Poem : Routine / by Heather Taylor

Bill felt he was born for this. Eating lunch as he watched numbers scroll a board, sift through e-mails, organize filing cabinets. Each day itemized by activity. Carefully scheduled and planned. On Fridays, he’d wear his dress down tie and have obligatory post work drinks. The girls nodded at his nervous hellos before turning back to the slick sales boys from the third floor and Bill would sip his half with the other accountants from his division.

Days passed this way until he turned as grey as his sweater, and began to fade into his cubical walls. Lunch no longer interested him and he worked long into the night, home an untagible place. His keyboard began to give out, the keys no longer responding to his touch and the IT team never came. Unheard, he stayed glued to the number board, eyes flicking at the changing state and he’d guess the curve of the upward/downward fluctuation. At drinks, he sit in corners, watch the buzz of hormones. His hellos no longer nodable became a quick glance behind shoulders, a shiver as if graves were walked upon, a look straight through as if he was no longer there.