“Would you like a glass of hot chocolate, dear?”
“No thank you. I’d rather have some banana pineapple coconut smoothie, please”
“Oh dear, don’t be silly. I’ll get you your hot chocolate.”
He sighed. There was no point in fighting with his wife when it comes to his nightcap. Even after all these years, it’s always a glass of hot chocolate and a biscuit, occasionally a glass of warm full cream milk, that was to welcome him whilst he’s doing his job. I’m not sure the man hates the job, but after a couple or so years of going through dozens of lists each year and genuinely giving a lot of thoughts to each and every number on the lists, I can surely conclude that the man is in a dire need of a break.
He had given the idea of a break more than he can actually care to count, but his wife kept telling him that this is not the kind of job that one took a break from. This is a lifelong commitment kind of job. A lot of people depend on him, and he ought to be proud about it, says his wife.
Proud of what? They forgot that I exist for most, if not all, of the year. Then on the very last minute, they all try to be on my good grace and expecting that I’ll remember their good deeds. It’s not like I care about whatever it is that they do, I’m merely doing my job; following the orders that have been set up by the big boss.
Well, he always ended up complaining, even more so as he grew older, not that he ever felt young before in his life. Surprisingly, or not, he never quite able to remember his younger years. It is as if the moment he woke up, he has always been old and has been doing this job for as long as he could remember. Odd, isn’t it? I genuinely don’t know, to be quite honest; my job here was to tell you a story. So, let me continue.
If he had to be honest, as tedious this job was to him, it was not the hardest job; even though it is quite clear he has no other job to compare this one with, so maybe we shouldn’t take his word then.
But it’s true. It’s not that hard. It’s tedious, sure, and it can be quite boring and frustrating at times. Especially when I’m trying to be discreet and, let’s just say it’s not always easy to be discreet. I also have a lot of helper who are always ready to offer their services at my beck and call. Did you know that I have chauffeurs too? More than one! I have many chauffeurs driving me to places. So, I may not have any other job to compare with this one, but surely this wasn’t that much of a hard job, right?
I believe telling the story about this man is going to be hard if he is going to interrupt me every time he feels like it. Will you let me tell your story? I promise this is a good one. Okay, where was I? Oh, right! With all the perks offered by the job, one can assume the job was indeed not that hard. One is only expected to be meticulous and patient, two traits that clearly he possessed. No one actually know for sure how he was chosen to do this job, least of all himself, but everyone seems to agree there was no other person much more suitable than him for this job.
On a day like any other day, he had just finished his last round of tour for the year. He was no longer surprised by the fact that he never quite feel tiredness from all his trips. His wife said, it must have been the milk and biscuits that he ate that kept his energy going.
Hardly! The only thing the milk and biscuits ever did to me is giving me this huge belly. Not that I’m complaining, of course. This belly actually is very useful in keeping me warm. You’ve seen where I live, proper cold all year round. Oh, sorry, was I interrupting again? Do go on, then.
As I was trying to say before I was cut abruptly, he never felt tired from all of his trips. But, that day was different; he was properly bored, so bored he hate the sight of his usual glass of milk and biscuits. He wanted everything to just stop, at least for one day. He really don’t want to start the year with clean papers, making tables over tables over tables and then spending the rest of the year filling out those tables, keeping tabs on everyone. He also don’t want anymore of those biscuits and glass of milk, however delicious the biscuits may be. He wants his helper to stop working and take some rest. Proper rest. No more dilly dally waiting for him to finish his tables. He really was incredibly bored with the routine. He wants a vacation. A real vacation, where he can have actual fun instead of having his helper asked him to finish the tables so they can all start production.
That was this morning wasn’t it? You’re telling the story from this morning… Oh bugger, I’ve cut you again, haven’t I? Please continue.
Alright, I can’t take being rudely interrupted again. I’m just going to be quick and efficient, it’s not like I don’t have anything else to do. You do know that the beginning of the year is my shift, right? Things are going to be crazy for the next two months. Alright, here’s your ticket, if you want to go the mortal way, I’ve also prepared documents for you so as not to raise any suspicions. I’ve made one for the missus also. Without further ado, enjoy your vacation in Bora Bora, Santa.
Is this for real? Finally! Proper vacation! Well, can I go now? I sure can. Thank you for the narration. Very sorry I rudely interrupt you. Good luck for the next few months, Cupid!
Jakarta, 20 January 2017
A fiction inspired by this prompt from PROMPTUARIUM.