Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Game 1 - A Little Gerbil

A set-up is to write a short (up to 1 page) story that has words Alabama, insensitive, and massage in it and that starts with "Sometimes I feel like a gerbil running around and around in his wheel."

And so it goes:

Sometimes I feel like a gerbil running round and round on his wheel! Now if I were a gerbil, I imagine I would be a particularly small and whiny one with tiny little whiskers and an uncommonly bushy tail. I would also try to run both forward and backward at the same time just to keep a little boy or a little girl who owns me happy. And I would also try to calculate my angular acceleration while contemplating the existential absurdness of the wheel itself, just because. I would end up getting my little uncommonly bushy tail caught between the spokes and I would bump into a rim of the wheel with my pink and slightly crooked nose. I would be a clumsy little bugger for sure.

As such, my wheel world is limited to work and to my house. But since I work from my house, my world is even tinier and it’s getting increasingly tougher not to bump my pink and slightly crooked nose on the edge of it. Maybe that’s why I spend so much time dreaming up the amazing trips I would take if I only could. Some of them don’t even have to be particularly exotic. They can be say trips to Alabama, especially after I watched “Forrest Gump” last Christmas. Plus now that I have my laptop I can work from the road.

Work-work-work… That’s what makes this world go round in a manner of gerbil’s wheel. It’s not even the money any more. Or how would you explain some of us staying with lower-paying jobs instead of exploring other opportunities? It’s more about routine, even in non-routine jobs. The whole idea of knowing that you are going to be doing something supposedly productive for eight solid hours a day warms one’s heart. How depressing are some of the weekends and holidays, when we get thrown out of our regular schedules! Work-work-work… Whatever it takes to become insensitive to the little tiny voice inside that urges you to get a round-the-world ticket on Travelocity departing tonight or to jump in a car and drive straight to the Grand Canyon or to even bike to the beach and spend a day staring at all the vacationers who got two-week reprieves from their own little wheels. Stay quiet little voice, stay quiet, or a big hungry cat will come and eat you!

I am a small whiny gerbil with tiny little whiskers and an uncommonly bushy tail. I am thoroughly committed to the values and the will of my wheel. Oh, my feet are so tired from running countless circles. My shoulders are aching. Oh, I would give half of my wheel for a good massage. And I would rock myself to sleep in the other half of my wheel, now looking like a cradle. My head is spinning… That must be an even tinier gerbil running its butt off calculating its own angular acceleration while contemplating the existential absurdness of it all. Run little gerbil, run!