I should’ve called out.
I could be puking up blood and bile all over the bedroom. Or maybe I came down with a nasty case of crippling, violent diarrhea. Perhaps my parents died overnight in a tragic auto accident. Maybe the local authorities are still busy separating blood and bone from glass and steel along the highway.
Any of these excuses would get me a day’s freedom from the office; where grown adults are herded into tiny cubicles and chained to computers like a bunch of sick veal calves.
I could’ve lied — but this is better.
The other riders on the Red Line are watching me with dumb faces and stares. We’re somewhere between the Harvard and Central stops. I’m not sure, as I’m halfway through a six-pack of Harpoon IPA.
Beer tastes so much better on a Monday morning.
Parts of me want to chickenshit and call it off. I could do my civic duty as an American, giving the rest of my beer to the spittle-faced homeless man sitting across from me. I’d grab a cup of black coffee and sober up, strolling into work all shit-eating smiles and pockets full of corporate kiss-ass. Business as usual.
But that’s a coward’s way. True bravery requires a certain level of stupidity, and I aim to be very, very, brave today.
Soon we’re crossing the Longfellow Bridge into Boston. I’m swimming four beers deep by then. I get off the train and walk south along Charles Street and its uneven, brick-lined sidewalks.
I pass by a small, grey, GQ-worthy poodle leashed to a tree outside a storefront. The urge to piss all over the smug little bastard is unbearable – but I wait.
I have no desire to work today; even less desire to work tomorrow. Man wasn’t meant to build spreadsheets from atop a plastic swivel chair. Every day spent soaking in the soul-sucking glow of florescent office lighting, is one day closer to a slow burn, cancer death.
The lucky ones will have hypertension heart attacks first. I envy them.
I finish the fifth beer as I cross Beacon Street, throwing the empty bottles into a steel garbage can just inside the Public Garden. A horde of children is busy climbing on the bronze Make Way for Ducklings statues. Their eager parents snap photos with digital cameras, taking up a solid ninety-six percent of the sidewalk in the process.
I walk around through the grass and open the last beer.
Others are trudging through the Garden to their day jobs. Some are well-dressed: suit, tie, shoes, briefcase, fountain pen, Ray-Bans, haircut. They look important. That or they’re really good at acting the part. I can’t tell. Yet somehow I suspect they all drive black BMWs or silver Audis.
I stop under a willow tree and chug the last of the brew. I gently fling the empty bottle at an obese squirrel lounging on the grass. He’s still too quick for me, but I’ll get him later. By the time I get to Boylston Street, my guts bloat. Another pint of beer and I’d be leaking from all ends.
Just a few more minutes.
I dig down and find the last bit of focus I can muster, as I ascend the entrance stairs to the office building. My eyes feel tight in their sockets. My legs are watery oatmeal.
An elevator takes me several floors up and tries to pull my stomach out my asshole, but the doors open again before it can finish the job. As I stagger through the labyrinth of cubicles, other eyes begin to follow me. Need to be quick.
Standing outside his office, I take note of the small, blue, recycle bin near the door frame, half-full of papers.
I look at him and piss in it.
He starts screaming from his executive chair. Pictures of his wife and kids stare at me from their office wall photo frames. I say nothing, shake off, zip up, and swagger back to my cube. I sit down in my chair and boot up my computer.
This is the most creative thing I’ve ever done in this office.
I smile – and wait.