Forward, choose left or right, right would be through the kitchen then another right down the hall, left and left again was the bathroom. Pack-Man washed his hands again, this time with a new desire for full time employment. In a government department no less, nine to five or more and scores of hoops to jump through. No more random naked lunch time love making at home. Possibly a tie and suit would be required. Did he even have long pants that still fit in the waist?
Right out of the bathroom, right again to the hall, choose left or right, right this time would be past the laundry, not the kitchen and into the living room. Forward, choose left door or right doors to playroom. He nearly always chose the left as it was closer to his adjoining study. The study without air-conditioning and only a slow winding ceiling fan. He checked the curtains were closed as a passing truck revved its engine and adjusted the curtains anyway. Without anymore thought he slipped off his boxer shorts and sat on the towel carefully adjusted on the mesh executive chair.
Was this going backwards or forwards? Wasn’t he happy the civil service had been too full to take him back when he graduated decades ago, as the private sector had always paid more and taken him around the globe and back again. Like every even numbered year since he started high school and beyond, it would be a year of positive monetary change normally involving a change of work. Odd numbered years always involved high expenses, if not a near financial disaster.
Even numbered year or not, Pack-Man would be prepared. The right look with the right luggage. The baggage. Why couldn’t life be as easily compartmentalized as computer cables? School kids on bikes raced outside so there was to be no midday love-making. The baby had skipped her nap and the boys would be home soon too. Pack-Man got back into his boxers and slid a pair of khaki shorts over for good measure as he went outside pending their arrival before the rain started again. There was always tonight after the children went to bed.
Tonight had already been scheduled to prepare his outgoing president’s report for the school PTA and that was already being delayed by the updating of his resume for the government job. The one requiring no less than 1,500 words covering past experience and success. What was it Robin had said? ‘Success is difficult in the beginning, messy in the middle and glorious at the end’. It did not have to be glorious. In fact the less glorious the better. Pack-Man just needed to be back on the grid. This would be a final step in a two-year process, but one there would be no going back from. There would be less freedom, more money, more women, less sex and new, restrictive routines.
It was close enough to Lunar New Year to remember Confucius had said ‘there is no freedom without responsibility.’ Even letting some responsibilities go like the PTA, there was still baggage. The good thing about a desk job was going to be leaving baggage at home. That would also mean leaving the blow jobs at home too. Or would it?
There was still time to procrastinate. That was the great thing about celebrating both Chinese and Thai New Years. If Pack-Man screwed up January 2nd resolutions, which he rarely bothered making, he would put more effort into changes for the year whenever Lunar New Year was scheduled in the cusp of late January and February. That normally allowed a four to five day mulling period to calibrate how he wanted the year to end up. Failing that Thai New Year lasted a whole seven days in the middle of April and that is when plans could be pruned down to a beige-like level of activity.
This time was a little different. Urgency was required. There had a been a constant stream of potential buyers viewing the house Pack-Man’s family were renting. Now a valuer from one of the potential buyers was coming in two days to inspect and make an estimate. No bank would give the Pack-Man a loan without proof of at least one locally earned salary. That’s the only reason he needed to get back on the grid and become a wage slave again.
Pack-Man had spent his whole life being mobile. Ready to move at a moment’s notice. A minimalist before it was a thing. Holmes had taught him to keep his mind like a little attic with only the minimum of well kept tools necessary. Not cluttered with furniture. He had then at the tender age of eight, applied that to the bedroom in his parents’ home and continued in every apartment he rented, even the ones he bought. Who needed a sofa when women went straight to bed once you got home?
To Be Continued.