At a moment in time not long ago (in relative terms) the world revolted against a man named Wayne Jones.
At the exact moment Wayne dropped a letter into an empty mailbox on the corner of the street in which he lived things started to change.
I cannot say why or how. Perhaps the world was somehow upset that Wayne had forgotten to pay the correct postage on the letter, which was to be delivered to his mother in time for her 60th birthday.
As Wayne waited at the corner, next to the red mailbox a car was coming down the street, as cars usually do, and got a little too close to the curb, splashing him with mud and water left over from the rainfall the previous day.
Wayne stood in shock as the cold water dripped off of his face and shirt.
Some would shrug it off, I suppose, but most would be a little perturbed. Wayne felt as if he wanted to cry. Perhaps Wayne could feel the start of the world unravelling. Like a war, perhaps the world had officially fired the first shot.
Of course, it is absurd to think a man like Wayne would be in touch with the world so intimately. No, the problem was that he had just purchased the suit he was wearing and was in fact, on his way to a job interview that he so desperately needed to make a good first impression on.
If you ask me, there are far more important things to factor into a good first impression than cotton sewn together overseas and manufactured into the suits we see everyday.
To say it was a particularly nice suit would be a lie, but it was the only one Wayne owned and so he stood there running his hands over it, trying desperately to summon the power to dry-clean it by touch alone.
Somewhere else not far off in time, a man named Lyle Jackson was sitting in a chair in an unemployment office staring into the eyes of an elderly lady, who quite simply had no sympathy for people like himself.
Not only that, the elderly lady often enjoyed spreading negative news as if it was her gift to the world.
Needless to say he was denied not only a form of payment, but a job for the third week in a row.
As Lyle stood up from the chair he noticed his shoe was untied, but decided to live dangerously because his lower back had been sore for months and he desperately did not want to bend down to tie it properly.
He gave a fake goodbye wave to the elderly lady and was on his way.
Some people would call it a run of bad luck to be out of work so long, Most would be angry with themselves despite the odds being stacked against them. Lyle was instead mad at everyone else.
He walked a short distance down the street before stopping at a payphone to call his pregnant wife.
She was not happy with the news and all Lyle could do was keep his head down as she berated him for being so lazy.
He stared at his shoelace, caked with mud and wished Velcro was still around.
Elsewhere in time a young woman named Lee Bertrami was driving in her red Ford Focus down a busy city street looking for a restaurant in which she was to meet her friends.
Being new to the city, she had been finding it hard to adjust. There were buildings everywhere, but none of which seemed to be of any importance whatsoever to anybody. It is, of course, a narrow-minded point of view to think like this, but the truth is that cities are indeed overly populated and quite terribly designed in most cases.
Lee flipped open her phone and called one of her friends to find out if she was even remotely close to where she needed to be.
Of course, she was.
That always seems to be the case. So close. So far.
As some women do, they began talking about something not even a little related and Lee veered into the far right lane slowly as she became more animated while talking to her friend about the best place to get cheap drinks before nearly jumping the curb and sending a wall of water shooting high into the air and covering a man in a cheap looking suit in the process.
The surge of adrenaline shot her back into coherency and she dropped the phone and gripped the wheel with both hands to regain control
Shifting about through time once again, Lyle hangs up the telephone with anger and embarrassment and steps onto the sidewalk.
He spots a man with an impeccably clean and nice looking suit waiting to cross the street and begins to walk toward him.
Lyle, in his desperate need to take care of his wife and unborn child thinks of a plan that involves mugging this man and taking his wallet.
He stays motionless and second guesses himself. And then third guesses himself.
A red car passes by and shoots water every which way and Lyle is glad he’s on the other side of the street. The man in the nice suit looks upset, though.
Taking a spin through time every which way, Wayne has his suit jacket off and slung over the mailbox as he runs his hands over his silk shirt trying to see if it is indeed still dry.
Across the street a desperate looking man is noticeably antsy as he waits for the crosswalk to give him the go ahead.
Tap dancing through time, a red Ford Focus is pulled over and Lee unbuckles her seatbelt to reach her phone on the floor.
She resumes her conversation and her hands are shaking slightly.
Her friend gives her the correct address and Lee looks at a street sign. She has gone too far already.
She pulls out onto the road to make an illegal u-turn and it is at this specific moment in time that she hopes the restaurant serves Sushi because she’s been craving it for weeks.
After some forward and perhaps a little backwards through time, Wayne has admitted defeat and realized he will need to go home to change his clothes. He thinks a cardigan might make a good first impression and smiles slightly.
Personally, I find the look a little pompous and effeminate.
Wayne picks his jacket up off the mailbox and glances toward the busy intersection where few people are getting ready to cross the street and notices a man trip over his own shoelace slightly as he begins to move forward.
Diving head first through time, Lee is looking at street signs trying to find the correct establishment. At this time she does not notice the yellow traffic light ahead.
At almost the same instant in time Wayne is now crossing the street with his wet jacket slung over his shoulder.
Lyle is walking toward him. Staring him down. Ready to strike.
It is at this time that Lyle notices the man in the expensive suit is actually a man in a cheap suit, but desperation is still in his blood and plans remain unchanged.
Shortly after in time, the two men meet going opposite ways and Lyle springs into action, grabbing at Wayne’s jacket and trying to pull it off.
Wayne reacts instantly and kicks at Lyle, knocking him to one knee but Lyle is on his feet quick enough to grapple Wayne and shoves him back and to the ground.
Somewhere else in time the brakes of a red Ford Focus lock up and a deafening screech fills the air as rubber meets pavement in a complete fuck up of an introduction. Bad first impression.
In an exact moment in time almost indefinable by anyone, our three subjects finally acknowledge one another.
In another moment in time not far off the world’s plan pans out wonderfully and a cheap, wet suit jacket becomes stained red while an untied shoe flies through the air flipping like an Olympic gymnast every which way before it hit’s the ground with a thud that nobody will ever hear.
The finishing touch comes a moment later in time as an extra red Ford Focus becomes one with a red mailbox containing a letter with incorrect postage, sending a young woman not wearing a seatbelt into the dashboard of her own car with a sickening thud, again unheard.
Somewhere else in time a grieving 60 year old mother doesn’t receive a birthday card.
And the world smiles.
Written and owned by Dan Chubaty 2008