Alarm Clock
Papers of different weight and with different surfaces covered the kitchen table, showing pictures from the last months...black and white pictures, some portrait and a bunch of street photography.
They were far from being perfect, after all it was only in the last year that he’s been printing his own pictures.
In a corner, a fast lunch has been cannibalized minutes before. A lonely lunch, in this case, and a dish, some bread, a fork and half glass of wine were left there.
Time was too tight to lose it on housekeeping.
The alarm clock ringed as a scream, it was supposed to be wake up time, even if it was 9:00 pm. That’s what happens when you work on turns, day or night in a routine...you end up eating and sleeping without rules, often guessing which day are you in.
It happened a couple of times that he went to work when he was supposed to stay home, or the opposite...one week in an hour, the next one a different one, night time in the third week, early morning in the fourth, one day a week of rest.
This goes one forever for a lot of people.
He opened the shower water, hot, and closed the door, to make the bathroom comfortable for a quite longer shower before going out in the winter night and drive to work. The bathroom was really little and it was a question of minutes transforming it in a thermal-like room.
The alarm clock ringed again as a rape. That’s if he would have fallen asleep. The colleagues would not be happy if he’s late on the turn change...but it was impossible to fall asleep again since he didn’t sleep at all, he could stand days without sleeping long, he was young.
He gave a quick check to the negatives that he left to dry the day before, guessing how the final prints would be, but now it was really time to go, free time was ended. That was a typical situation in his life, he was always out of time. As he entered the shower he guessed that probably he did a lot of wonderful things but always in the wrong moments.
He went away from home at 17, fell in love young, and his daughter came unexpected as a gift in a casual day. That means responsibilities, bills, house, car...all that sort of things. He dreamed different things, he felt the urge of expression and the situation he was thrown in it was hard to accept.
It was a hard worker that could stand years for his projects and be dedicated enough to see the end of it.
But something was changing...he could not stand anymore of his job, of his boss being so rude and uneducated with everyone, keeping screaming. He hated football discussions he had nothing to say in. Sometime work was so rude and hard and supervisors were getting mad with workers, suddenly he thinked again at a scene of an adjustable wrench thrown in his direction after he failed to avoiding the press machine to stop again and again. He remembered that he was trying his best.
In those days he was shy, and thin....nothing close to what came later. He was getting red-faced in those situation. Different people were thinking of him as a talented worker, there, anyway and maybe that was real.
As he drove the half hour in the night he started thinking again that he was wasting life, that most people was doing the same, working their asses to buy things they don’t need and that maybe there was an escape from this without being stupid, with a little bit of sacrifice, luck, skills and help. These thoughts were fighting with the fear of failure, with the example of a father that worked 40 years in the same place and with the fear of hurting his family doing another move in the wrong moment.
As he entered the smell of cleaning chemicals got him as a spider web, noise was horrible and the placed looked dirty and dusty, even if it was exactly like everyday.
Benches of paper were everywhere and people looked little between them. He listened distracted to a short talk about the work progress and started taking control of the machine.
As his friend walked to the restroom he gave him a quick look to see him surrounded from cigarette smoke, then checked the ink tank to be sure it was not left empty.
As he walked to the other side of the Heidelberg Speedmaster printing machine to say hello to the other companions for the night, he remembered that the washing machine at home was left full and wet for the third day in a row.
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