Small Victories – Austin L. Wiggins

exhausted-women

Illuminated LED lights on the clock blinked three in the morning then faded into blackness, just to return to neon red moments later. Victoria sat at a makeshift desk made of particleboard and scavenged stands and within her entire apartment there was a single light that illuminated the paper she etched into. She carved into the paper with fine tip ink pens of varying colors into a solid white page, drawing figures of women and men. She would often stand from her seat, pose herself, and then draw the pose she had made. Red capillaries like branching trees displayed themselves on the whites of her eyes.

After another hour Victoria dozed on her desk but woke up to an alarm at seven in the morning. The spider-print of red in her eyes never recovered and the exhaustion from the night before was magnified rather than diminished. After dressing, and without even a cursory glance at herself in the mirror, she drove to work. Desks were thrown out in the open as if a child reigned over the occupants of the office, and though organization seemed to have no meaning in the office, the workers smiled while they worked. Save Victoria who, unlike the night before, could not focus through veil of tiredness.

Victoria sat in her chair in the same spot she had for the last five years, next to the same people for the last two years, and sifted through paperwork. She read proposals of potential employees seeking a big break and promising the next bright idea. Packet after packet, she handed down rejections without remorse to the creative minds behind the idea. After three hours of work she stopped and looked about.

She glanced around so long a coworker finally asked, “Hey Vic, are you doing okay?”

“Yeah,” she said, “I’ve finally decided to quit my job.”

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