A Random Evening (Jason’s short Story)

The time is thirty minutes past four in the afternoon. Not an ounce of quiet can be found in these bustling streets. Heading north on Main street, vehicles begin to align bumper to bumper. On one side of Main street, heading south, the public bus stops to drop off and pick up a handful of passengers.  On that same exact side of the street, a mob of teenagers on their bicycles are gunning down the sidewalk while trying to outmaneuver through a dense crowd of bystanders. In the process, the teenagers arouse within a few bystanders a feeling of frustration. Parallel to that street, its sidewalk portrays the same traits. Crowded and busy. Some are walking in and out of stores, while others are making haste to get to their next destination. Suddenly, the sound of a siren echoes down Main street alerting everyone in the process. It’s faint at first but with every passing second, the siren elevates in volume. As the drivers begin to maneuver to the side of the road, another vehicle unexpectedly zooms down North of main street. Unable to slow down due to traffic, the driver crashes into another vehicle causing a catastrophic chain of reaction. Everyone panics! The perpetrator immediately exits his car and runs off like a madman. He takes off pushing every pedestrian in his path without a care in the world. Meanwhile, the siren finally rings in its full glory revealing a decked out police car. Realizing the mess the perpetrator had left behind, the officer rapidly exits his vehicle in pursuit of his target. A few feet ahead, the perpetrator resumes his rampage to escape, shoving an innocent woman in the company of her child. Completely and utterly unprepared for such a violent interaction, the woman’s body ragdolls in the concrete wall while unintentionally smashing her head in. The crowd screams! The child begins to cry and the perpetrator once again escapes. A few seconds later, the officer runs by the victim. He gently injects her and presses a button on his utility belt. 

“Medic. Code 098. Temporary aid needed at my pinged location. Victim – Woman, brown hair, light green eyes. Age – early forties, bleeding on the right side of her head.” shouts the officer through the comm attached to his hand. 

Then, he urges the witnesses to keep the victim company while the medics arrive. The officer then resumes his chase. Standing at the entrance of his Dojo, Jason drops both of his grocery bags on the ground and urgently takes off after the maniac responsible for committing such a monstrous act. On the way, he stops to check on the injured woman and her child. He puts his best foot forward and tries to console the child to the best of his ability. In the spur of a moment, a drone arrives at the scene. 

“Scanning pinged victim.” announces the drone in a very pleasant programmed voice.“Pinged victim identify. Administering temporary med-aid.” says the drone.

Witnessing the drone administer medical aid to the injured woman, Jason feels a bit indecisive. He’s unsure whether he should remain at the side of the victim and her child or chase after the person responsible. After all, is it ethical to place the life of an injured woman at the hand of a mechanical drone or to allow such a maniac to run amok without restraint? In a crouched position, Jason looks to his right, then to his left. He grabs the nearest person and instructs them to look after the child. He stands up and instantly accelerates North. He runs block after block. Those rigorous training exercises and experiments he was put through at A.R.C were paying off. Being in the best shape any man would dream of, he sprints. Following a brief minute, he finally catches up to the officer. Jason slowly looks over his shoulder and notices the sweat and fatigue painted all over the officer’s face. “Poor old man.” thinks Jason. Not wasting another second, he overtakes the officer in pursuit of the perpetrator. After multiple turns and weaves, Jason begins to feel just sick and tired of this maniac’s destructive behavior. He notices the perpetrator forcefully yank a man away from his car illegally parked on the side of the road. He gets in and sinks his foot on the gas pedal. Unaware of incoming traffic behind him, he lags to close the driver’s door and gets it wrenched off by an incoming truck. Not a bit unnerved by the incident, he drives further North and then takes a left turn. Aware of all the streets and intersections in the area, Jason decides to cut this chase short. “He’ll hit traffic in less than a minute. The road he turned into is a one way street. He’ll have no choice but to head upI have to catch him before he crashes into any more people.” says Jason. Resuming his chase, he zooms North to intercept the maniac. Just as he planned, a few miles north of the one way street, traffic was indeed in session. Horns are blowing non stop. Jason analyzes the area and notices one horn blowing particularly irregularly. He pinpoints the vehicle and in a stealthy manner chases after it. Finally at the end of his mission, he slowly and quietly creeps up on the perpetrator. Completely caught off guard, the perpetrator is ambushed. Jason knocks him out cold and removes him from the vehicle. He carries him away from the street to the sidewalk. With the perpetrator tied to a lamp pole, Jason quietly remains seated next to him as he patiently waits. A minute goes by and no one shows up. Two minutes, not a soul in sight. Three minutes, all you can see is a collection of vehicles stuck in traffic with drivers trying their best to stay sane through this ruckus. Suddenly, sirens break loose. “About time they showed up.” Jason expresses out loud. 

