Friday, February 4, 2011

Mysterious Skin

Caleb Muth wrote for the Anybody Daily for approximately two weeks. He quit after realizing the job wasn't exactly what it had been billed to be, falling far short of its ideals. And plus, it was hard. Caleb hadn't signed up for that shit. He thought he might simply be writing exactly what he wanted to write, opinion pieces, that sort of thing, but he was told almost immediately, even though he'd repeatedly inquired about it during the interview process, that he couldn't do that sort of thing at all.

It was another in a string of jobs that didn't turn out to be what it seemed it should be, because basically, as far as Caleb could tell, that's exactly how the job market worked. You either took a job that was available, or you didn't work. Caleb did a lot of that, not working. It never made sense to him, how such a thing as unemployment wages were even available, where those funds came from, and what they were supposed to imply. How did this money appear? Wasn't the whole idea of money to cover acknowledged transactions between two parties? What were the unemployed expected to do? Oh yes, find a job. Well, in the meantime, here's some free money!

Anyway, Caleb was always thinking about things, all sorts of crazy things, and most of the time, his thoughts really did seem to only interest, or occur to, him. He somtimes felt he was completely out of step with the rest of humanity, not in an outsider kind of way, either by choice or scarcity, but that literally, he had no kindred souls at all to find, in the whole world. Out of the billions of souls, Caleb Muth was, sadly, unique. It wasn't even that he had peculiar skills. He just existed on another wavelength.

It was tough going. Every day he'd wake up and every day he'd begin thinking all over again. He wasn't entirely out of step. He had what might be considered many common interests. But he saw those interests, and the rest of the world, as, apparently, only Caleb Muth could. He must have been born with some mysterious skin, something that identified him as his own race. Maybe he truly was an alien. Maybe he didn't belong on Earth at all. He sometimes considered the real possibility, and tried to imagine what the circumstances might have been, how he could have ended up here, all alone. He tried to picture a population of Muths.

Truth be told, and even though he had and regularly talked to a fairly good-sized family, he couldn't. He really did feel that alone.

And so, he went to sleep again, knowing exactly what lay ahead in the morning.

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