Wednesday, February 21, 2007

how obnoxious

Walking through the woods James was wishing he had his umbrella with him. The morning dew was covering the trees so much it was dripping off like rain.
James was thinking. His brain was pondering over whether or not he should quit his job. I've worked their for 23 years and now I have been asked if I want early retirement. What an insult.
"I am not ready to retire!" James exclaimed into the fresh morning air. A few birds fluttered by startled by his outburst. Their fresh red and yellow specks aggravated James; he felt as used up as the egg shells they had hatched from months before.
Walking back towards his house James noticed his wife had already begun her Saturday morning routine. The clothes were already hanging up to dry in the back yard and he could smell the bacon that she soaked in maple syrup. Her cooking was always perfect on Saturdays.
James could hear the logging trucks already lumbering up the hill towards the mountain. Those men have real jobs, James thought to himself. They will work until their bodies can't take it anymore and then they will retire. Not like me, computers seem to not have a use for anyone over the age of 50 anymore. We don't learn fast enough, I guess.
"James! Breakfast is ready!" James' wife yelled to him from the porch.
James waved at her absent mindedly as he walked up the grassy hill in front of his house. It was a sturdy house, one that he had designed and partially built himself. Two stories with a full basement sure sounded like the end all when I was 32, James thought. Since building the house James had added a garage, a separate art studio for his wife and a separate building originally intended as a place to keep his tractor in the winter but had now been converted to house his 15 year old son's drum set. Anything to keep the noise out of the house.
"What's for breakfast?" James asked walking into the kitchen.
"Bacon and eggs, you can make some toast if you want."
"That's ok, I'm a little burnt out on toast." James chuckled.
James sat down to breakfast and looked at the front page of the Saturday Chronicle. "American AeroComp Land on Mars" the headline read. I designed the computer that lands that damn contraption and they want to offer me "early retirement". What James thought wasn't entirely true, he was on the team that designed the computer for an earlier mission and was the project manager for this particular missions' landing computer. What bothered him most was that they seemed to treat him less like an employee and more like an old man. Especially since one of the younger guys at the office had found out he was offered early retirement and circulated the rumor that he was retiring. By the time James had heard it he was just finding out that he was dying of cancer from some 26 year old programmer.
James wife noticed him reading the paper and remarked, "That's exciting isn't it hun?"
"Not for me," James grumbled. Why would a corporation landing on Mars be exciting.
Finishing his coffee, James washed his dishes and went downstairs to be alone with his computer. It had been giving him problems lately and James was afraid he was going to have to start over. He had built it out of old parts for his wife to use in the kitchen. All of its parts were outdated, they had been sitting down here for at least a year, but his wife didn't care, as long as she could look up the recipes without running up and down the stairs to check measurements.
James looked out the window of his basement. The sun had cleared the trees and the dew was steaming off them. A slow breeze blew through the pines, spring was coming, James sighed.

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