No naked chicks on this blog. But, if you’re clever enough, you know I’m using this tagline to get views as i have NEXT TO ZERO VIEWS on a daily basis. SO, if I talk about boobies and naked chicks, perhaps someone will stumble on my blog.
Shameful? Yes. Disturbing? Of course. Do I care? I should. But now I’ve got you interested don’t I? You want to know what sort of slimy writer (I mean typer) would stoop so low. Hell, he can’t be any worse than Stephen King, can he? I mean, Stephen King is cool right? And Stephen King makes millions writing shitty books.
Fine, I’ll stop being shameful and getting to the story you all are dying to read.
Haven’t read Part 1 yet and want to catch up? Click here
Otherwise, enjoy Owned: Part 5
An increased temperature and pressure to my shower could not quell the soreness in my back or neck. I stayed in the shower until its preset time turned the water off for me. Before I poured my first cup of coffee, it dawned on me that I did not put my wife’s tablet back where I found it the night before. She already left for work as she does every morning before I wake. It wasn’t in my bathroom this morning nor was it where she left it last night.
Could she have come into my bathroom to take it from my sleeping hands? If she found me sleeping in my bathroom, she would certainly have woken me to see if I were okay, right? This thought helped convince myself that everything I remembered from last night was a dream. Nothing from that entire day lead me to believe any of it was anything but a bad dream. A long, horrible, impossible dream. Sure, it felt real, but dreams have a way of drilling their way into our psyche easily enough. After all, my tablet worked just fine and my wife’s tablet was not in my hands where I last saw it before I dosed off. God I hate the way dreams live and fester in the mind. And I sure as hell hate technology no matter how much I need it.
The first sip of strong coffee assured me today was a new day. I set my tablet in its holster and logged into our meeting site. I watched the usual suspects shuffle into view. Because of where the webcam sat at the conference room’s entrance facing the smartboard, I could see everyone walking in and out of the room. Mark was first to speak, per usual. His presentations were always something to witness. Being I listened to them for decades now, his luster had gone a little lack. More recently I hid my boredom behind constant sips of coffee, desired or otherwise. Today was no different in that respect.
Just a dream, I kept reminding myself. Either way, that lingering dream made my blood boil for more than Mark’s bloody lip on my knuckle. Somewhere between thoughts of wanting to tear him apart and the confusion about that virtual Me, my fragile state began to make me nauseous. Then my curiosity peaked. Not with anything Mark was saying or showing in his PowerPoint, or even video Me from my dream. Instead, I was curious about his face. If anything that happened in my dream was no dream at all, his nursed split lip would be visible. Split lip meant it was no dream and some other explanation was necessary. No split lip meant I could continue sipping this disaster of a cup of coffee. It was obvious the self-cleaning mechanism had gone and days, if not weeks of sludge was percolated into lip curling goo. Damn technology is old when you buy it and lasts long enough to save for the newest outdated version.
Mark caught me squinting. I stopped staring so hard. All was for nothing. The webcam was too far back to encapsulate the necessary detail. Mark was not speaking with muffled speech. My mind was forced to cycle through bizarre memory after bizarre memory from that dream like I actually happened and by rehashing those imaginary occurrences I could somehow solve whatever mock puzzle existed.
I continued doodling on my electronic notepad. Nothing in particular. I could not focus enough to finish jotting down any single note. Besides, Mark’s presentations were second nature to us both. We knew each other inside and out. Grew up together. Hell, that’s how we got to where we were at The Company. He’s the talker, the doer, the go-getter. I’m the ideas man. Never had it in me to do what he did. I hated being all political. Always having to smile, nod, shake hands, all while stroking your colleagues’, Mark called them opponents, egos. I can’t do that. I’m just unwilling to pretend. Mark called it lack of gumption. I called it lack of soul. Then again, I knew Mark had a soul. A great guy actually. Other than his inability to come up with any great ideas on his own. A symbiotic relationship that’s worked for us since grade school. That damn dream, though, makes me want to bust his lip for real. Why are we so overtaken with piddly emotions. My anger doesn’t even stem from reality. And this coffee, God, I need a new pot.
Mark’s voice was barely audible somewhere in my peripheral. So much so I took no notice Mark had finished speaking and walked out of view. It was the pop up text message with Mark’s company screen name that brought me back from my loose thoughts.
“You look like Death, Chris.”
I felt like Death, Death with crappy coffee and lousy sleeping habits. Confusion, sleepless night, and a dream so vivid I wanted to strangle Mark’s screen name. This all does little to make a person feel confident of himself or his sanity.
“Meet me at the Coffee Shop. We should talk, Chris. Don’t do ANYTHING until I get a chance to talk to you.”
Nothing came to mind as to how to respond so I just stared at Mark’s IM. Mark turned to my webcam feed, but it felt like his eyes found my own. His face gave a look of concern, the same concern he gave me in my dream as I ran to the elevator. With no more to do, I nodded. He smiled. We both managed to focus on most of the meeting which took nearly all day.
My pulse quickened. Mark gave me that same concerned look in my dream. He wanted to meet in the Coffee Shop. Just like in my dream. He begged me not to do ANYTHING before we spoke. ANYTHING. With all caps. But Mark’s married, we’re best friends, colleagues now. And none of this explains the crazy conversation I had with myself on my wife’s tablet or the case of the disappearing texts. Whether it was the slurry pot of coffee I chewed or my confusion, I ran to my bathroom and tossed breakfast into the toilet.