Last Week’s Memoir #8
Art by Paul Rios
Editor’s Note: The Last Week’s Memoir series is a collaborative story written by Jake Corbin, Bryce McEfee and Paul Rios. View previous LWM Serial No.1 entries to read the story from the beginning.
Andy walked out of his boss’s office, feet focused on his path while his mind raced ahead toward the loading dock. Walls and people blurred together as he passed by both. Lucky for Andy his feet knew the way.
As Andy approached the loading dock his eyes focused, honing in on the only one that could give him relief from this awkward misunderstanding. Larry stood by his truck directing Rolu on which mattresses to lift and put in the back. Andy went directly toward Larry. Larry not even glancing up, shot Andy a frustrated welcoming.
“Nice of you to join us Andy, you’re late and now we’re behind schedule. Go help Rolu finish up.”
Andy listened and picked up the next mattress on the pile, hoping this would allow him the chance to ask Larry some questions. Andy loaded several mattresses, each one getting heavier than the last with anticipation. His mind racing…How to ask? What to ask? Larry wasn’t one for small talk, let alone one for questions and Andy was well aware of this fact. “God I hope he knows what I’m talking about!” Andy yelled out in his mind before his impatience for answers completely engulfed him. Andy put down the mattress he was carrying and turned toward Larry. Rolu, not caring about Andy, continued to lift and load with speed and precision.
“Larry, can I ask you a few questions?”
“I suppose you won’t go back to work unless you do? Proceed.”
“Look Larry, I know you probably won’t be able to understand why I’m asking this, but what happened yesterday? It was Monday morning. We went on a delivery. Right?”
“Yesterday? We work on a 5-day schedule, today being the first day of a new week. Yesterday was Sunday. We were not at work yesterday and I have never gone on a delivery with you. Rolu is my lifter, not you.”
There it was again. ‘Yesterday was Sunday.’ Yesterday was Sunday?
Before Andy could finish his sentence, his lungs collapsed, trying to remember how to breathe, unable to speak, totally stunned as Larry’s words pierced his ability to function properly. This couldn’t be true. Andy knew deep down he went on a delivery with Larry. Something gripped Andy’s body, a strong tingling sensation pulling him toward the ground. He finally opened his mouth and gasped in a couple gulps of air. He staggered, brushing it off, Andy stood up and stumbled back through the warehouse, through the break room, and out past the mattress gallery. Andy paid no attention to the stares, knocking over whatever items or people were in his path, he crashed trough the stockroom door, plopped down into his familiar sturdy desk chair and gulped in another mouthful of air. Andy’s body started to recall how to breathe again. He needed a distraction, something to help calm his racing mind. Still unable to talk, Andy fumbled with the radio dial, unable to recall how to operate the older ways. Maybe his mind wasn’t complete mush after all, after a few cursing minutes the calming waves clicked on, lulling him back into his seat.
Andy sat, slouched, his hands limp at his sides resting on the cool concrete floor, leaving his butt hanging on to the last inches of the chair, just enough for his head to rest on the top of the backrest. He stared straight up at the ceiling. Eyes wide open. Slow breaths. His mind trying to find the right pieces to fit into the puzzle box created from the scattered events. He couldn’t help but think maybe this had to be a dream or some crazy trick his damaged imagination was playing on him. Did yesterday really not happen? Was today Monday? Uncertainty lingered, Larry and Andy’s boss’s words replayed through his mind eventually becoming unconsciously audible to the empty stockroom.
“Yesterday was Sunday. Yesterday was Sunday. Yesterday was…”
Andy’s mind switched tracks, as the radio waves started to creep into the foreground instead of keeping their calming distance. The same old Swingin’ Utters jam he heard on his ride to work this morning—no yesterday morning—became ever so loud as the tune raced through his ears trying to find its way toward his memory.