Curmudgeon For a Day

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Meet Bruce McGee, a nice, quiet, average man living in New York City. He leads a comfortable life: a good job, a good family, and is engaged to the love of his life. Suddenly, a week before his wedding day, his fiancée leaves him without notice. As the days and months follow, his comfortable life comes crashing down, and eventually, he is left with nothing. Bruce falls into a deep depression, where he reflects upon the choices he has made and the reasons why he lost everything. One night, however, Bruce snaps, and a once-nice man is about to transform into something radically different...

Humor / Drama
Age Rating:

Some Good Advice From the Police

Bruce McGee drifts off to sleep just a few minutes before 10 PM in his 30th-floor condominium overlooking the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan on an ice-cold December Sunday evening. He curls his 250-pound, hairy, flabby core underneath his thick, gray, duvet wrinkled like a piece of scrap paper.

He hasn’t made his bed in six months. The duvet has been crinkled for what seems like an eternity. Bruce shuts his bright brown eyes, furrows the stubble on his faded-brown beard with a few stray white hairs sprinkled about, and fruitlessly attempts to drift off to sleep. The beige mattress covers underneath are laden with sweat and ejaculation stains, and the memory foam pillow has turned yellow due to a lack of covers.

Bruce is in a deep depression, symbolized not only by his unwillingness to neatly tidy up his bed, but by his utter refusal to turn on any lights in his condo, even at night. In fact, when the 70-inch 4K ultra-HD TV mounted to the silver drywall of his bedroom is turned on, the flashing colors on the screen provides the only artificial illumination anywhere in his home at any time. He hasn’t spoken with nor seen any of his family or friends in the past five weeks, and he hasn’t returned any phone calls, text messages, or emails, some of which have expressed deep concern for his well-being. Bruce just no longer cared. The white noise of a football game broadcast, complete with commentary and crowd noise, helps Bruce drift into a comatose slumber. Sleep is one of his little solaces in life - and his only hobby aside from binge-watching TV.

Six months ago, Bruce’s life changed forever. His fiancée, Karen, with whom he was poised to wed exactly one weekend from this day, left him. On a rainy Monday morning, while Bruce was happily perched at his trading post just steps away from the New York Stock Exchange, Karen, whom had been living with Bruce for the past two years, gathered up all of her belongings, including the furniture she had purchased for the apartment, and departed without warning nor declaration to her fiancée that she had a modicum of desire to terminate their relationship.

For a month following their separation, Karen refused to return any of Bruce’s 245 phone calls, nor reply to his 55 voice messages or 133 text messages. Bruce also typed an email to her that may as well have been the treatment for a movie about some cheesy break-up story, complete with mea culpas, idle threats, and overzealous begging. It took him nearly six hours to type. Three days after Karen’s disappearance, and after not hearing from any of her friends or family members and following hours of constantly refreshing her Facebook profile for a status update, Bruce filed a missing person’s report. A day later, police got back to him. When he received the news, Bruce no longer felt fearful for Karen’s life. Instead, he felt indignant that their relationship did not end immediately after it started.

Bruce focused his full attention on his phone’s receiver when he received the call, postured upright in anticipation of what he was about to be told.

“Mr. McGee, this is officer Buckhorn of the NYPD, 25th Precinct. We have some information on the missing person’s report you filed on one Karen Gork.”

“Yes, sir,” he eagerly replied as if we were obeying a drill sergeant.

“Yes, um, well, there is some good news, Mr. McGee,” Officer Buckhorn strangely stammered. He didn’t sound like a man ready to confirm good news. “Ms. Gork is alive and well. We were able to reach her by telephone yesterday.”

Bruce was stunned, not only because he was thrilled Karen was alive, but not physically harmed. “Is she okay physically?!” Bruce asked.

“Yes, sir,” Officer Buckhorn replied. “In fact, there is no record of Ms. Gork receiving medical treatment nor being admitted to a hospital.”

“Where is she now?” Bruce desperately pled.

“I’m sorry, Mr. McGee, I can’t confirm that information.”

“With all due respect, Officer, I am her fiancée. I think I have a right to know!”

“Mr. McGee, due to privacy laws, I am not permitted to divulge that information.”

“I don’t believe this.”

“I’m terribly sorry, sir. The only thing I can do for you is confirm that Ms. Gonk is alive.”

“Ummmm, yeah, thank you sir. There’s nothing else you can tell me?”

A pause ensued. Bruce’s heart fluttered as Officer Buckhorn delivered a somber yet blunt response: “Listen, pal, if I was you, I’d remember one of the greatest truths society has ever produced: there’s plenty of pussy in this world. Move on. Have a great day, Mr. McGee.”

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