Chance favors the prepared mind.
What’s long and hard on a Brutor? I thought to myself. Third shift. It was the current joke making its way through the ranks; an attempt at levity to lighten the mood we were all experiencing. Military life wasn’t easy; it wasn’t meant to be, but it was tiring. I had just finished pulling another sixty hours straight, and was sorely feeling it. After a quick bite of dinner, I had returned to my quarters and was enjoying a long, hot shower before collapsing onto my bunk.
Sleep came quickly, as did the dreams.
I was younger, in my mid thirties, sitting at a desk, typing at a screen. The technology looked archaic, but I was fascinated as I watched the words appear on the screen; they were the very thoughts I was thinking being transcribed as they entered my mind.
I was sitting at work, that much I knew, and it was a Friday. I was exhausted and frustrated by a great many things. There was a coworker sitting beside me that disgusted me, and not just his appearance, though that would be enough to make anyone want to lose their lunch. He was obesely fat, probably around 300 – 320 lbs, and about six feet tall. His weight was all in his distended stomach; it just hung from his body. His shirts didn’t hide it; it was always there. He was quite unattractive as well, eyes set too close together, poorly shaved head, and he stank. From his arrival in the morning until the time he left at night, he wheezed. I’m sure the three flights of stairs it took to get to our office didn’t help, but even just sitting there, his stomach dripping over the edge of his desk, he wheezed like a man who had run one hundred miles. I swore any minute he’d just up and die, and a part of me felt guilty at the joy that thought gave. There was a small fan on his desk, pointed my way, blowing the overpowering scent of his body odour at me. It literally made me gag. And when he spoke at me, he was condescending in everything he said, as if speaking to an ignorant child, and I knew that it was what he thought of me. I did my best to simply ignore him, to go on about my work day as if he didn’t exist, yet the fact of his existence alone filled my mind with venomous fury. He was a programmer, albeit a piss poor one, with no advanced abilities and no eye for detail. To talk to him though, once you got by his stuttering and fear of people, you would think he was the greatest thing to ever happen to programming. If only he could meet my friend Sam, I thought to myself, that would put his fat ass in its place.
Yet there I sat, typing away. I didn’t understand it. If this behemoth slob irritated me so damn much, why didn’t I do something about it? Then I remembered I had tried. I had spoken with my manager first, then with him and Human Resources about it, only to be left disheartened. The company I worked for seemed more interested in covering its own ass than doing anything about its employees happiness. Fine, why didn’t I take care of it myself? It would be simple to just drive the heel of my foot through his knee. I had seen him walking enough times to know that his knees were incredibly weak from sustaining the bulk of his gut. I mean, his arms flapped like a toy soldier when he walked. It was almost comical if it wasn’t so revolting. Of course, I couldn’t shatter his knee. I would get fired. I would get arrested.
My thoughts were so very conflicting. In my dream I wasn’t who I am, a capsuleer, one of the universe’s elite. I was simply a man, a frustrated man who had decided to simply be nice to the fat fuck I worked with, to just be the bigger man… you know what I mean.
I could hear Sam laughing at me.
I woke up with a start, drenched in sweat. I stood up from my bunk, leaning my hands on either side of my mirror. I took a good look at myself, contemplating what the dream could’ve meant, and why it left me feeling so impotent and disturbed.
One interpretation of the dream was clear; no more pizza for me before going to sleep.