It’s 3:00 p.m. My alarm goes off. I hit snooze. I shut my eyes for what feels like only a few minutes. My alarm goes off again. I hit snooze. This process repeats itself ten times until I finally wake up at 4:50 p.m. I stayed up getting high and drinking until eight o’clock this morning. It’s a habit I’ve picked over the years that’s getting harder and harder to break. I get out of bed and stumble to the bathroom. I turn the light on and stare at myself in the mirror. I turn the tap on and brush my teeth. I throw up in the sink. The drain clogs and the sink fills with water and puke. I leave it like that and walk into the shower. I barely let the water splash my body before I turn it off and walk out. I towel dry myself and then I put on clothes. I smoke a bowl from my bong. I blow out the smoke and check the time. It’s already 5:40 p.m. I have to be at work for 6:00 p.m. I smoke another bowl and then another. I pack up my work bag. I put on my shoes. I walk out of the house. I light a cigarette. I walk to work.
I get to the grocery store by 6:13 p.m. I get inside and punch in. I walk over to the staff room and put on my uniform. I go out to the main floor and start walking around and doing my my job as if I’ve been there the whole time. I push shopping carts. I clean up the store and put away misplaced items. I straighten up the cereal aisle. Theres nothing much to do. This is weird because it’s busy inside the grocery store today. I continue to straighten up other aisles. I’ve been here for half an hour. Pretty soon I realize that someone else is doing my job as well. This explains why there isn’t much to do. I wave hello to the other person who is doing my job and then I walk away. I pretend to work for a little while longer. Soon I bump into my boss. He tells me to come meet him up in his office in five minutes. I say okay. I walk outside and smoke a cigarette. After five minutes I put out the cigarette and walk back inside. I go up to the boss’s office, foreseeing what’s about to happen.
I walk into his office and sit in a chair on the opposite side of him. There is a desk in between us. He puts three pieces of paper down on the desk. They are stapled together. He tells me that printed on the paper is a record of the amount of times I’ve been late for work this year. He says I’ve been late ninety-three times this year. I tell him that sounds right. He asks me if I have any excuses or a reason for being frequently late. I tell him no. I don’t. There is silence. It lasts for a few moments. Uncomfortable. He tells me he will have to take disciplinary action this time. I tell him I understand. He pulls out another piece of paper and starts filling out information on it. He talks to me while he does this. He tells me he will have to suspend me from work for three days. He says he doesn’t want to do this but he sees no other option at this point. I tell him that I understand. He finishes filling in information on the paper. He slides the paper over to me. He tells me to sign it. I sign the paper. He tells me that he hopes I can fix this problem in the future. He tells me that if I don’t, he will have to take more severe disciplinary actions. Meaning he will fire me. I tell him I understand. There is another silence. We stare at each other. Uncomfortable. Again. Always. He tells me I can go home now. I get up without saying a word and I walk out of his office.
I walk out of the store. It’s raining out. I have a smile on my face. I feel like I am fortunate in some way. I feel wealthy. I know this won’t be the last time I’m late for work. I will probably get fired. The idea kind of excites me. I light a cigarette and walk home.