I created this fictional story about the work life balance by doing another “Creative Collaboration”. I posted on Facebook: “Before looking at your phone, what was the last thing you saw?” All suggested words were used in the order received, and are formatted in the story like *this*.
Amy’s Work Life Balance
Amy finally escaped the office after another 12 hour day of working like a *dog*, which involved mostly sitting in front of a computer. Though Amy’s mom encouraged the recent work transition that focused more on stretching Amy’s mental instead of physical abilities, Amy missed her *dancing* days. Amy’s English bulldog, Scallywag, also seemed less enthused by the new work schedule.
As Amy put on her seat-belt, she realized that the short walk from the office to the car had left her out of breath. She felt slightly embarrassed as she internalized the quantity of various candy wrappers littering her car. Amy knew her stress eating of sweets had increased over the past few weeks, but she had been too busy to realize the extent. A lump of guilt settled in Amy’s stomach as she remembered that her breakfast this morning was licking the now empty dish of *caramel custard* still sitting on *her night stand*. Amy sighed with disappointment, started her Honda Civic, and pulled out of the parking garage.
The car ride home was mostly uneventful, minus some *cats chasing each other* down an alley, and a random group of college kids running through a *tunnel in their skivvies*. Amy had a twinge of jealousy as she watched others enjoying late night adventures while she sat in her car at a red light. Thus far, Amy’s highlight of the day was the stale *donut she just ate*.
Once back at her rundown apartment, Scallywag anxiously greeted Amy. Amy appreciated Scallywag’s unconditional loyalty and felt bad that her dog also appeared a bit more plump since the new job.
After taking care of Scallywag’s needs, Amy collapsed on the bed. Amy mindlessly looked at her phone, yet another screen, and realized she had many unanswered text messages. The most recent text was from her best friend Destiny.
Text Conversation with Destiny
Destiny: “Are you coming out tonight?! Violet is performing!”
Amy finally responded: “No, I’m already *naked lying in bed*.”
Destiny: “*Me too! Where are you?*”
Amy: “Huh? I’m home. Duh.”
Destiny: “I sent you that text to come out tonight hours ago. I thought maybe you got into some fun while in someone else’s bed. ;)”
Amy: “If only. Since this new job my life is as exciting as a *homeless guy sleeping with a dog on the sidewalk*.”
Destiny: “Bummer. :-P”
Amy: “Yeah. The closest thing I have to a relationship right now is with a *garbage bag of instant coffee*.”
Destiny: “I’m sure things will get better soon. I have to go, *my hubby sleeping* next to me is stirring and I don’t want to wake him. Miss you.”
Amy: “Miss you too.”
Amy dragged herself out of bed to start her nightly routine. She did her best to ignore the various chores in need of completing around the apartment. Scallywag playfully grabbed a pair of Amy’s purple *socks*, but Amy was too tired to play. Amy gently replaced the socks with Scallywag’s *hummingbird* stuffed animal. Instead, sensing Amy’s night routine, Scallywag jumped on the bed while Amy finished brushing her teeth.
Amy walked back to her bed and curled up next to Scallywag. Amy’s old cat *Peanut* also hopped on the bed. Peanut seemed indifferent to Amy’s recent lifestyle transition, and this somehow comforted Amy.
“Well I may be single, but at least I have both of you as *my partner*s.” Amy said to her loving pets.
Peanut stretched to re-position for the long night’s slumber on the bed, placing her *orange tabby cat butt* in Amy’s face. Amy quickly adverted her eyes and looked to the left of her bed, noticing the empty dish of caramel custard still sitting on her messy nightstand. Amy desperately shifted her eyes around the room. An old colorful flyer hanging on the wall caught Amy’s eye. The only words on the flyer big enough to read from bed were, “In loving memory of Leonard Nimoy”. About a year ago Amy and Destiny had created a Star Trek routine that was so popular it helped pay for Amy’s last semester of college within only a few weeks.
Amy laughed remembering the old dance routine, and turned off the light. Amy thought, “Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday.”
More Creative Collaborations by Just Simply Alice
Next poem: A Stale Marriage