The Guard*

He has eleven hours and forty-six minutes in his hands.

Eleven hours and forty-six minutes left, and he has already paced around the restaurant. Twice.

So much time to kill, but with what? As far as he knows he is only allowed to people-watch, or else stare purposelessly out into space.

Eleven hours and forty-five minutes.

What’s there to defend? The baked mac? There must be a couple thousand pesos at most in the cash register. He has often caught himself questioning, if only in his head, why it’s become standard procedure for even small restaurants to hire security personnel. During peak hours he tries to make himself useful, bussing tables. Once in a while a harried customer trying to find someplace to sit grants him a nod of appreciation, but most times he just gets a nonplussed look or a giggle. A “bus-guard,” and a “guard-in-waiting,” he’s been called. The rest of the day he preoccupies himself with daydreaming, brows pulled down together and eyes squinting in feigned alertness and intense concentration. There really isn’t anything else to do, though he’s never saying that out loud.

He shakes his head almost imperceptibly. “Gotta stop these nonsense thoughts about purpose. This feeds my family, pays the bills. Don’t need any more purpose than that to keep me at my post.”


*Resurrecting this character vignette-in-progress. Still needs a lot of work; I wonder where he will take me 🙂

 

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2 thoughts on “The Guard*

  1. I’ve always thought that being a security guard would most likely drive me insane. So much waiting, and when there’s danger or trouble, you’re the front line. How do they not develop anxiety? O_o

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