Vices of a Lonely Man | In This Future Or The Next

Vices of a Lonely Man

I had been sitting in my quarters watching the roof, counting the number of stains on it. I was supposed to be out in the engine room. The backup cooling system had been acting up lately, and I meant to fix it. I knew it wasn’t urgent, it was after all the backup system.

I closed my eyes thinking of my life back on Earth. Everything seemed so dull here, nothing I did motivated me. Every time I woke up I felt the dread of working, of eating precooked meals, of mingiling with people I didn’t like. I looked forward only to my breaks when I would go to the observatory and watch endless space unfold behind our ship. I’d pretend I looked for my home planet and I’d pretend to be excited when I pretended to find it. A sad reality that one of mine.

My communicator began beeping and I reached for it. Of course my clumsy hands pushed it off the table instea. I tried to catch the thing on its way down but my drunken reflexes however, allowed me only to stumble and drop a glass of water as well.

“Shit”, I said, faking regret at the mess I made.

I picked up the beeping disc.

“Yeah?”, I said.

At that instant a deafening alarm went off throughout the ship. And red and orange lights began circling in their glass enclosures.

“Brad, we need you down here! Where the hell are you? Something struck engine 5, we need your help fixing the backup system, come quick!”

The disc fell silent.

I knew what I had to do. I got dressed fast, I took the last sip from the bottle on my desk, put two mints in my mouth, and grabbed my door-knob to leave.

I closed my eyes again and took a deep breath. I felt like I was floating in a sea of lights and piercing sound. My mind adjusted to the atrocious melody and I felt peace within me. Standing in my room with a hand on the door, a sad peace if you ask me.

The ship had 8 other engines, I was sure it wouldn’t be a big deal if engine 5 was down for a few more minutes. I turned the knob, my subconcsious wanting to do the right thing, to get to work. But I felt the weight of my vices pull me back gradually into the bed.

Just a quick one, I thought.

I pulled my pants down. Just a really quick one.

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