Giles Turner had made a comfortable life for himself. His body had adapted to waking up at 6am so easily, that he no longer needed an alarm clock. His days were planned via his cellphone, a calender perfectly outlining everything he needed to do on every day, and precisely what time. He knew that ring sound from his phone meant it was time for a new task to be done. He knew what lane to drive in that would prevent the least amount of congestion to and from work. His routine was down so pat that his friends and family knew when to call him, and when they would reach his voicemail.

Occasionally, someone close to Giles would see the preciseness of his life and ask him, "Wow, you have your routine down so pat. You must be so satisfied and happy with life." Giles had answered this question so many times, he even had this down to a routine. If he had time to chat, he would answer this with, "Routine helps the days go quicker! Hows your routine look like?" And when he didn't want to socialize or was too occupied within himself to open up, he would answer with a simple, "Thanks. It really helps keep things in order."

Giles didn't love his job, but he had always thought that was unnecessary, as long as it paid the bills and provided the funding for his entertainment. Besides, he had plenty of things to do to distract him from his work, and these activities helped pass the day even quicker.

On most nights, after finishing everything he needed to finish, Giles would hop on his computer and surf the internet for hours, through all sorts of websites, articles, and blogs. Occasionally, he would stumble across pictures of beautiful places. And for moments, he would think about letting go of everything that was him for a chance to go sit somewhere as beautiful as the places these pictures depicted.

Yes, Giles Turner lived a very content life. One day, he was on his 30 minutes lunch break, and decided he wanted to eat his lunch outside on the company patio. This was a quiet place, and most people that sat out here minded their own business, eating their lunch or going through paperwork, phones, etc. On this particular Wednesday, he noticed Jonathan Miles, the new guy on floor 26. He was in the accounting department for his company, and Giles knew this because the previous occupant of that job had been a good acquaintance of Giles; someone he had a good rapport with, and a comfortable back and fourth shtick.

Jonathan Miles soon made his way over to the bench that Giles was sitting at, and Giles could already see the inevitable small talk coming. He groaned inside, but he had become accustom to having to deal with small talk because of his job, and he had become very good at it. He knows what people want to hear, and he knows what cues to throw in to motion the other person that the conversation should be nearing its end. "it's an art, really." Giles always says. Humans have adapted to learn the behaviors for talking. There are specific setting where small talk should be initiated. One must initiate small talk in many instances, as its important to build key relationships and make appearances. Networking, some like to call it.

The talk between Jonathan and Giles starts off predictably enough. The weather. How Jonathan likes his new job, and the people in his division. How Giles likes having worked at this company for close to 6 years. Then the next level of small talk, somewhere Giles doesn't necessarily likes going, but he understands why certain people do. Jonathan asks Giles why he's worked at the same company so long. Giles starts telling him about the job security he has. And the numerous networking connections hes made. Giles even throws in his barely used funny anecdote, about the two women hes met within the company and dated. These stories, Giles has learned, help him make friends quickly with the younger staff members. "Everyone always like a funny dating story", he thinks.

Giles starts nearing the end of his meal, and puts to use his cues to let the other person know he is nearing the walking away portion of small talk. He throws his meal away in the garbage. Looks at his phone, and then his watch. He glimpses over Jonathan's shoulder and at the exit door of the patio. Giles finishes his last story, the fan favorite, "I have my life routine down to an art." Giles can see the statement coming, and he knows its almost always the last one to be said. "Wow" says Jonathan, "You have your routine down so pat." Giles smiles and takes a couple steps towards the door, position himself between Jonathan and the exit. He doesn't step away too far, as he knows he has to have the goodbye handshake before he leaves. "But", Jonathan continues, "Are you happy with your life?"

A curve ball. Giles isn't so use to such opaque questions at the work place. They usually happen on dates, or late night bar runs with friends, when the answer is as easy to spit out as it is to say, "I Love you man, you know that?" to a drunken acquaintance. But at the workplace, in the middle of the day, and sober? Giles wasn't so prepared for this, so he stumbles and can only let out an, "I.. Don't know." He tries to throw a half smile, to imply that maybe his answer was a sort of ironic joke. Jonathan, Giles acknowledges, is also a man of impeccable small talk etiquette, as he uses this almost awkward moment to note that hes late to work, and quickly moves towards the door, saying "have a good one, whatever it may be" before making his exit.

