#MWBB Week 3.01 : Freedom

You, with your job.
Your house.
Your cars.
Your children.
You do not see
Or understand.

You go to work five days a week.
Through endless weeks.
And months.
And years.
In a job you hate.
A job which slowly nibbles away
Your very soul.

Until there’s nothing left.

You know the truth.
Somewhere.
Buried under all the lies you’ve told yourself.
The pictures you painted of success.
Of the American Dream.
A dream the tells you how to live.
What to think.
And what to dream.

You, with your job.
Take your headache pills each day.
To numb the aching in your head.
An ache that always starts
Once you get to work.
One you never have on weekends.
Or holidays.
But every day at work.
And you never wonder why.

You sit at a desk five days a week.
Wishing you were somewhere else.
Belittling yourself.
“You have work to do, damn-it!”
“Get your lazy ass together!”
“Do your fucking job!”

You know the truth.
Somewhere.
It tries to speak to you at night.
On those long, sleepless nights.
When you toss, and turn.
And stare at the ceiling,
In the darkness.

There’s nothing wrong.
This is how things are.
How they will always be.
How they’ve always been.
You’re a grown up.
Mature.
Responsible.
You have a good job.
It pays well.

Damn.
Anyone would love to have your job!
Anyone would love to make
The money you make.
Hell, the benefits alone would make the job
Worth any misery for some folks.

Everyone knows that.

You know that.

As you stay up late at night.
Studying for that test next week.
That certification test.
The one you have to take.
Have to pass.
To keep the job you have.

It doesn’t matter how you feel.
It never has.
The truth lies trapped inside you.
You dare not let it out.

Because you can’t afford
To lose your job.

Remember the times you wanted to scream?
To call the boss an idiot.
“You don’t know what the fuck you talking about!”
“That can’t be done!”
“You want it when?”

You never did.
Never said a thing.
Instead.
You ground your teeth together.
Until your jaw ached.
That ceramic crown on your molar,
The one on the top left.
You know how you got that.
That tooth cracked under the stress.

You know the truth.
Somewhere deep inside.
Pretending you are free to do
Anything you want.
Knowing you’ll do anything you have to do
To keep the job you have.

Swallow your pride.
Do what you’re told.
Be where you’re told.
And be there when you’re told to.
Wear this.
Not that.
Shave every day.
And wear business clothes.
After all.
You have to look the part
Of a professional.

All you are is a little cog.
In a big machine.
And if you break.
If you don’t do your part.
You’re easily replaced.

For the truth you’ve buried
In the ground.
With your heart and soul.
Is something you’ve always known.
And can never talk about.

The people you work for.
The job you’ll do anything to keep.
The life you’ve worked so hard to have.
The wife and kids.
The house,
The cars,
The yard.

That life is who you are.
It’s all that’s left of you.
It owns you.
You have no freedom left.
And all you’re dreams have died.

So, lie awake in bed each night.
And wonder why you cannot sleep.
And wash your pain pills down each morning
With an ocean of caffeine.

And lie to yourself.
Until the truth is gone.
And you believe once more.
You’re free.

And everything’s exactly
Like that dream you had.
So many years ago.

620 Words
@LurchMunster


Welcome to year 3, week 1 (Week 3.01) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton. Please, go read the other stories in this week’s challenge.

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