Decided to do something different today…just finished the first draft of “Daydream Believer”, and now I’ll put it aside to percolate before I go back to it and make any changes or revisions.
What’s different is that as I typed the last word, I noticed the word count at the bottom.
The year I was born.
So, as a birthday present for those who come and read these ramblings, how about we post that first draft right here for you to (hopefully) enjoy?
She never heard me coming.
Nope that miserable bitch was too busy yammering in her never-ending diatribe on the phone, just as she did each and every fucking day. I strolled up calmly behind her, flicking open the straight razor in my right hand.
As I reached around to drag the blade across her throat, I lifted my leg and pressed my knee against the back of her chair, knowing I’d need to dig deep to get through the layers of fat. As my knee hit the back of the chair, I yanked her hair back and drew the blade across her exposed throat as hard as I could.
The blade dug deeper than I’d expected and I was rewarded with an incredible spray of blood when her jugular was severed. The cordless phone fell to the ground, shattering as she gurgled, drowning in her own…
“Joe? Earth to Joe!”
“Huh? Oh, sorry. I didn’t, I mean…”
“I know you didn’t hear me. I don’t know where you go off to, Joe, but when you go there, you are gone. Listen, Sam is on the warpath about his damned numbers again, so keep yourself ready in case he pops in without warning.”
“Thanks, Julie. I think I’m on target, but I’ll check it and have it handy in case he comes around snooping. I appreciate the warning.”
“You’re welcome, but it’s not your sales I’m worried about. Don’t let him catch you thinking or daydreaming or whatever it is you do when you fade out like that. He’d go off like a cannon, especially as angry as he is today. I have to get back to my cube, but stay focused for your own sake.”
“Thanks again. Will do.”
Julie went back to her cubicle and I stood up, knees cracking. I brought my glass to the cooler and filled it with cold spring water. I took a deep sip, topped it off, and returned to my own cubicle.
I opened my calendar on the computer and checked to see if I had any calls scheduled, but found none. I opened the file of potential clients and checked the current market stats so I could adjust my spreadsheet formulas and have accurate numbers in front of me before I made my first call.
I got a recorded greeting, waited for the proverbial beep, and left a message in my best radio announcer voice, dropping the name of one of my clients that my prospect would know well, and asked if they might call me back when convenient. I knew he’d speak with my client and would likely return my call.
I began updating my notes when Sam spoke from behind me.
“Joe, I wish you could clone that smooth delivery to some of these drones. The way some of them fumble, it’s no wonder we’re in the shitter.”
“Oh, hi Sam. That’s odd, I thought we were in the black this quarter.”
“We are, but barely so. They’re pushing me for double digit gains, which we don’t have.”
“Is that realistic, especially in this climate?”
“Doesn’t matter. It’s what the head office wants, which does matter. How are your prospects looking?”
“I have a couple renewals lined up and I’m networking to see if I can expand the base before quarter end.”
“Good, good. Is everything else all right?”
“Sure, why do you ask?”
“I’ve heard you seem preoccupied these days, Joe. Just want to make sure you’re bringing your A game.”
“Everything is fine, Sam. Nothing to worry about.”
Sam nodded and backed out of the cube, making his way toward the elevator as I shook my head. He didn’t give a rat’s ass about how I was doing, he just wants to insure a steady climb in his gross margin. Miserable prick, I thought as I sat down and imagined myself walking into Sam’s office and slamming that oak door closed behind me.
I’d say nothing, just grin silently from ear to ear as I raised my hand with the claw hammer and slam that claw down into the gleaming crown of his bald head as hard as I could, laughing as his hands and feet began that spastic jitter once the signals from the brain were severed and short circuited.
“Yeah, do the dance you miserable fuck. How’s that for hitting my targets, huh? I’ve met my share of pricks over the years, but you’re the whole fucking cactus!”
My desk phone rang, startling me back to the present. Back to work.
It took some effort to get through the rest of the day. My daydreams were occurring more frequently these days, and they were so vivid, so real, that I’d have sworn I was actually doing the things I only dared imagine.
I have to keep a handle on my temper, you see. When the ex slapped a restraining order on me just before she filed for divorce, I had to make sure I didn’t give her or the courts any ammunition that would cause problems at work. As a financial adviser, I have to maintain the persona of the cool and collected professional, not given to emotional outbursts of any kind. That would tank my reputation in a heartbeat.
I do have a temper though, and it’s a raging beast. Luckily, I also have an active imagination, which has proven to be my only safe outlet. A man can’t be convicted for his thoughts, at least not yet. I did see a therapist, as ordered by the court, and he wasted no time in writing me a script for Prozac. I filled it promptly, assuming they’d be tracking it, and dutifully put the bottle in the medicine cabinet.
