night .. wishing this guy [you?] luck at the fair!

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 14, 2018 at 2:59 am

      Yes, it’s like that sometimes. So glad to say I am not him…
      Thank you for the comment.
      Means a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

      • December 14, 2018 at 3:01 am

        lol I thought it was fiction 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • December 14, 2018 at 3:10 am

        It’s fiction. Most of us are 2 paychecks away from being homeless. I hope he does well at the fair also.😎

        Liked by 1 person

      • December 14, 2018 at 6:20 am

        lol at least you can influence his outcome … most can’t 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • December 14, 2018 at 6:30 am


        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: