It was one more ordinary day as always. A day, that he would woke up at seven o’ clock in the morning, would wash his face with cold water, would hastily drink a coffee, would dress up in a hurry, with one of his pair of jeans and one of these unforgettable sweaters that his mother had made for him, and have stayed for years in the closet, would take a look to see if his grandfather was alright and if he sleeps peacefully in his bed or have already opened up the TV and being informed early in the morning, about the mess in the country and finally would take two trains, one suburban and one subway, to go to his work at Marousi.
He arrived in the family business, where he worked as an IT operator – apart from all the other things he was doing for the business – at nine to ten. Always punctual, always right. On time. The big boss was there early in the morning as always. His children usually arrived lately, from ten o clock and after that. He said good morning to the big boss, who smoked a lot and drank Greek coffee, being as usual moody and with a long face, but he got no answer. He sat at his desk, opened the computer and started working.
He did not understand how time passed. It was half past ten a.m. It was the time that the daughter of the big boss entered the office. She had at least the “courtesy” to say good morning to him. She always said good morning to him. Hey asshole, how is it going eh? Good morning! Have you printed the e-mails? Do we have any new order?
He often thought that her father had spent a fortune for her studies in England. Bachelor and Master’s degree in Economics and so on and on. But she never obtained manners though. He thought of his own father, who spent a fortune in women and card games. He was prone to passions and addictions, spending in general. He never spent any money for his son’s education nor care for his current plight. He spoke with him rarely and by pretending that everything was fine, in the phone. He had now grown old and lived alone, widower for five years now, in the province with his pension. And so his son never went to college, nor had “typical” qualifications. There was no “Certificate” in his hands. The only qualification that he had was what we call simply ‘experienced’. In that way he struggled to survive.
We had an order. From the state of Bironas. He replied to her and immediately printed the relevant email. He marked with bright color the background information for her. They wanted everything printed. They burned down whole forests, and put many papers into huge binders. They did not care. They had money. After a while her brother also appeared. He was along the same lines as his sister as well.
Good morning. Is my father inside? He was always smiling ironic and not respecting anyone. He only feared his father that he had the money and made the shots. He was not counting anyone else.
Yes … he replied. He’s inside his office.
Go and tell him that I arrived, but I will leave again so as to go to the bank.
And so he did. He could not do otherwise, anyway. He got up from his chair and headed for the boss’s office that was at the end of the corridor. Before having made five steps, suddenly and without realizing anything he was sprawling on the floor with his face down. He didn’t even have a clue of what had happened. He had stumbled somewhere? Stepped on something? Did he slip over? But where?
No sooner that he even stood up and searched for the cause of his fall, he heard hysterical laughs. It was the boss’s son. He burst into the laughter because of his fall. He was staring at him, waiting for him to get up. Just to see his reaction.
For God’s sake! He had stumbled him! Oh well! Wasn’t he supposed to go to the bank? How did he get back there, and why? When did he managed to go from the other door to the hallway? Did he lie about the bank? Was it true, but before going to the bank he wanted to make some fun? Why he stumbled him? Why did he stretch his leg like that, while he was hiding behind the door? What’s for him to blame? Were they children in the primary school? Maybe in the context of his duties, also was a jester’s service.
His sister also arrived soon. What have happened here? Ah well you both are total animals! And she laughed with the well-known ironic style of the family, while she was doing the masturbation gesture.
He stood up without speaking, without protesting, without making any comment. Fortunately he wasn’t injured. He swallowed it and returned to his office. He continued his work as if nothing had happened. Embarrassed. Embarrassed against himself, against his grandfather who hosted a forty year old man in his house. For a moment he remembered the past. He was married to Olga once. For ten years. Having no children. They divorced. Just like that. It wasn’t getting anywhere. He never saw her again. They lived quite well then. He had his own business. His own business with men’s clothes that left him flat broke. Fate had ruined him back then. He returned briefly in the present time.
We had a second order. From Piraeus this time.
And what are you waiting for? Print it out and bring it on here! The daughter said.
And the day passed like that. As always. He was there in front of the computer and the bosses, both younger and older ones, identical and unchanged, sometimes carried on by nerves, sometimes disparagingly, sometimes sarcastically, and that day also tripping.
It was almost noon. He was getting hungry. He took the toast with cheese and tomato that he brought from his home. The son entered the office. He had indeed gone to the bank. After tripping him. After the joke.
I was late but it was crowded. I also went to the tax office too. Crowded and there … Hey! Your salary! Take it! Count them. Six hundred euros. Take them and spend them well…
It was 25th of the current month. Payday. Fortunately it was always consistently. Six hundred euros. He looked at the son, he said shyly a “thank you” and looked intensely at the computer screen once again.
He finished his work as always, at five o clock. He got again two trains to go home. One subway and one suburban. Before returning home, he passed from the supermarket to shop some necessary things. He opened the door of the old ground floor apartment in Ano Liosia and saw his grandfather watching TV sitting in his armchair in the living room.
Good evening. I brought you, your favorite cookies. The round ones with the chocolate chips inside. Let me make you Turkish coffee as well like the way you like it. He asked him tenderly waiting his the positive nod.
You can flnd the original short story written by Marina Apostolou in Greek Language right underneath