Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Insomniac, Part 14

Harold decided that, being Saturday, it was a good day to use all of the hot water.  He took stock as the water washed over him. Yesterday, he'd bought the big box of chews for the dog but this morning, when he opened the box, it was already half empty. What the hell was up with that? It was the same thing with the containers for his rice protein. The containers were barely half full when he took off the multiple safety seals. Did they really think people were that stupid? Well, yeah, they did.

Harold picked up the soap.  It was a hockey puck. No lather whatsoever. They even did it with hotel soap. Whoever thought of these things must be rich by now. He wanted that job. He wanted to be the guy companies hired to dupe people into thinking they were buying more than they got, the one that thought to make packaging twice the size it needed to be, the one that put a waxy hockey puck inside every bar of soap so that it looked as if you were buying a bigger bar. There were gallons of milk now that weren't quite a gallon. Even lumber yards did it. A two-by-four wasn't really two inches by four inches. It was a conspiracy. Refrigerators were designed to crap out after ten years instead of forty. Dishwashers only made it seven. They were made of plastic parts, yet they cost more. Plus, even the deluxe models were made with the same crappy parts. Then you were supposed to spend another $1200 on a service plan. Then you'd lose the paperwork for it within the first two years of service. It sucked. It all basically sucked.

What the hell was he taking a long shower for anyhow? It didn't help. He turned off the water, reached behind the shelf for his towel and, as usual, knocked a couple packages of stuff nobody ever used into the farthest corner. He held his towel with one hand while trying to reach the fallen packages with the other. The corner of the towel dragged across spilled green conditioner and came up smeared with a flowery fresh scent. He used the long handle of a scrub brush to poke at a white box and three half-used blister packs slid out of it. He accidentally jostled the shelf with his shoulder and a spent tube of toothpaste also fell just out of reach. It left a blue smear of furry toothpaste on the vinyl. Saline from an open bottle dripped onto the floor as he tried to grab the bottle. It rolled away from him twice before he bounced it off the far cabinet and caught it on the rebound, sending a jet of spray across the wall. Eventually, as usual, he slid the whole shelf back from its recess so he could pick up the three half-used blister packs, the soggy white box they came in, and the empty toothpaste tube. Why did he do this every day? Why was it his towel that had to hang behind the shelf? Why couldn't anyone throw out their spent toothpaste tubes?

He managed to get everything off the floor, to wipe up the spills with his towel, and slide the shelf back into place without knocking anything else off. He knew, as he threw his damp towel into the laundry basket, that he'd be stuck without a towel in the morning and would resort to drying himself off with the damp hand towel. He stepped out of the tub, intent on getting a fresh towel for himself before that happened again.

And he slipped on the wet spot he'd created, looking for soap, and hit his head on the tiles. He was down and he was out.

Thank you for listening, jules

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