He sits at his desk tapping the pen against the wood. His eyes are glazed, looking through his computer screen. The rhythmic tap, tap, tap of his pen is echoing in his mind. Somewhere in the distance a copier hums to life and spits out warm pages.
He’s thinking about nothing, about everything. He’s thinking about what it was like to be a kid, free and unbound. He’s thinking about what it’s like to be an adult, chained and captive. Tap, tap, tap. He hears metal against metal instead of plastic against wood. The clank of a hammer as it slams onto the link of a chain.
His kids would be getting off the bus soon. His wife would be arranging them at the table for “homework hour”. She’d prep dinner as their tired faces look over pencil and paper. Steak was on tonight’s menu. Tendorized by his wife’s vicious pounding. Tap. Tap. Tap.
When did his life get so boring, so predictable? Get up, work, eat dinner, watch TV, sleep, repeat. Mix in the occasional obligatory barbeque and you’ve got his life in a glass case. He can hear the fingernail tapping against the viewing glass as some giant spectator chuckles at his dull life. Tap. Tap. Tap.
There’s a phone ringing. Are we all just robots, going through the motions? We do what’s expected of us. How many can really say they’ve lived outside the box? How many, at death’s door can say they’ve done everything they ever wanted? As the coffin is nailed shut, how many can say they have no regrets? Tap. Tap. Tap.
He realizes the phone ringing is his. The spell is broken. The tapping stops. The office sounds return.
“Copper’s Paper Products. Marketing your brand one page at a time, Trent speaking.”