The grime doctor seeks to escape the basement.
| The grime doctor shuffled down the blue-lit corridor, his joints clicking and shuffling like reams of paper, older than he cared to know. He wore shoes, or at least he thought he did, but sometimes he wasn’t really sure what was artificially attached to him and what was really actually just a part of his body. But if he was wearing shoes, he was confident that they would be brown shoes. The grime doctor had always preferred brown to black, and anyway if they were black they wouldn’t match his tan slacks, unless he wasn’t really wearing slacks and they were just a part of his body too. The grime doctor didn’t know, he didn’t care to make distinctions like that. Everything was just another something anyway, and all somethings seemed, to him at least, to have more or less the same purpose as every other something.
“Hey man, hey man what are you doing?” the grime doctor asked himself and no one in particular.
“Just a’shufflin’,” the grime doctor responded. “Just a’shufflin’ and a’shufflin’ to nowhere in particular.”
“Where to where to where to where to where to.”
The grime doctor was pretty confident that he’d been to a lot of places, but it was hard to think right now because there was a lot of anxiety bubbling just below his surfaces, and whenever he wanted to focus on something he had to fight against the urge to stop focusing on it and instead focus on all the terrible shit that was happening in him. He would start thinking about people, but then he’d get distracted by the way his foot felt in its maybe-shoe, he could feel a pebble or perhaps a grain of salt poking at his skin, and if there was a person in his head he would file them away for further examination, that was if he could remember their name. Although truth-be-told, it wasn’t the name that was the issue, it was the faces. Certain people’s faces he just couldn’t picture no matter how hard he tried. The grime doctor had had a girlfriend at some point in the last ten years, one of several he believed, but this one particular girlfriend’s face he had never been able to picture, even when they’d been dating. There was probably no cosmic significance there- it was just a freak result of the grime doctor’s chemical imbalances, a scientific process he had no grasp of and wished fervently that he hadn’t fucking been introduced to in the first place. At least he thought there was no cosmic significance, but he’d broken up with that girl anyway, and now she was just a name whose face he couldn’t picture.
There was a window on the far end of the corridor, which the grime doctor now recognized as, in actuality, the basement of someone’s house. It was a half-window that was near the top of the wall touching the ceiling and it made the grime doctor feel like he was enshrouded in a bunker below the earth. This effect was intensified by the pebbles that he could see laying outside the window, assembled in a pattern that was probably nothing but could be the answer the grime doctor was looking for. The grime doctor had been looking for answers for a long time, but he usually got distracted and ended up having sex or looking for a job. He had the urge to find his way out of this mysterious bunker and go to those pebbles, kneel down and if they weren’t his answer he would arrange them so that they were. But would he need gloves to do so? He could practically feel the bugs that lurked below those pebbles, he could feel them crawling on his hands, which he had to look at to make sure they were still coming out of his sleeves.
“Hey, you know, life really is a lot of hard work,” someone had told the grime doctor once.
He knew though, he was about to find his way out of here and really bust his hump doing some hard work with those pebbles. He was going to work up a hell of a sweat doing it. Finally, he’d found a way to be fucking productive.
“It’s not all fun and games,” the someone had also probably said. The someone sounded, through the distortions of his mind’s lens, to be the type of person to spout common maxims as if they were indisputable. “And it isn’t fucking fair, doc, oh man let me tell you. You gotta really work to be somebody in this place. Climb up the ladder, step on a few suckers on the way for good measure.”
If only there was a ladder out of the bunker, but the grime doctor couldn’t find it. There were couches in the way, and sprawling bodies of people whose names, for the moment, eluded him. One of the bodies looked up and spoke at him- loudly- but they could have been screaming and their meaning would still have been lost. It was too much effort to silence his inner voices long enough to process the goings on of the other bodies in the bunker.
The grime doctor had almost forgotten why he was making such a fuss to get outside in the first place, but then he remembered the pebbles, but the pebbles didn’t seem significant to him now, they just seemed like an excuse to escape the drab scenery that he could no longer abide. He really needed to move somewhere, because he was sure there was some place that would be giving off just the right vibes for him, a place where he could kick back and- and- and watch television or read a book, do something comfortable. Anything other than eat. The thought of putting things inside of himself and crushing them up into to mush and having them slide down his throat was positively repulsive. The grime doctor had an image in his head of a video he had watched of some sort of bacteria swallowing up a smaller bacteria inside of itself, watching them merge horribly, intolerably. His fingers were twitching with the desire to be nice and comfortable somewhere, though. This bunker just wasn’t the place. There weren’t any lights on, and in the midday with the half-windows everywhere everything looked kind of blue, and the other bodies were far too judgmental, he could practically feel them constructing their theories of him only a few feet away. The grime doctor knew this wasn’t the place.