He did not lead a particularly exciting life. In fact, it was almost as far from exciting as you could get. Feet shuffled forward. He shuffled forward. The bills he needed to pay were folded neatly in his hand, growing slightly damp from the beaded perspiration forming upon his fingertips. Despite the fact that most people’s lives are unremarkable, brightened only perhaps by the occasional overseas trip or hilarious kitchen mishap, they were surely above the level of dullness he had managed to achieve, and it had not been easy. It had taken effort to be this dull, stripping back any colour with layers of assorted tedium, before being covered with linoleum and stuck to the wall of a mid-1970’s flat. He tried to not think about it, but it gnawed at him in unguarded moments, dripping onto his thoughts like a faulty tap inside his head. Standing in line at the bank, he waited to be served with the serenity of a person who, for all intents and purposes, wasn’t really there – He could be walked through like a breeze, with a hazy peace found in the intangibility of the disconnected rendering him almost ethereal, floating amongst the world in a state of living humdrum. It would have been a perfect way to live; untroubled, unimpassioned, and tranquil to the point of flat effect – if only he wasn’t dimly aware of it. But, he was. Another shuffle forward. It seemed with every inch forward, his awareness of exactly where he was increased. Having not noticed before probably should have alarmed him, especially considering he drove here, filled out forms, and joined a line of rather unhappy people, all operating on a limited consciousness, like a dimmed screen bleakly peering into a darkened room. What was he doing here again? Oh, bills. He remembered that. But what bills? Power, gas, he didn’t know. They were red, and most likely angry, because they greeted him like wasps every morning at the mailbox, of that he was certain. He was here to pay them. Now he remembered. A muted tinge of anxiety grabbed in his chest, and the urge to run screaming out of this grey suffocation became almost unbearable. He wished that he hadn’t remembered where he was, or why he was here. Sometimes it just didn’t pay to think too much about things. It seemed that living had become one of those things, but it tended to sneak up in his mind, advancing silently in weak moments. Thinking about life, he had discovered, led to an inexorable tendency to turn an otherwise manageable day into one that could quite easily come to a close at the end of an extension cord. So, he just didn’t think about it. Plus, his extension cord was pretty old.