[Nothing Happened, 772 words, Genre: Realistic Fiction]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
He grew up in a country town. Going to a high school in the middle of nowhere. He attended the high school and for a brief period of his life he had a social life. He had an identity and that identity was the identity of a student. He was neither smart, nor was he stupid. He was mid-range, average. He achieved neither high results, nor did he fail. He was plainly average, he looked average, he was simple minded and never took things out of context. But for this he was forgotten. He finished high school and then found himself an apartment to rent. He seemed to blend in everywhere that he went. He did not stand out and nobody picked him out of any line-up for any sort of special appointment.
And that was the beginning. The beginning of nothing. He applied for jobs. Jobs upon jobs, he applied for. Not one of them considered his application seriously. And so he was left to the wanderings of his apartment. He couldn’t afford to live a frivolous life and had to budget accordingly. He could afford food and fed himself accordingly. He ate his meals alone and nobody bothered to visit him. This was his life, day after day. Night after night. The radio would play in the background, he would listen to the music. He wouldn’t dance, he would simply let the music fade away into the background and into his ears. It would wash over him sometimes, like a shower. The songs would soothe his troubled soul and give him energy to confront the next day and the day after that.
Slowly, it happened. That was nothing. Nothing is still something when brought into the context of things. He would wake up in the morning and no-one would call, no-one would do anything to help him. He lived somewhere out along the coast and most people had moved away from the small town in an effort to chase their own dreams and fortunes.
Each day he would get up and have a shower. After that he would have a simple serving of toast as breakfast, then the day would continue. And nothing would happen. He would listen to the music on the radio and nothing would happen. Nobody would call him about the jobs that he applied for. Nobody would come to visit him. He began questioning what he had done to deserve this sort of treatment. And the truth was, he hadn’t. He hadn’t done anything to deserve this sort of treatment. But , he still received it. He received nothing each and every day.
He didn’t have a job, so he couldn’t afford to change his circumstances. Each and every single day. Day after day. There was nothing. Slowly, like the weight of gravity, it came bearing down upon his shoulders. The slow weight of nothing. Time and time again, everything that was placed on his shoulders. It was nothing, but it was infinite. It would not stop. He was being assaulted with a slow barrage of nothing. He slowly came to realize that this was the elderly faced in their decline. Nobody visiting him, nobody giving him any assistance or help. It was just that, day after day, nothing.
As the days progressed, there was less and less reason to get up in the morning. No more reason to do anything. When he was confronted with no response from other people, when the jobs he applied for didn’t call back. What was the point of it? What was the point of it all? He had his answers, time had progressed to the point where he realized that there was no actual help out there for people like him. There were cardboard cutouts and signs that said that they could help. But in the end, the people who these things helped out were themselves. The people who worked in the social service positions were receiving steady pay cheques. Money and earning themselves a living.
Where what he was faced with was nothing. Not enough money to enjoy himself. Just enough money to exist. He simply existed and nothing was happening. It was a form of torture. This great barrage of nothing.
And so he didn’t bother to get out of bed. He would simply lay there and nothing would happen. Nothing happened when he tried, nothing happened when he did something, he was for the large part ignored.
He was standing on the edge of a great abyss. And nothing happened. That was the punishment for not partaking in crime. When one was completely innocent, nothing happened.