Monday, October 18, 2010

Simon Nicholls

Simon Nicholls hated his job, not his work he liked that. Especially the numbers, he loved crunching the data. It was the people he couldn’t stand. To Simon they were a vile and dreadful bunch, composed of back stabbers and tattletales. Not one he believed knew the definition of integrity or ethics. These people had soiled the office and everything in it for Simon. Their stink was on everything from the front door to the copy machine. Because of them he began to loath even the sight of the office when he drove by it on weekends.

The worst of the bunch was Al, god how he hated that man. Al was the VP of the reports and analysis division and Simon’s boss. A fancy title Simon thought for smooth talker and suck up. As far as Simon could figure Al’s time was spent at the gym, golf course, or at lunch meetings. Al’s only other duty was presenting the bi weekly reports (Simons work) to the big boys.

One Thursday night; Simon was driving home late from work. The air was so thick with mist he had to turn on the windshield wipers. He only saw and heard but a flash of the impact. Almost instantly he was knocked unconscious. His head bounced against the driver’s side window. The SUV was doing about 40 when it ran the red light. In a split second his little compact’s dash board buckled, windows smashed. The SUV was able to keep going and disappeared into the night. Simon’s car came to rest on its passenger side next to the street curb.

The first week in the hospital went by in a blur of images, nausea, and pain. Simon had a busted collier bone, facial fractures, and swelling of the brain. Other than that he was lucky to be alive. Simon didn’t have any friends and Since his mom had passed the year before he was out of family he spoke to. He was going to be stuck in the hospital for awhile. The doctors wanted to be keep him under observation until the edema went away.

The days were torturous on Simon’s mind. He needed his spread sheets, he needed to keep busy. Being immobile his only form of entertainment was a little TV with limited channels. Not being able to stand daytime television, he only switched it on for the evening news. Simon felt he would go mad before they let him out.

One day suffering from extreme boredom and restlessness he started to daydream. Looking at the rolling tray he noticed a single pea left over from lunch. Finding it amusing he started to concentrate attempting to move the pea with his mind. Two hours went by as he sat trying and thinking, trying and thinking. If it could be done what were you supposed to be thinking? about it moving? Or was it some extension of self; like the commands your brain gives your hands but through the ether, not your nervous system? He speculated

Then after an hour or so more, the pea moved. It was hardly noticeable but it moved he knew it did. Maybe I bumped the table? He tried again. The pea disappeared, Simon thought now he was going insane. After being quite amused with the idea he now felt uncomfortable. Wanting to think about something else he decided to turn the TV on. Simon forgot all about his experiment until after breakfast the next day. When he pushed the try away he saw bits of green smeared on the bed sheet. He put his hand under the tray and felt the dried crust of a smashed pea. It must have fallen onto the bed. he thought.

Two months went by after being released from the hospital. The office admin assistant sent him a “Get well” card with a generic note. Knowing she took care of such things it held no value to Simon and went straight to the trash. Though Simon had been working from home he hadn’t had much contact with anyone other than an email or two. Knowing he could do his job from home but was expected back in his cube when recovered pissed Simon off to no end.

Then the day came he got the ok from his doctor to go back to work. Simon had just gotten home from the appointment when the phone rang. “Hey pal, how you doing” it was Al. was he psychic on top of being an asshole? Simon mused. “Well I have been doing pretty good I….” “Listen Simon are you up to coming back, I want you at the Wednesday meeting next week.” The prick cut me off. Fuck no I am not up to coming back. Simon thought. But he knew there wasn’t any way to avoid the inevitable. “Sure, just got the doc’s ok today.” Simon replied. “Great I’ll see you Monday.” Al said and hung up the phone before Simon could say bye.

Monday and Tuesday passed without so much as a “welcome back” from anyone. That suited Simon fine he was happy to go back to being overlooked and left alone. When Wednesday came he was filled with anxiety. On top of that he felt that these meetings wasted his time. He wasn't needed there and if he was it was because something on Al’s bar graphs needed elaboration. He went into the meeting room early and sat down. Being early meant he didn’t get attention when he walked through the door.

After a few minutes everyone had arrived. Tony from marketing was the first presenter. His presentation was on a new product release. Simon found it boring but liked being reminded of the product. He found it funny you could work day in and out at a place and forget what your employer actually did, that they were a manufacturer etc... One of the sales guys got up then it was Al’s turn.

Simon felt the meeting was never going to end. The constant droning on about profits and expenditures wasn’t anything new. He tuned Al out as he thought to himself; why do I have to be here, this is such a waste of time. I was less board in the hospital, the hospital. An idea came to Simon. His thoughts went from wallowing to amusing himself. Let’s see if I concentrated can I make that soda can move. Could you imagine the looks on their faces if it shot across the boardroom table? Let’s give it a try. If the pea did move how did it work, focus, focus. Holy fuck, it moved. It moved a little! He couldn’t believe it, especially when he noticed he hadn’t just moved it. The can was stuck in the table a little.
This didn’t happen, it couldn’t. He thought.

He remembered where he was for a moment. Looking around he was relived no one seemed to be paying attention to him. Nope all’s attention is on Al and the gospel of profits. Can I move it to throw it away without drawing attention? He went to pick it up. The bottom corner of the can that was stuck came away easy turning to dust as he lifted. He thought if he wiped the dust up into an empty coffee cup then it will just appear as a nick in the wood. No one will point a dent in the table at him. He cleaned up the evidence and hid the can in his lap to throw in the trash on the way out.

Then a darker and empowering thought came to Simon. Why am I worried about if anyone noticed? If I am really able to do this with my mind how would they know it was me? Let’s try it, I am going to fuck with these assholes. But what can I do to send them running? He wondered. Al was off on a tangent trying to bring his presentation home. Then Simon noticed Al had both hands on the table. I couldn’t, um yeah I can, I hate this ass besides I’m probably just daydreaming this.

Simon focused on Al’s hands. Hmm, concentrate. To Simon's delight mayhem ensued. oh god look at that. He’s screaming like a girl. Oh don’t pull against the table Al. oh god it’s all liquefied below the wrist. Gross, Margret just puked. He’s flopping on the floor, look at all that blood. Henry just ran out screaming knocking Janice down on his way, too funny.

Some ran, some tried to help poor Al, but no one noticed Simon who sat smiling.

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