Ceiling Gazing

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"'Oh, these Denver Doldrums!'"

The night shift can be excellent or total shit. It really depends on three things.

One, If the boss is in. This is the smallest one because he's a forty-one year old dude with three kids, a wife and a receding hair line that concerns him far more than if I'm doing my job at peak efficiency from ten at night to six in the morning. Two, if there is anyone in the joint and if so, how and what kind of crazy are they. This, also not a big problem but one that requires an effort, however minimal, on my part. As long as they aren't dangerously crazy, it's business as usual. Three, when I run out of either cigarettes or booze.

Now, you may be thinking "What the hell are you doing drinking on the job?" or maybe "No wonder you're where you are!" but stop for a minute and think of where I really am. When's the last time you were going to the laundry mat at two in the morning? And further to the point if you see the young man sitting behind the counter at two in the morning, you're going to think I'm high anyway.

Tonight, well tonight. We just went down the shit list and got extra doses of all of it. I ran out of cigarettes and the liquor store was closed today. My boss, Danny, and his wife, Camilla. Were both in, the reason why being related to the second item on my list. As soon as I punched my card a guy brought a bag in and started putting turkeys into the washing machine. Whole. God damn. Cook-and-serve-to-the family. Sixteen pound. Turkeys. Then plopped down on the floor in front of the washer and started laughing like a little girl. Just the way you wanted to start off your shift. I called Danny and he called the cops. They got here right after the man's first spin cycle was through and he was about to put the birds in the dryer.

"Down town Denver, what can you do." the cop tells Danny as his partner gets the guy and the birds, for evidence, into the back of the cruiser.

Danny shrugs, "Wring them out and serve them to the in-laws?" his tongue in cheek comment garnered a single, gruff bark of a laugh from the cop and an elbow to the ribs from the missus.

"Thank you so much Officer," Camilla made sure to bat her eyelashes extra hard at him, "I was so worried when Nick, the man behind the counter, called in and tried to explain what was happening."

As she continued to flirt with the cop, as it is always good to have some rapport with the authorities around here, Danny broke off to come talk with me, "He just walked in and threw 'em in?"

"Yep, I couldn't believe it, didn't put any broth in it or anything!"

"Numb skull," Danny shook his head "Why don't you take the rest of the night off Nick? I'm going to close up since it reeks in here, pull the washer, and leave a message for the repair guy."

"Alright boss, want help getting it to the back room before I leave?"

"Yeah, thanks."

After we moved the fowl, sorry I couldn't resist, smelling machine in the back I said goodbye and went home. Returning to my haunting grounds.

Walking home is irksome to me, I have to walk past a life that I'm no longer living. I see this little clips of all the moments I had with her as I walk alone. I walk past myself as I was falling in love.

I get home to an bed empty except for the other ghost that live with me. Sleep eludes me again.



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