thank you, lord, for each
new day you bring to me.

this big oaf sits in his office with his wood-paneled walls. he's wearing a blue shirt with a red tie, and there's a trophy on top of the metal file cabinet. the trophy is for some useless sport - bowling or golf - something that requires minimal physical exertion. he's on the computer, and he's got the phone to his ear, sandwiched between his shoulder and fat head. he's playing with spreadsheets and databases, a bunch of numbers, and doing such things earns him a monthly paycheck. and his pastor says gambling is a sin.

his desk is a mess. there are papers scattered everywhere, and he's got his jacket slung over a nearby chair. he's often thought about getting a coat rack, but it simply isn't in the budget to acquire such an extravagance. certainly not in these woeful economic times. he gets up every now and then to visit the break room, where he fills up his mug with coffee. and sometimes, it's to fill his glass with water. he thinks it is good for him to get up as much as possible. he doesn't want migraines from looking at the screen for too long, and he thinks that walking around a little bit around the office is a small step in preventing heart disease. deep down, he knows his thinking is illogical, but he thinks it anyway. he has to.

this time, he gets up to get water. he walks past the pretty young receptionist, and he makes some comment about how he likes her hair better when it is up instead of down. she smiles at him, and she rolls her eyes. sometimes, he thinks about what it would be like to have her, sweaty and moaning, under him. his pastor says adultery is a sin. the fleeting thought is enough to make him blush, enough to feel guilty. he thinks about his tired old lady and what she must be doing at her job. it's 10:45, so she must be between classes. maybe she's on a water break, too.

he and his wife love each other, but it has been a long time since either of them admitted to themselves that they were in love with each other. he realized this once while reading a work of fiction. it was about two characters, male and female (the pastor encouraged them to support prop. 8), whose relationship had gone south, but they decided to stick it out anyway. when he read it, the meaning sunk in. it felt good to know that other characters - even if they weren't real - felt the same way he felt. but it was also, obviously, a sad realization.

one of his co-workers was in the break room, too. it was an older woman, and she was reading the paper. she was highlighting things. he asked her what she was highlighting. she said that she was looking to buy a used car. he made some joke about the economy, and then he told her good luck. she smiled at him, and this made him feel good. as he returned to his desk, he wondered why life couldn't just be like that all the time. why couldn't it just be people smiling at each other and talking about things they wanted? he sighed, and he opened up the spreadsheet.

throughout the day, the phone would ring, and he would answer people's questions. every now and then, a co-worker would stop by and talk about something that wasn't work-related. there seemed to be a general understanding among everyone that it was good to talk about things that weren't work-related. someone asked if he caught the game last night. someone asked how his wife was doing. someone asked what his plans were for the upcoming weekend.

he had been working there now for about eighteen years. he was in it for the long-haul, the final stretch. there was no chance, no point, in quitting or trying to find something else. he wasn't the type of man to just give up on a job after so many years when the bad days outweighed the good. he wasn't the type of man to give up on his wife who was devoted to him, who cooked meals for him, and who ironed his shirts and pants for him (his pastor said divorce was a sin). so what if the passion was no longer there? it could be worse. he could be unemployed and alone.

at the end of the day, he walked back to his car and thanked the good lord for all that he had been given.

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