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Jeremy, Pivot: Redundancies

May 9, 2017

Sitting timeless, the clock counts down for Jeremy’s break to end. Bored, tired, and faint, he sits motionless with his brow furrowed. As he stares off into space, a body appears to him. Startled, Jeremy cries, “What the hell!?”

Shannon, startled that he was startled, slows her walk towards him, “Hi.” She sits down and plops a brown paper bag onto the round table that they both are now sitting at. She rummages through the bag and pulls out a turkey sandwich. “How’ve you been?” She asks sincerely. Shannon is an older woman, somewhere in her mid to late fifties. He looks at her dead in the eyes without a thing to say.

“I dunno, alright,” he responds. She smiles at him with her big open mouth. Her smile was the only thing that was attractive on her, however, if you would subtract 50 pounds and about 20 years… Jeremy always saw that she must have been beautiful when she was young.

“How come you’re so quiet?” She bluntly asks.

“Am I quiet?”

“Yeah,  you are.” She responds as she takes a big bite out of her sandwich. She places the sandwich down and dabs at her mouth with a napkin she produces from the bag.

“I don’t know.” He states as he glues his eyes to her mouth as she removes mayonnaise with the napkin.

“I‘ve known you for years, and you‘d hardly ever said a word to me, until… Grace.”

“Have I?” He responds as he ignores the mention of his mother. The room, him and Shannon, acknowledge his need of ignorance.

“My son, he was a quiet guy, but he would write his opinions on a small notepad.” She stops for a second…

Returning to a pause, which seemed like forever Shannon smiles as she recounts a memory of her son, “I remember this one time, I found it and never told him that I read his writings. Even though I could barely read it, I saw that he had potential.” She pauses, “He was a character.” This last phrase put everything to a stand still. Great, she wants to remind me that she has a dead son. What a Bitch, he thinks to himself.

“I tend to people watch, but I don‘t write anything down.” Jeremy lied.

“People watching is one thing, but why not make everything you do constructive?” She states and continues without letting him respond. “Have you gone to church lately?”

“Church? I haven’t been in like 4 years.” He responds in offense.

“You never know who’ll you’ll meet at church. If anything, you know that they need something right? Intervention or spirituality. I think you’d find it to be damned beneficial.” She says this knowing who Jeremy should meet. He searches for an excuse but has none.

“I haven’t been to church in a while, it never seemed like a place for me.” He responds honestly and in confidence that this will stop her in her tracks.

“It’s probably that you never found a proper church. I like the one I go to, and it’s not like most. They are quick, simple, and to the point.” She fibs.

“I…” He starts to say.

“Just go. I know we talk briefly from time to time, but I think it might help you.”

“Do I need help?”

“Yes. You smell like booze every day. You’re going to kill yourself before you hit 40.” Jeremy hadn’t quite thought much about his own death, but at this time his extremities were buzzing with some sort of tingle, he figured it was his sleeping patterns, but now he’s thinking otherwise. “Just go once, if it’s not for you then stop. I’m just suggesting that you do. I mean, I was like you when I was younger. My life was rough. I found my way to God, and it made me think differently about shit.” She pauses and looks down at her sandwich. “It helped me get out of the mess I was in… You know. Powerful shit.” Jeremy sat there and pondered this for a few seconds when his phone’s alarm goes off. His break was Over.

“I’ll think about it. Have a good one Shan.” he says as he knocks on the table twice as he gets up, “OK!?” He states this half-heartedly as he disappears around a corner. He thought about her request and at that moment felt his arm tingles. It was that sign again that he had been drinking too much. Perhaps it was time to re-evaluate his life. He contemplated being normal, but that seemed too far beyond his reach. He returned to his work and thought things over several times. He had no reason to say no, nor did he have no reason to say yes, but he felt, as if it were from his body itself, that he should go. As his shift ended, he saw Shannon getting ready to leave her register. This as a sign, not from God nor from any person but a sign of coincidence, and he approached her as she was counting her drawer. “OK, I’ll go.” He stated.

“Cool!” She responds back trying to be as hip as possible. They walk awkwardly for a few seconds before she jumps in to let him know where and what time to show up. He accepts and leaves on his merry way. His first stop, the bar he frequents. His second, the gas station to buy a couple 40’s and finally he heads home. Thinking about this course of events he finds some sort of comfort, especially as he finishes his last 40 without wanting more, and he is able to sleep easily without tossing or turning. The first time in a few years.

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