If I ever decide to take one, I know where to find them.
He warned me about having sociopathic tendencies, and defined those as being able to present myself in public as perfectly calm, fitting in, getting along, when all I wanted to do was carve and smash my way through the endless parade of idiots in my way.
At the time I blew it off, but as I think of it now and then, he might be onto something there. Still, I never set fires or hurt animals when I was a kid. Isn’t that what a sociopath does? That’s what they say on all the TV shows, right?
I’ve cut back hard on my drinking, limiting myself to an occasional light beer or two now and then. The last bottle of bourbon I bought three or four years ago now sits unopened in the cabinet. I wonder if the stuff gets better with age, or if it goes bad? Maybe I’ll find out one day, but not now, not when they may be monitoring.
Do I sound paranoid? Maybe a little, but I’ve never had a restraining order on me before, so I don’t know how it works or what actions they may take. All I know is that I need to keep my ass out of trouble in order to keep my career.
And that’s where my daydreams come in. In my mind, if someone pisses me off or fucks me over, I can tear them to pieces, wallowing in the pleasure of slicing and dicing, of that warm arterial spray showering me while I work.
I’ve never used a gun in my daydreams, although I do own a 9mm. It’s so much more satisfying, more personal to cut and slice or pound someone to pulp with a blunt object, to take my revenge to a higher plane altogether. I don’t own a straight razor, but I’ve frequently pictured a beautiful one, the carbon blade honed to scalpel sharpness in a hand carved stainless-steel handle.
The first time I saw that razor was in a daydream about the ex. She’d soaked me for a boob job before the split, and in my daydream, I told her she wasn’t going to wiggle the tits I paid for in anyone else’s face. No, I tied her to that ridiculous brass headboard she just had to have and used that razor to extract those overpriced bags of silicone. Once out, I sliced them open and let the thick fluid pour down on her ruined breasts.
I remember using her favorite nightgown to clean the blade and handle as she lay bleeding on the bed and then tossing the soiled garment over her face when I was finished.
In my mind, at any rate.
Well, at least the weekend’s here. A couple days off to leave that phony smile hanging in the closet. Knock out the chores and put up my feet, that’s the ticket. Maybe tonight I’ll catch a decent movie on the tube after dinner or something. We’ll see.
Dinner. Yeah, let me scribble a list and try to get to the market while everyone is out at the beach or the park or something. Damn store gets so friggin’ crowded sometimes, you’re ready to kill something. Well, imagine it anyway.
Sure would be nice to catch a break from the screaming kids, the old timers looking lost, and the idiots blocking the fucking aisle with their carriage because they’re too busy texting on their fucking phones. I’d love to eviscerate one of those assholes, then ask for a cleanup on aisle six!
Fuck it. Let’s stand under a hot shower for as long as I can and bleed off the stress and anger, especially if I’m gonna go out. That’ll do the trick.
It’s not as good as a massage by someone who knows what they’re doing, but the hot pulsing stream on the back of my neck and shoulders helps a lot. I get so tense there all the time lately, seems like stress has become my way of life.
Yeah, that’s better. Toweling off, I walked across the hall to my bedroom to pull on a t shirt and a pair of shorts and prepared to go to the kitchen and make breakfast.
As I walked out of the bedroom I jumped when I heard the sound of hands clapping in my living room. I looked through the doorway and gaped at the impossible sight.
It was me, sitting in my recliner and slowly clapping my hands.
“What the fuck is this? Who are you?”
“Come on, I know you’re not blind. Bad eyes, sure, but you can see.”
“How… I mean, this isn’t possible.”
“And yet, it is. Look, we’re no shrink, but there was a piece inside you they call the ID, the force behind all your daydreams. You developed that bad boy so well that it broke free… and here I am.” He held his hands out, perfect clones of my own, right down to the scars I’d acquired over the years.
I was unable to speak, just trying to take it all in, to understand. I was convinced I was either having the most realistic nightmare of my life, or I’d skipped the whole dementia step and lost my mind all at once.
As I gaped, he stood up, seeming to move easily, not suffering the aching joints I endured. He tilted his head, as a dog might do, and I do believe I heard sincere regret in his voice as he spoke.
“I owe you, you know, I really do. I mean, if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t even be, right? Damned shame there can only be one of us, really too bad. I’d have enjoyed your company.”
His hand slipped out of his pocket and the sunlight from the window reflected off that carved stainless-steel handle. The razor seemed bigger than I’d imagined it, having more heft, more…”