Five Allegories for Apathy

by Marissa Maciel

“Everything had been taken by the movers, save for one computer power cable, lying in the middle of the empty office, no power outlet or computer case nearby. The words Mac #1 were written on the cable in black marker, and had been boldly legible at one time, but were now faded and smudged to near invisible. A mover lifted the limp cord up to his partner and shrugged, then tossed it in an empty garbage can.”

“The mug shattered on the kitchen floor, but Emily was too busy to clean it up. Guests walked over and by the shards as she waived them away from the mess, imploring them to ignore it, please. She thought of her mother, and how she would never leave such a mess lying out during a party. Mom wouldn’t want anyone to notice the results of clumsiness or carelessness. This made Emily care even less, feeling nearly resentful towards the mug she had been using daily. The shards stayed there until well into the next morning.”

“Cars and trucks inched past in the traffic, drivers and passengers practicing their un-intrusive stares while she sat in her car on the shoulder, oily smoke wafting up from under the hood. A child in the back seat of a station wagon flipped her off with one hand, while picking his nose with the other.”

“Under the bed and into the corner of the wall, the cat tucked her body away, tail wrapped firmly around and paws disappeared beneath. The child banged his toy truck again and again on the bed frame, ignoring the calls from his mother to leave the cat alone. Finally, a shout from the kitchen announced the discovery of chocolate candy coins, and the boy disappeared. The bedroom door slammed shut, staying shut for hours, hours, and hours.”

“Sidewalks teemed with business people walking nearly five abreast. They parted for the woman on the ground, apparently asleep. Suddenly, she flipped over and tripped a man in a blue pinstripe with tan loafers, who grabbed on to two other passersby to keep from hitting the ground. She laughed and rolled back onto her cardboard mat. He mockingly spat in her direction. They neatly overlapped in their traded fuck yous. The police officer sighed in his car, and returned to his morning paper.”

Previously: What Is White Wine Good For?

Marissa Maciel writes, tweets and blogs. One time she ate the last cookie, feigning ignorance that it was the last cookie. She has no lingering guilt.