He leaned against a tree outside the school, it was cold so he was wearing a long overcoat and a red desert scarf. His fingerless gloves where ideal in this situation, he could stay warm but still manage to tap the screen on his phone with a sense or purpose. This was mostly to make sure he looked busy, insuring that other parents would not feel the need to include him in their conversations.
He watched his daughter run about in the playground while he waited for the teachers to signal that school was starting when they would all scurry in to consume todays serving of knowledge.
He noticed a young farther in a business suit wondering over to him. This was an age old social dance that was in play, everyone wanting to get in conversation to prove to themselves that they where the most successful alpha male.
He took some headphones from his pocket and plugged them in as the farther got close enough to say “Morning”. The ruse had not worked, only one ear was being injected with the grunge tornado of Nirvana’s Bleach album, the other was exposed enough that he could not pretend he didn’t hear.
“Oh, Morning.” He replied, that’s when it started, the Q&A session to prove superiority,
“Did you go away over the Easter break?” asked the farther, “No”. The farther was hoping for this answer “oh right, yeah, Tina and i spent the weekend in the Cotswolds, took little Abby hacking”, “Sounds nice”.
“Looking forward to the wedding” asked the farther as if there was no point talking holidays because he had already won, “Not really my thing” – The wedding in question was a rather big talking point, some English royal prince was marrying a pretty young aristocrat, He failed to see the intrigue that everyone else did, if we lived in the 1800’s it would have been an awesome spectacle that people travelled to see as it was many people would get an extra day off work and have a party while watching it live on television, some would see it live on youtube from the office but that was the extent of the event. He planned on skipping the whole thing as much as possible.
The Farther had played the patriotism and holiday success cards so now he moved onto the Job card “How’s work going?” everyone knew that this farther was a well respected young hotshot in middle management. “It’s going okay, i keep busy”. The farther looked frustrated.
He had been dropping his daughter off to school once or twice a week for a few years now, he managed to avoid telling the competitive parents what he did for a living by waving his had and saying “this and that” dismissively every time they asked the truth was that he worked for a logistics company tirelessly working an administration role with some really nice people.
He didn’t tell many people the truth of this, not because he had any shame. he liked his job and all those people he worked with and was proud that he provided for his family but the question was always phrased in a way that bothered him “What do you do?” he worked at a desk. but “what do you do?” was a profoundly deeper question. What he did was work when he had to to earn money for his family, when not doing that he wrote and played games and recorded podcasts and wrote blogs. What he did was exist with a passion for creativity and a love for story’s that manifested as a serious video game love. The socially expected response was “i work in logistics” – screw that.
The teachers blew the whistle and his daughter waved with delight as she scurried into the prison like building in hopes of discovering wisdom, or as she was 6 maybe she wanted finger paints and cookies.
The farther waved goodbye and jogged with intent towards his sliver BMW where he would drive too fast to his place of work, a place where he would find no joy or delight, a place where he would wish moment by moment for release.
He, well, He turned up the headphones that where delivering Nirvana to his mind, he adjusted his gloves and buttoned up his overcoat, then he thought about all the things he could do today while he slowly wondered back to his house. the School yard was already empty, every one was in a rush to go somewhere. where where perks to having a weekday off work.
The walk took him about ten minuets, he burst into the house to be greeted by a dog that needed to pee a little more than usual. His wife was still sleeping. He opened the door for the little fella and hung his coat up on the rack, he unplugged the headphones from his phone and tossed it onto the fridge where it would live for the rest of the day. The coffee pot he had left filtering burped as the last drop fell from the machine into the large glass vestibule. He found his retro Pacman cup and filled it with swirling dark liquid. he walked up stairs and wrote this blog. Then as he typed ‘He’ became ‘Me’ and now I am sharing this little story of my morning with you.
It’s interesting how people are fascinated with each others lives but they are so quick to judge you for having interests that are not what is considered to be ‘normal’ i am often told my colleagues that i waste time playing video games while they feel no need to defend an evening of Coronation street and spooks. i find that my love of gaming and writing and sharing my thoughts gives me more satisfaction than any TV show.
I am also proud that my daughter does not sit staring a box in the corner of the room hour after hour, she interacts with her entertainment with youtube and educational websites. As such he is more inquisitive than other children of her age, she is interested in ‘doing’ things and not just letting things wash over her. she wants to play video games, play music and sit with daddy while we play LotRO together.
Life is good for me and i am sick of people asking about my world then judging me for it.
strangely this only happens when out in the world. Even with trolls and rage posters and all the angry people on the internet i am at least left alone to happily explore the digital frontier and share my blogs, tweets, vlogs and rants, some times i even meet a like minded person to come on this adventure with me for a while.