It pounded in her ears, the steady thrum of music vibrating her body as she raised her hands to the sky and closed her eyes. She let the music pour through her, let it thrill her. Until she heard the jarring honk of the horn in the car behind her.
Her eyes popped open to a green light and no traffic in front of her. A second ago there had been at least ten cars, and a red light. She raised an apologetic hand to the cars behind her, put her hands on the steering wheel, and put her foot on the gas pedal.
It happened every day. The drive to work was a long and tedious one, taking an hour or more if there was no traffic. Because the job market was slow, it had been the only job she could find. There were apartments for rent, houses for sale, and other options she could pick closer to work, but closer to work meant farther away from friends and family.
Every day, Monday through Friday, she squished herself in her ancient Honda, rewound the cassette adapter that connected to her phone, and relaxed with music. The problem was, she always got a bit too involved in the music, losing herself in the words and the rhythms, the way the sounds made her feel.
Her turn signal blinked loudly as Pandora debated which song would come on next, and after a blaringly loud commercial she didn’t have the energy to turn down, a 90’s dance song came on. Her eyes lit up with joy, turning from blue to a blinding blue. Her lips curved upwards even as her body started jiggling back and forth to the rhythm.
“CALL HIM MR. RADER, CALL HIM MR. WRONG…” As she matched the lyrics, she grinned at herself, knowing what she was doing couldn’t be considered singing. No, instead it was a match of her cars volume to her own as she screamed the words in joy, letting the song be what set her mood for the day.
As the song ended, she pulled into the parking lot at work, staring at the khaki-colored building in dismay. As much as she tried to deny it to her friends, to her family, she couldn’t deny it to herself. Her job was boring, a steady 9-5 pace of checking up on other people to ensure they were doing the work they were paid to do.
As a member of Human Resources, every time she was required to fill a position, she grimaced at every application, felt mournful for every call she had to make, every meeting she had to schedule. Every job that was accepted was another human being she was condemning to the khaki-colored boring building she worked in.
“Hey Cindy!” at the sound of her name she looked up, eyes locking on a perfectly pert woman from legal whose name she could never remember. Cindy groaned, knowing that 8:01 was too early for meaningful conversation, and also knowing there would be no escape from it.
“Morning.” She grumbled back, blowing the curtain of bangs that had fallen in her eyes away.
“We have a new position opening up in legal. Can you get this job description posted for us today? I sent you the email already, but wanted to make sure you got it.” Before there was even a moment to respond, a manilla folder was shoved into her hands, and the perfectly pert woman from legal was already what seemed like a mile away, high heels clacking on the floor as she went.
“Because I of course have nothing else to do today.” She breathed to herself, the soles of her worn flats barely making a sound as she stomped to her soul sucking cubicle.
Logging on just made her angrier, as there were already fifty emails in her inbox with the word “urgent” in the subject line. Blowing out an angry breath, she closed her eyes, laid her head on her desk, and allowed herself the victory of singing a tune in her head.