Content Warning

Greetings and Salutations.
Because my stories have bite, they can contain content that isn't suitable for work or children. Not a lot of truly graphic sex or violence, but there are some questionable or heated posts. F-bombs are not uncommon, so watch your footing.

Friday, January 10, 2020

#FridayFlash - Daily Grind

"Another day, another dollar," Gretchen's father had always said, usually with a wry smile. He'd worked hard, kept them fed and clothed, and never complained. He even seemed to enjoy the endless labor.

Gretchen couldn't understand how.

In her early 20s, she'd chalked it up to the restlessness of youth. No one wanted to work while trying to play. She'd rather be out with friends, meeting guys, imagining the great husbands they'd have, the great kids, the great careers. Of course spending time at something she didn't like to do to earn money made her anxious.

Gretchen approached 30 with no more understanding than she'd possessed before. Less desire for random encounters with unknown guys, but no more ability to focus on her work. Perhaps less so.

Try as she might, she simply couldn't adopt her father's attitude. Each day at the desk or the counter or the office did indeed bring her another dollar, allowed her to eat, to have a place to live, to wear clean clothes.

She just couldn't help but long for something more.

By 40, Gretchen had fallen into something resembling an acceptable routine. Work five days of the week, come home to microwave a meal, and read until bedtime. Shop and clean on the weekends, maybe go to a movie. No variation, no change, no sense of peace.

Work, eat, sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. Until the end of her life, and even then she might have nothing else.

Even shopping became the same. The same microwave dinners, the same cereal and milk, the same toilet paper. Gretchen could fill her cart blindfolded, and not miss a thing, wouldn't notice if someone did or said anything to her.

Or if she ran her cart into them.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled, still in her fugue state. Gretchen barely glanced at the man as she continued toward the dairy section.

"No worries. I walked right into you," he said with a laugh.

The pleasant sound caught her attention, broke through Gretchen's layers of numb apathy. She stopped and turned and finally looked at him.

He was average height, average build, with brown hair and a well-groomed beard. Nothing terribly special, except for his eyes. They sparkled with an inner light, an intense knowledge and sense of wonder.

Falling into them, Gretchen felt the same longing within him that she felt.

His smile deepened and he extended his hand toward her. "Do you want to go do something weird and maybe a little crazy?"

She answered by laying her hand in his.