Hello Albert Camus

By Timothy

Ding-ding-ding went my alarm bell. I turned my head to the left. In the dim light of my bedroom, I could make out the gray surface of my alarm clock. I didn't want to budge. The clock continued its abrasive song; ding-ding-ding. I let out a tired sigh. The clock soon wound down. You see it wasn't electric nor did it run on batteries. It was a simple good old fashion clock.

I rubbed my eyes. I had to get up. I had work to go to. For ten years I have been getting up at the same time. Today I wanted it to be different. I had made the plans to see my boss and ask for a raise.

I walked like a zombie to the bathroom. I saw my reflection in the mirror. Man, I looked beat. I thought maybe I should wait until I look more together before asking for a raise. No---I would do it today. Three years of putting it off has been long enough.

I took a shower. A nice hot one. Yes-yes, a real super-duper hot one. I found myself lost in the steam. I might have had the water at too much of a high temperature that was proper for the body. I almost tumbled out of the bath tub. I had misjudged its height. The hot shower did give my skin a nice healthy glow.

After putting my new blue suit on, I climbed into my genuine brown leather shoes that I had polished the night before. Off to work. No not off to work. No not yet. I needed to tie my shoe laces tighter. My shoes kept sliding. Now off to work!

I felt pretty good when I arrived at work. Yes, today was the day. On my desk was a message for me. It was from my boss. She wanted to see me. In fact that's what was on the note: "I would like to see you when you get in."

I knocked at her big, dark wooden door. A voice from behind the door, told me to enter which I did. She sat in her large, gray leather chair. In this chair she sat behind her huge shiny mahogany desk. I felt puny before her. I really did feel puny.

My mind was confused. Only for a moment. I was told I was being laid off. I started to feel stupid sitting there in my blue suit and shoes that I had shined up the night before. And what did it get me?

She saw me to her door. I wished she hadn't. It made me feel weird having her loom over me. Well, she couldn't help it. She was a very tall person. Taller than I realized.

Over a month had passed since my last day at work. Still, no leads on a job. The worry over being jobless had affected my health. I had lost weight. None of my clothes seemed to hang properly. I think that is why people are staring at me. I really should see a doctor about it. I also have been finding it harder to open doors. They are just getting too heavy for me.

I didn't see the doctor. My insurance had run out.

People are mean and stupid! Sorry for the out-burst. I went to the movies. I went during the afternoon when the rates are lower. You know; a bargain matinee. As I made my way into the lobby, people were staring at me. That wasn't nice of them. And a group of teens standing around next to a coke machine gawked at me. They made weird faces at me while stuffing their mouths with popcorn and candy. I wondered if they knew I was out of work? No, how could they? Maybe they were wondering about my clothing. They rather did look kind of messy as they hung on me in odd angles. Still, that’s no excuse to stare or look down at someone.

Damn it! On top of that, I would have to sit behind a group of tall people. I had to keep bouncing around in my seat to try and see the picture.

Three weeks later, I was turned down for a job I knew I was competent at it. I wasn't given a straight answer. Just made to feel tiny as the two men, who interviewed me looked down at me. It seems now the whole world is looking down at me.

Its not fair!

Little Sally Nelson, who isn't so little anymore, wondered if I was ok. I told her I was.

I am getting so frustrated. And I think I could be letting emotions runaway with my mind. I think being out of work is making me, well, don't tell anyone, a bit weird. I mean, my apartment doesn't seem right. I can't even wear my shoes anymore.

I decided a walk downtown might help. There is an art store I go into it often. I use to that is, when I had money to buy things. I decided I would still go to Ivor's Art Store. It seemed to take longer for me to reach it than I last remembered. I had found I could walk to it from my apartment in twenty minutes. Now It took me well over an hour.

Crap! I could barely open the doors. Why did Ivor have to change the doors. I mean, come on, many elderly people visit this store. How can a frail elderly person open a door they have to nearly jump to in order to grab the handle. The weight too was outrageous. You have to be a weight-lifter to open it. After much struggling, I was able to open the door.

I wanted to speak to Ivor. He had everything hanging up high on the walls. It was very difficult to appreciate the artwork that way. I did get a chance to see Ivor. He was standing up on something. He just stared down at me. I left the store. Or tried too. Those stupid doors. I ended up leaving the store only after an old bag came into the place. Great, now old people are stronger than I am.

I couldn't get back into my apartment. Christ! I couldn't reach the door handle. What was happening. Had I freaked out so much that my world became topsy-turvy.

