The congested apartment was quiet but also filled with panic as Mr. Bloom paced frantically to put all his items in place for the morning. He scrammed to drape his newly washed and iron dress pants on the head of the chair in his bedroom. He hurried to put his pristine white shirt on a hanger in his closet and his recently polished brown leather shoes right by his bedside. Bill Bloom would often anxiously and meticulously do this before an important day. It was currently 11:00 p.m. or in Bloom’s house 11:28 p.m. Every watch, clock, TV, fridge and any other timekeeping device was always set 28 minutes ahead. Bill believed this was the optimal amount of time for him to trick himself to always be perfectly punctual.
Besides getting his clothes in order Bill felt it was necessary to dust his kitchen countertop, fluff his pillows, mop his floors and clean his bathroom. Everything needed to be perfect tomorrow as he always told himself, “a home that’s in order is a person that’s in order and a person that’s in order has a life that’s in order”. After finishing cleaning his crammed little apartment suite, bloom knew it was paramount to be in bed by at least 11:48 or 11:48 minus 28 minutes. This would give him exactly eight hours of sleep, so he could be well rested for 7:48 a.m. alarm. So, Bloom did just that and calculatedly set himself in bed and slept.
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Beep! Beep! Beep! The brutal sound of his alarm woke Bill Bloom from his slumber. He looked over to silence the screaming bedside clock. It was 7:51 or 7:23, normal people time. Bill already felt off schedule and in a rush. How could he have taken so long to wake up, he thought. Bill frantically climbed out of bed. As he arose his foot sunk into water. Sploosh! The floor was filled almost to ankle height with water. Bill plunged into the shallow pool that was now his apartment floor. Bill did not know how to react. His mind zoomed all over the place as he tried to get his things in order. He asked himself, “did I leave the tap on before I went to bed?” as he fished out his shoes from the pool. “Did I clog the toilet during my sleep?” he pondered as he got the rest of his suit together. Besides thinking about his destructive nocturnal bowel movements, Bill knew there was still no time to waste. With haste, he tried to delicately put on his trousers without getting them too wet and his watch along with the rest of his wardrobe. As he collected his briefcase, he decided his best plan of action was to go on the tops of his furniture to avoid the flooded floor. He first traversed a top his office chair, then jumped toward the desk nearby before attempting a final jump out of his bedroom and into the non-flooded hallway. Bloom slipped after scurrying across the desk and landed straight in the perilous water. His suit was now soaked with water and Bill harped on his miscalculated leap. Eventually Bill managed to leave his swimming pool for a house, dripping wet from his excellent dive. His drenched pants were a constant reminder of his prior mistake.
Bill proceeded on, continuing his daily routine no matter how bad of a start it was off to. He marched quickly but robotically through the tight walls of the apartment foyer. Moments later, he arrived at the basement parkade. His car was alone, parked far away from all of the other dirty, large and damaged cars in the lot. Bloom made sure that his car was always in mint condition. He cleaned and cared for it every week; the black coupe was always spotless. Bill entered the car, moving delicately to not get the car too wet. Bloom’s keys dangled as they entered the ignition. He kept very few keys and made sure each key was of similar weight and size. As the keys twisted to start the car, the engine muttered a loud “put” and nothing more. Bewildered, Bloom attempted another time. Again, the coupe sputtered and murmured to no avail. The car and the man inside it were both exhausted from the very many further attempts to get it to start. “How could this have happened”, Bloom exasperated. “Did I get forget to check the car this week”? “Did I kill the car battery?” It was now 8:21 or 7:53 normal time, Bloom knew he still had no time to waste. He would have to worry about his faulty car later.
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Bloom sat annoyed at his circumstances. The bus was set to come in 15 minutes, and he had to be at his meeting at 9:58 a.m.—his time. It was currently 8:45, A 20-minute bus ride would still give himself ample time to get situated and be punctual. Bloom, however, was impatient and still upset about how his morning went. He paced anxiously around the bus station. In the midst of his angst, he realized he did not eat breakfast or have his usual morning coffee. So he proceeded to inspect the vending machine stationed in the waiting area of the bus stop. He scanned the various glowing selections of the apparatus looking for an item that would satiate his hungry but wouldn’t make him bloated for his meeting. Eventually, he decided that he wanted the double pack of chocolate chip cookies. He had a pretty rough morning and he felt that he probably deserved a snack. Bloom searched his pockets for the $2.50 that the cookies cost. After much deliberation his pockets eventually coughed up two dollars and two quarters. Bill found the coin slot and slipped in his cash. The coins jangled as they fell to the bottom of the machine. He then pushed the buttons 1 and 3, eagerly waiting for his cookies. The machine, however, gave out no cookies at all. Angrily, Mr. Bloom hit the machine demanding for his cookies. Bloom was left peckish and annoyed. He felt at the very least he could get coffee in his system. So, he went to the adjacent coffee machine pressing the buttons to confirm his order, then placing his cup under the coffee dispenser. The tall brown machine shook as Bill, yet again gave it his money. The dumb old machine tremored as it tried to dispense the coffee. After much deliberation, the hot brown liquid spewed out of the dispenser in a diabolical manner. Coffee erupted everywhere and by the end, Bill’s pristine shirt and jacket were drenched. Bloom sat bewildered on the cold bench in front of the bus stop, still dripping wet of coffee. His pants were also still somewhat damp from his morning swim. Bloom frantically tried to clean his tarnished garments with some small paper towels that he always kept in his briefcase.
“Not having a very good morning?” a voice beside Bill questioned.
