A man once sang about 18 tons and souls owed to company stores. Watching the city below I could viscerally feel his pain. He in his miner get up, me in the sweat stained clothes I wear under my clean suit. He had his coal mine, I have my semiconductor factory.
Below the city was bustling. The station was a huge interchange between two lines, and people from all corners came here to live life, or just change trains on the way home like me. I yawned, bored by the cityscape, bored by life- or maybe just too tired to really think. Another twelve hour day. Only one day off every two weeks. What the fuck kind of life is this?
I lived and worked an hour apart too. How the fuck was that supposed to work out? Changing trains at the busiest interchange in the fucking city too. Some planning there, but with unemployment this high I should be happy I have anything, right?
I watched a few trains come and go, waiting for the crowds to thin from super dense crush load to just normal crush load. The evening was warm and the elevated station had a good breeze. I could smell some street food cooking below, my stomach reminded me that I was alive and needed sustenance, but I bid it wait, food would be at home.
The lights of the city were a blur on the half hour ride home. The walk from the station was pleasant enough, another bland collection of streets near a station, nothing special. My apartment was another bland box in a collection of bland boxes, stacked in a way that could only get a control freak hard. If there is such a thing as negative aesthetic beauty, this is it. At least I have a house in a bad housing market, right? Just be sure to pay the exorbitant rent on time or you’ll be out on your ass mother fucker.
The apartment was dark, and I didn’t bother with the lights. I opened the fridge and the room took on the white glow of the bulb within. I saw my pale arms, forever denied sunlight during my day long shift in a windowless plant. The appendages reached into the cold to grab the entire contents of the fridge- two beers first, then some left over rice. I sat down in the dark and played some music on my phone. I cracked a beer and began to eat the cold rice, no need to warm it up, it’s gonna be a shitty meal either way.
The rhythm soothed but only so much. A news notification flashed and I saw the time. Fuck. Six hours till I need to wake up again for more of this shit. I shook my head. Fuck this shit.
I set the cold takeout food container on the table and watched the lights of the apartment complex come in the window of my sorry room. I cracked the second beer and took it down. If this is really what it’s like to be lucky in this economy, I think I might prefer to be fucked.