“Wake up!” says Jason while showering the perpetrator with a few slaps to the face. 

The perpetrator wakes up to find both his hands burdened by a rubber cable. 

“Who the hell are you?” asks the perpetrator.

“The face you never want to see again.” answers Jason in a cold tone. 

“What the fuck!” yells the perpetrator. “I have rights. You ain’t no cop!” further adds the perpetrator.

“You had rights.” replies Jason.

“Man, if you don’t…..” exclaims the perpetrator, but Jason wouldn’t let him finish.

“Shut your damm mouth!” expresses Jason. “You hurt a lot of good people today. Shut your mouth!”

Ensuing a few moments, a few police vehicles arrive at the scene. The officer Jason overtook earlier steps up to the curb. Completely out of breath and drenched in sweat, he states in an animated tone : “Boy, you didn’t break a sweat. You must be a track star kid. Oh I’m sure of it, you definitely are a track star.”

“What’s a track star?” confusingly asks Jason.

Baffled by Jason’s comment, the officer looks at Jason, laughs and rhetorically asks: “What’s a track star? Are you not from planet earth kid?”

“You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you where I was from.” answers Jason.

“Try me!” says the officer.

Amazed at the officer’s curiosity, Jason springs forth a light smile.

“C’mon, try me!” insists the officer.

“Not today sir. Not today. How’s the woman doing?” asks Jason. 

“She’ll be fine. She’s on her way to the hospital. Thank God for those drones uuh. As you can tell, I’m an old fashion guy. Technology isn’t my thing. But I gotta admit, those drones are God sent. Now we can be in multiple places at one. It’s a goddamn miracle some genius invented those things. ” explains the officer.

Not wanting to prolong the interaction any further, Jason decides to walk away leaving the rest of the work to the police officers on site. 

“We could use a man like you on the force!” proposes the officer to Jason as he carries away the perpetrator.

“I’VE SEEN YOUR FACE!” yells the perpetrator as he’s forcefully being put inside the police car.

“Shut the hell up and get in!” says the officer to the perpetrator.

Jason ignores it all and doesn’t reply. He continues walking down the busy and crowded street. With his back turned away from the scene, he waves his right hand at the officer. 

“See ya around kid.” states the officer.

School? What For.

Now, before you go off running and screaming – “Ah boy. Here we go again. Another no lifer trying to lead people astray with their bullshit uneducated opinion.”, sit tight, take a deep a breath, clear your mind and read on.

The debate surrounding the true purpose of school (or the education system, whatever you call it) has been boiling hot for the past few years. Some have been very vocal about the detriment school can have on the mental and spiritual growth of kids, while others see it strictly as a factory farm. The urge to want to join in on the “school is useless” train has been and honestly still is quite strong in me. I see it and hear it everywhere I go now – On the internet, television, work and amongst friends. It’s almost impossible to escape really. But it’s true, why aren’t you getting on the train? – You’re asking. Well, here’s your answer. It’s not that I don’t want get on, I rather just walk. It gives me time to clear my head and really think before presenting my case. I went to school (elementary, middle, high and college) for the majority of my life. The routine of having to wake up at 5:00 AM and sitting in a squared cubicle for 180 days was quite gruesome at times. But it was and still is deemed necessary for the development of not just the individual but to our “society” as a whole. To a certain degree, I can understand the meaning behind this.

School has its values. To some, it provides a sense of belonging, helps develop social skills and may even bring inspiration. The basic knowledge of math and science that we are thought in school provides others the stepping stone to possibly innovate, create and engineer things such as vehicles, buildings, food..ect. Math and science are very real. Whether we choose to believe in it or not, it is everywhere we go and in everything we do. But, (sorry but not sorry, I have to say this) that’s as far as I’ll defend it.