Bill looked over to see a rugged man dressed in an ugly patterned short sleeve button up and a tie with bright pink flamingos on it. He was rather short and carried around a hefty gut. He had a stubbled face and a balding head.
“Looks like that coffee machine did a number on you, you don’t look too hot” the man said.
“Have you gotten a good look at yourself?” Bloom responded.
“I don’t know which side of the bed is the wrong one for you, but I have a funny feeling that’s were you woke up” replied the man.
“That’s very insightful of you. Yes, if you couldn’t tell this wasn’t the best of mornings”.
“I feel ya brother, this hasn’t been the best of weeks for myself either. Make that the best of months”.
“Oh really” Bill said disinterestedly.
“Yeah well for starters, my business isn’t doing too well, I can’t make ends meet, my dog died, and my wife just kicked me out of the house. So, it really hasn’t been a fantastic time. Sometimes life just comes out you like that and its out of your control. Rarely ever do we get control of anything ourselves”.
“Speak for yourself, I think there’s a lot we can do to control our lives. You just aren’t making the right choices”.
“Who said we have a choice in anything? Things just happen against our will. Its funny really how life can just happen. Sometimes I just have to sit back and laugh, that’s all you can do really”.
“Well I don’t think you have a very good sense of humour”.
“Funny you say that, actually I’m shipping off to become a comedian. Figured why not laugh at the world for a living”.
“Well isn’t that lovely”.
Bloom anxiously looked at his wristwatch, it was 9:15 a.m.
“The bus should surely be here by now shouldn’t it?” he exclaimed.
“It’ll get here when it gets here, I imagine” the comedian said.
“It’s 15 minutes late! I cannot afford to sit here and wait any longer!”
“Look it’ll get here in a couple more minutes just wait and I’m sure it’ll arrive”.
“Listen here, this is playing with time I do not have. If I even have to wait 5 more minutes, I will probably be late! I’m better off running there!”
And that is exactly what Bloom got up and did. He trudged off and proceeded to jog with hid briefcase and still with his stained shirt and damp ankles.
Bill’s jog turned into a sprint after he realized how little time he had to get to work. He raced down the crammed city streets filled with loud traffic and the hustle and bustle of others trying to get to work. The sun blared on Bloom as he sprinted along the sidewalk. The towering buildings of the city almost taunted Bloom with their grand stature. After what seemed like a lifetime of lung-bursting running, Bloom had arrived. His forehead was now dripping with sweat. His slate suit pants were not as damp anymore, but they still left an awkward stain and his shirt was still coated in coffee. Bill approached his coveted office building but just as he left the sidewalk his foot plunged straight into a muddy puddle. Mud and brown water splashed everywhere and landed on just about every part of Bill’s once flawless suit. His shoes were now tarnished, his pants were dirtied all over and his shirt was damaged beyond repair. Some of the projectile mud even landed on Bill’s head, creating his very own dirt dunce cap.
Bill panted and was exhausted but what mattered was he was finally there. He was still left devoid of feeling after all his misfortune throughout the day. The only thing that he held on to was that he finally arrived at his work. He glanced at his watch and it was 9:51 a.m. “Record time” he thought. He had 7 minutes to collect himself, to collect himself, freshen up and then go through with his important meeting. Although something felt off about his work. He saw that there were no cars in the parking lot, no lights in the building, no signs of life at all.
Bill sat in the meeting room prepared and somewhat cleaned up. He was ready, however he still paced frantically waiting for his peers to show. Seconds turned to minutes and minutes turned to hours. Eventually, it was 5:28 p.m., the end of the day at his job. Bloom was left bewildered; surely this was a prank or some scheduling error. “9:30”, he pondered, “9:30”. The presentation was supposed to happen at 9:30 and it wasn’t to last longer than an hour. Why was no one there? Did he miss some memo, perhaps forget a company directive? Today wasn’t a civic holiday, was it? No, he thought it was scheduled for 9:30 or 9:58 his time.
Bill eventually left the empty and void of life building, feeling rather and empty and void of life himself. He really didn’t know what to do. His mind was still racing with thoughts and questions. His body wandered through a nearby park as his mind was left thinking. The park seemed completely separate from the concrete jungle of the city. It was spacious and vast, free of confinement. Bill noticed he felt lighter, yet more complete here. His mind was distracted by the bright blue sky, sparse of clouds and ever ongoing. As he tried to rationalize what happened today, he noticed an orchard of perfectly arranged flowers, a myriad of white peonies, pink lilies and blue violets. As he strolled further, he saw a great old oak tree, who’s branches seemed to reach out forever. It was massive and gothic yet beautiful. Its trunk was thick and firm, the leaves of the tree were as green as ever and they almost shone against the bright light of the sun. Bloom noticed it was rather warm but not too humid, the wind was mild, and the air was comfortable. Bill was now moving at a meditative saunter. He became content with just existing for once. On the sidewalk against the waterfront, Bill observed a family all riding scooters. They laughed at each other as they all attempted their unusual method of travel. Each fall, crash, and mistake became funnier than the last. Bloom smiled at the odd scooter family and proceeded closer to the waterfront. He stepped over the little barrier that separated the paved walkway from the rock filled waterfront. The water was remarkably blue that day and Bill admired the almost eternal nature of the lake. The water was usually choppy and frenetic, its great waves would sometimes eclipse most of the beach, splashing everywhere. However, in that moment as Bill looked, the chaotic water stood still, perfectly calm and at peace. As Bill gazed into the eyes of the water he began to laugh. He laughed and laughed, almost hysterically, one would think that someone fell off their scooter again. Bill, however, was in hysteria over something else. He finally realized that today was the second Sunday of March, more specifically Daylight-Savings.
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