Short story #1

Chris Gioran bio photo By Chris Gioran

They are called intrusive thoughts. That’s when without consciously doing so, you start thinking things that would endanger you or others, things that you would not normally do.

I could jump from this balcony 14 floors down.

I could veer this car over the railing and into the cliff side.

Everyone has them. Or so they say.

But where do they stop and where does insanity begin? Perhaps there is no difference - perhaps intrusive thoughts are your brain’s way of telling you that you are not that different from that poor wacko in the maximum security ward that has had one too many lobotomies on him because hey, he’s easier to look at if he’s a vegetable.

I am sitting at my desk, working away on my computer, typing things that don’t really matter, not to me, not to my boss, most certainly not to the computer. The other two cohabitants of my office continue to work on their alloted tasks, making as much impression to the world as i do, both of them having their ears covered by headphones, probably playing some music they like. I vaguely wonder if they listen to music because they want to embrace the isolation they feel or if they want to feel less lonely, despite being close to two other human beings. Either seems strange.

The blinds on the window keep out a bright sun, making neon lights necessary to see properly. How far detached are we from nature that we choose such cheap substitutes over the real thing, especially while it’s so close? We are many steps removed from the farms that provide us food, however we yearn for organic products, insisting on having the most genuine, natural experience possible. But light, which is accessible to everyone, we prefer to shut off and substitute it by burning the liquidated remains of animals long past.

Where does progress stop and stupidity begin?

Blinds over the windows, soundproofed walls. We are pretty isolated here.

I could jump first on the guy next to me with the scissors from my top drawer, take him out, then finish the other guy while he is still stunned and hasn’t figured out what is going on. He is more wimpy, i could take him either way.

It’s not that i dislike them. Far from it, when we get to talk they are pleasant guys. We even had beers after work a couple of times. But these thoughts keep popping into my head, like scenes from a b-movie, blood splattered everywhere, pieces of flesh strewn around and still i somehow manage to escape. And i don’t enjoy it either. But i am sure i could do it. And the funny thing is, i feel no regret. I see it as a set of instructions to be followed.

Add scissors to psychopath. Put mix in closed space with victims. Stir.

But of course i wouldn’t do it. Why should i? How could i?

Once more i successfully exchanged the most useful part of my day for a paycheck. How does that compare to the exchange of sunlight for neon tubes? At least now it’s night, it’s justified to have lights burning.

In the bus on the way home. Are the people in here because they believed the advertisements for a more environmentally friendly way to move around in the city or are they poor? Do they open the blinds in their office or do they prefer neon tubes instead?

I could grab the umbrella from the little old lady by the driver’s cabin, stick it in his throat and steer the bus into incoming traffic, killing everyone on board. That’s what you get for choosing neon lights.

As i walk away from my stop i find myself thinking if the faint lights on the bus’ roof are on during the day too but no one notices.

Pizza for dinner. Again. At least i’ll order it from the organic pizza place, get in touch with Mother Nature tonight.

One of the good things about embracing your loneliness is the depth of the introspection you reach. Which is quite telling, the need to deeply introspect to realize that you mean nothing in the world but perhaps worse, the world means nothing to you.

Does that count as an intrusive thought?

I could abandon all i take for granted, start my life anew, try and buy back all the sunlight hours i’ve sold away.

Sometimes i think that living in a war zone is the only way to make a triumph out of the fact that you survived a day. I am not in a war zone. I survive though.

I could start a war with somebody. Someone larger than me, give my life meaning that way, give myself all the scars that would mean something to me.

I’d better go to sleep, got to work tomorrow.