Giles has a rather peculiar rest of the day at work. He seems distracted, but not the good kind of distracted that helps him pass the work day much quicker. For some reason that he can not fathom, he just can't get over the conversation he had with Jonathan earlier that day. At first, hes almost irritated that Jonathan would have the nerve to ask him whether or not he is happy, even after the fact that Giles detailed his routine to him. Who does he think he is making such accusations? Giles then started getting mad at society as a whole, and how much emphasis it puts on happiness in general. "Happiness is whatever we make it out to be, isn't it?" he thinks. And to that extent, the comfort and normal-ness of his life surely provides Giles happiness, he determines.

But then he really starts to think about it. And finally he asks himself, if he really is happy? He loves the pay he receives, and the hours aren't over the top. But he doesn't love his job, or at least he doesn't think he does. The entire company focuses on selling products that aren't so great to people who probably don't want them. He's been taught and built to sell these products to his customers to any extent. He's knows exactly what a customer who doubts the product will say, and in turn knows how to twist their words as to answer their question. When he was younger, Giles use to hate door to door salesmen who would sell his shopping addicted mother almost anything that comes her way. She wouldn't need a new vacuum cleaner, but the salesmen would word it such ways that would lead his mother to believe that her life would not be happy without the vacuum.

Giles was now starting to realize that he had become the salesmen he despised all those years ago. His training at this company had been a two week process. They had spent one day detailing the job, one day describing the product and all its benefits, and and entire 12 days teaching them how to sell the product. What attitude to be, what key words to say, how to connect with the customer on a personal level. Their was an entire chapter in his guide book that was titled, "How to appear genuinely interested in the customer as to make a personal connection with them." No, you weren't really selling the customer your product, because the product fucking sucked. You were buying the customers money. By any means necessary.

Was Giles happy at his job? Fuck no, he hated his job. He hated selling a shitty product to anyone that picks up their phone and doesn't immediately hang up. He hated using trick sentences to lead the customer to believe that they couldn't function without the product. In a way, all Giles really was was a glorified magician. Make the customer look and feel one way, while performing a trick in a different way. The beautiful art of deception.

It was soon time for his shift to end, and Giles walked out of his office without acknowledging anyone that walked past him. He was in a state of utter confusion, and was almost mad at himself for allowing himself to fall this deep down the rabbit hole. He tried to shake this dreaded feeling of utter despair off on his car ride home, assuring himself that his home life would help ease his mind. While he was just learning how much he truly hated his job, he was certain that he enjoyed his home life, as everything he did from this point on was of his own choosing.

Giles assured himself that he would do something to take his mind off things. Maybe go for a hike? He loved hiking, although he hadn't gone in a while. Maybe for for a canoe ride; he owned his own, although it hadn't touched water in years. At the very least, go for a walk, read a book, draw or do something. He was going to do it too, he even changed into a comfortable attire for the occasion. But first, he thought, he should unwind by sitting down for a few moments and surfing the web.

It was a couple of hours later that Giles decided it was finally time to head out to do some sort of activity; but as soon as he stood up, he noticed how dark it had become outside, and thus lost his motivation once again. Giles suddenly became extremely sad. He and a wide array of hobbies, and he had loved doing them all whenever he did do them. Sitting here now, wallowing in his own pity, he couldn't understand why it had been so long since he had done anything at all.

Still, Giles wasn't ready to give up on himself just yet. He promised himself he would call in sick to work tomorrow and spend the entire day doing the things he had been putting off for so long. Tonight, however, his mind was exhausted so he thought it best to just sit down and watch some television. He went to close his facebook on his laptop, when he noticed his favorite site had posted a new topic. The facebook page name was, "Beautiful places around the world" and they posted pictures of just that. For a moment, Giles became lost in these photographs, and felt genuine happiness within his heart. He had always wanted to travel to some exotic location and sit and ponder existence; either work would get in the way, or he couldn't find someone to go with and feared traveling alone, or he thought he would have lack of funds to fully enjoy any sort of trip.

Excuses, every single one of them. Giles needed to change the way he lived, he knew he just had to. The world was such an enormous place with so much to offer, and he knew barely anything about the smallest part of it. "Tomorrow", Giles said to himself, "Tomorrow, I go find happiness."

TO BE CONTINUED.



Comments

 
Sun, 06/23/2013 - 2:35am

got chills reading the last paragraph. damn, keep writing bro. beautiful. just beautiful. much love

 
 
Tue, 07/02/2013 - 6:08am
corey33p Says:
 
 
Mon, 06/02/2014 - 6:47pm
mrager Says:

Always love your stories yoinkie. One of the only true writers left on this site

 
 
Fri, 09/09/2016 - 7:59am
TenaciousD Says:

I always love the long ones that everyone else says are tl; Dr . that's why I'm haunting your page.