I even lost my clothing. Man, I was cold and hungry. I wanted and needed help. I couldn't find anyone. People were gone. The people were replaced by these living walking towers. And the sounds that came from these alien giants, forced me to cover my ears. In my hunger, I was forced to even venture and try to get the attention of one of these walking buildings. I nearly got crushed by these giant things in my attempts. I tried again. I ran out into the cold, weird landscape. There were so many of these walking giants around. I ran up to one whose blue towers that it walked with rose many stories above me. I heard thunder. But I knew it was the voice of this behemoth. It just bellowed. A great blue and white object the size of a truck glided over me. It started to descend upon me. I just barely rolled out of its way before it came crashing down next to me. I found when I stood up, I had twisted my right ankle. I waved my fist up at the receding thing.

I wrapped my arms around my chest as I bent over in pain from the hunger. I went and curled up against a cold pink cement wall. God I was so cold. It became worse when the wind blew. A silver object rolled by. It looked like paper or tin foil. I thought maybe I could use it to wrap it around myself. Hunched over in pain, I limped over to it. I grabbed it. It had a scent on it. It smelled like peppermint. This only infuriated my hunger. Wrapping the silver foil around me, I wondered what my next step should be. If there was a next step.

The smell of burning hamburger permeated the air around me. Or was this a cruel trick of a starving mind? I leaned the side of my head up against the cold cement. I started to cry. I hadn't cried since I was a child. Why couldn't this nightmare end, I kept thinking as I banged my fist against the cold unsympathetic mortar.

The heavy pounding of the passing giant creatures gave my cloudy mind and hurting soul an idea. I would simply walk out in front of them letting one crush me. I slowly walked out among the living skyscrapers.

nuts! Fate is a cruel temptress that plays with my soul. One giant thing after another just passed over me. I grabbed my dirty hair with my hands. I wanted to explode. My mind shifted as that smell of hamburger once more pulled on me like the excited hand of a child pulling on the sleeve of a parent.

I staggered in the direction of the hamburger. I ignored the heavy pounding of the giants that thundered by. I came upon a white metal structure that rose several hundred feet above me. Bending backwards, I could see it fan out into a wide circular pattern. Underneath it and straight in front of me, I saw the tower length legs of these giant things. I walked up to the base of one. I approached a white object perhaps fifty feet in length. It had the smell of rubber. Running down its side was this flat piece of black rope. I doubted I had the strength to climb it. The steady smell of food seemed to awaken what spark of life that was still left in me. I grabbed hold off the black rope. I slowly started to climb it. I couldn't believe I was doing it. It felt so unreal. The feeling was I was an observer rather than a participant.

The black rope ended but continued on in a series of crossing patterns. I slowly made my way up. This new found energy, I had was steadily diminishing. I came to what must have been the top, for a new material started. It was light blue in color. I reached out and touched it. It was soft. The material felt like cotton. It was warm. There was a strong sweaty smell. It was a person's smell. A person. I wasn't alone. I opened my arms hugging and burying my face in the warm material. I wasn't alone I kept repeating to myself. The warm scent of this person was so soothing.

A severe shock jolted my body. I felt myself falling backwards. For several scary moments I tumbled down the object I had climbed.

To my absolute disappointment, I was back on the cold cement ground. I was flat on my back. A sound filled the sky above me. It came from one of those giant monstrosities. A dark object soon came after; falling down next to me with a wet, stunted thud. I slowly stood up and went over to it. The strong smell of cooked meat came from it. If I wasn't mistaken it smelled like hamburger.

I bent down and took a warm piece into my hand. Before I could think any further the warm tender meat was in my mouth. Even though it hurt my dried throat I had to have more. I didn't let the sound of movement over me distract me from my task.

It was only when I saw the cement ground coming up towards me that I realized something solid was pressing down on me. My face smacked against the ground. I was ready for death. I welcomed it.

Death never came.

The weight was lifted off of me. Another cruel taunt of fate?

Something long thick and powerful wrapped around my broken and lonely body. I was rising up. I couldn't see where. I only could see the ground which appeared to grow smaller. I was turned over. And for a moment I felt the whole world and all its people turned with me.

Two blue moons looked intently down at me. The blue moons blinked many times. Yes, many times they blinked. I wondered if the moons didn't believe in what they were beholding.

I started to believe.

Yes, I believed in what I was beholding. Two blue moons that looked down at me with joy and compassion. And yes, life.