Creative Fiction: Janitor


The halogen light bulb flickers; the populace spoke and school funds plummeted again last October during the sharp bite of autumn. He’s surprised he still has a job; it doesn’t seem like there’s much of a regard for cleanliness here – obscene images are plastered across the mirrors in the bathroom and graffiti art is sprayed across the brick exterior of the building. Nature is beginning to reclaim the earth here (an additional and unfortunate consequence of budget cuts), but again, there’s no regard for conformity or neatness here.

The shadows of night begin to gather outside, even though the hour hand of the clock points to the two–oh, of course. Budget cuts.

Slowly, he begins to move toward the janitor’s closet, pulling a set of rusted keys from his worn trousers. Etched in the blurry and crooked lines of old age, he is dressed in a gray that matches the overcast sky. The fat under his chin is a lateral pendulum while the calluses on his hands form a thick layer of skin on his palms. The curvature of his back reveals years of apathy and discontent, and crow’s feet wrinkles gather around his eyes, but the number on his driver’s license would surprise you. There is no bounce in his step or life in his eyes but he still comes. Like clockwork. Tick, tock, tick, tock. The hour hand always points at the two––always two, always on time.

Well that’s disgusting, but admittedly, I did succeed in my purpose–evoking this sense of boredom and lethargy and…slowness? I don’t know.

I’ve been trying this new exercise – I choose a random word and just sit and write anything sane. Partially sane, I mean. Lately I’ve been trying to improve my abilities to write about the mundane aspects of daily life, and I guess this is just an extension of that effort so…yeah.

Anyway, I’m sleepy.