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Everything Gray – Chapter One






Seven Months Back – November 6, In the Morning (5:35 if you need to be exact)  

‘Son of a – ‘

 Anson didn’t understand why he never got used to this.  It’s not like he was still a punk-ass artist-of-ill-definition, twenty-four with nowhere especially to be (save for a waitering gig at 3 in the afternoon, maybe).  He was most certainly an adult now, with adult things, adult clothing, adult mannerisms, adult priorities – well, mostly…sometimes at least.  For the very ebb of him, however, something inside just continued to repel the basic tenets of an adult schedule.

 It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.  There was even a three-month stint two years back, at the ripened age of 35, when he’d used extreme prejudice and forced himself into the sack at 9:30 every night – free of nightclub jitters, the drone of cardboard television hosts, everything save for the supposed solace of literature and calming nature sounds he picked up at some eco-hippie store down in Buckville.

 After ninety days of reading and mind-meandering (and achieving, he had to admit, a significantly increased depth of field in wordworks both monumental and slutty) he gave the experiment the shutters, due to the unexpected result of increased restlessness and negative trends on the slumber scale.  Something deep-seeded just flat-out refused to listen to reason, so he finally just gave in.

 Thankfully, last night was a movie-corn-and-beers night, having successfully thwarted Dean’s relentless pitches at the office the day previous to ‘Run a Fiver’ again this week – he just had too much horseshit that he’d been staring at for a month.  As tempting and swarthily-charming as Darin ‘Zeus’ Darby could be in a quarter-beat, the reality of the collapsing economy and near-weekly reduction in colleagues insisted that Anson pick up the ball and shoot a few more times than he had been the last couple years.  It also helped that Dean’s spiel wasn’t always full-hearted when targeted on someone lacking ‘big ole beebos’ and wearing adjustable-waist slacks.

Wait a minute, how the hell was it already 6:17?  Christ almighty he had to stop letting his mind wander all the time – the other nagging remnant of his beatnik-inspired younger days.  He rumbled into the bathroom, made it a five minute wash, dry-shaved, and threw on the outfit he hung on the doorback the night before (thank god for the occasional inspired burst of minor pre-planning).  Apparently he’d assumed he’d be in a heliotrope kinda mood today.  No time to revise that plan – besides, he liked to brighten it up around the office here and there.  Between that and his ability to listen more than most of his kind (he believed they referred to him as ‘sensitive’ or some such thing) it kept the CS and Admin girls guessing (and on more than one occasion the lemon-vodka-boldened-but-still-sheepishly-delivered ‘gay?’ inquiry led to a direct and most emphatic disproval of the proposed theory). Regardless, a little mystery always added—–

 Good god!  7:05?  He’d been hurrying his ass off….Anson grabbed his keys and blew out the door.

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