It’s all relative anyway

Jesus Christ, what a day… My legs ache, my head aches, my fucking balls ache… All just to scrape by and support Mary’s bastard kid.

Look at this chump, staring into space. He should be happy, his dreams are about to come true!

“What can I do for you sir?”

“Err I um got this card. It means I get 50% off right?”

“I need to be more careful where I leave my cards,” I pull off a surprisingly sincere laugh, “No, but seriously, yes you’ve come to the right place. Just make sure you order a trip before the end of the month.”

“So by tomorrow then?”

“Yes, I guess you’re right! If you need more time to think it over, I can put your name on a waiting list for the next time it fires up.”

“No no no—it’s fine. I think I want to do this.”

“Perfect. Don’t worry, it’s painless,” I give a wink, “Just fill out a couple of forms and attach a copy of your payment ID—there I zipped them over to you.”

“Yuh got it… Give me a sec.”

I know what you’re thinking. I’m a piece of shit and should be sent down. But the way I see it, these people are all so miserable that disappearing can only be a sweet release. That’s what Mary said anyway.

I check it’s still running or at least showing signs of life. I gotta say, from the outside you’d have no choice but be confident that you’d arrive.

There’s a faint ‘hello?’

“I’ll be right with you sir.”

OK, lights still work, the display is hanging on, the interface looks legit.

“OK! So how are we doing here?—Ah, thanks for zipping over your files. I see you want to go back three years. I don’t blame you! Things were rosier back then weren’t they?”

He feigns a smile and mumbles, “And there’s no sign they’re going to get any better.”

I pretend not to hear him properly, more for my own sake. I don’t need reminding about the shit storm we’re heading for.

“So follow me and I’ll strap you in.”

Door closes. Lights out. Chamber empties.

Ya know, I think it’s the routine of this job that drowns out any shred of conscience. Or maybe it’s just sleep deprivation.

A hand slaps a muted thud against the quartz glass panel—squeals as it drags across. I open the door. Fuck me. It’s Mary.