What about all the other aspects of life that are missing from the curriculum. As famous YouTuber Spiritual So puts it: “Self-improvement, spirituality, financial literacy and coping mechanisms are nowhere to be found in school systems.” And he’s absolutely right. The most important subjects that are crucial to our growth as human beings are astonishingly absent from school. For approximately ten years, we are told what to learn and how to learn it. We are instructed to take in and regurgitate information that are either outdated or just blatantly false. Then at the age of 18, without clear guidance and completely spoon-fed, we are told (advised) to go off to college to later be pressured into picking a major that we may or may not want to practice for the rest of our lives.

Go along with this example; you’re still here? Alright good. If 100 teenagers (because that’s really what they are) head off to college, 90 have no clue who they are as a person, let alone know what major to pick. Unsure of themselves and without guidance, they are forced to make an impossible choice. The abundance of possibly meaningless information they were thought in grade school can’t even aid them on their quest. Once you’re in college, not truly knowing yourself can be a huge crutch. Which means that you have a lot of soul searching and evolving to do. What you thought you originally wanted to practice turned out to be completely false.

But, the price for evolving is astronomically high. What are your options? Either you close both eyes and choose to further entrench yourself in debt in search of your true calling or you stick with something that will most likely make you miserable and depress for the rest of your life. (Maybe not the rest of your life if you’re blessed enough to change path later in life.) Then you graduate, and voila, you stare at the world as it greets you with a humongous middle finger. Shaken by the inhospitable greeting, you look back on all your school years and realize that it was nothing but just one big expensive life lesson.

Is it worth it? I don’t know, you tell me. I’m just on the side taking a slow and long walk as I watch the train go by.

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!

Playing with your life because I can

Step into my office. While you’re at it, close the door behind you and do not look back. Grab a seat as I playfully juggle your fragile life. Here’s your life sentence delicately and technically written on this contract. You only have three days to make up your mind.

            Three days?

Yes, three days. You can’t contact anyone about this matter other than us.

            Not even my parents?

Yes, you can contact your parents but that’s the extent of your freedom. I can sense rebellion in your blood. It flows in your veins with an indescribable itch. It’s futile really if you try to resist. You call anyone else aside from your parents and they’ll treat you with silence. Do you want to know why? Because we willed it into existence. There’s nothing we can’t do. We have ultimate power over you. Now take your life sentence with you and I will see you in three days.

Day 1 – The phone’s ringing. One call after another – Voicemail!

Day 2 – The phone’s ringing. One call after another – Voicemail!

Day 3 – Signs life sentence.

Step into my office. While you’re at it, close the door behind you and never look back. Grab a seat as I place your fragile life inside my self-made prison box. Glad to have you on board. Truly, we’re delighted.

Day 4 – The phone rings. One call after another – “Apologies for not picking up your call, we were strictly instructed to not contact you. Hope you understand.”

_________________________________________

Is the picture clear enough? What you just read is my elaborate attempt to paint you a vivid picture of the heart wrenching experience a friend of mine had to recently endure. As a contractor, his contract was valid for another six months. For egotistic reasons by the company or (sorry) inclusiveness, he almost fell victim to the so called – Affirmative Action. His contract was abruptly cut short and was offered to join the company as a full time employee with a three day response time. That sounds amazing to me! That’s plenty time. – You’re thinking at the moment. Well, here’s the catch. You ready? I hope you are, because when I heard it myself, the scenario sounded like it came out of a movie. But sadly, that’s not the case. This is very real. Grateful yet still open to other options, he goes hunting for maybe a better opportunity elsewhere. The same contracting companies who had called him on numerous occasion about such opportunities refused to return his calls. Left without any alternatives, he accepts the offer at a company he believed he had no future in. Once he accepted the offer, his phone began to ring. Who could it be? Well, here’s your answer – The contracting firms. One after another, they forwarded their sincere apologies for not picking up the phone since they were ordered not to by the company who had offered my friend the full time position. Such a shitty and abhorrent ultimatum! Either you accept this offer or good luck being homeless in one of the most expensive city in the Divided States of America. (Oops) I meant, the United States of America, I swear. Desperately trying to portray an image of inclusivity, the company had effortlessly and repugnantly cornered him into submission.

Obey or be left to starve like the rest of the sheep.

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!