Hey. My name's Robert. I just call myself Rob though, I don't think I'm professional enough for the full name, heh. I'm an unemployed guy with a somewhat-useless art degree, and I live in a cheap ol' apartment. My diet consists of cheap store-brand soda drinks, tinned meals and the occasional cup of coffee before any job offer. Might stop that though, I wonder if it jinxes me from actually getting any jobs from the interviews. I'd borrow some cash from my parents but I'm careful with what little money I have, and debt is the last thing I want, even if it's to my family. I mean, I feel in debt to them already.
Not only did they pay for this silly art degree, but my father takes it upon himself to bring me a good meal every morning before I wake up. It's not much hassle for him, my apartment is luckily located between his house and his workplace. Yesterday was pasta salad, today is... let's see here... ah, awesome. Sausage casserole. Haven't had this since I was a kid.
I manage to scrape enough money for rent by drawing stuff on my computer that people pay me to. It's mostly... candid requests, I sadly say, but at least I'm not short of "material" in my lonely moments. So I got that goin' for me. I rarely do stuff I find really nasty though, unless I'm very short of cash. Man, the things I've drawn for pennies... It baffles me how people can get off to some of this shit. But the occasional drawing is amazing; there was one I had to keep a copy of for myself since I was so proud when I finished it. It's currently hung up on my wall like a poster; it's a man holding a suitcase, standing in an office cubicle. He's covered head-to-toe in blank post-it notes. It looks kinda surreal and I just love the hell out of it.
The atmosphere in my room is cozy for me but to others, it's like a hobo's home, with a computer in the middle. A loud computer that sounds like a tiny construction site is in it, complete with jackhammers and diggers. I'm currently using this computer to do my daily routine of drawing and job-searching. Still nothing, but at least I have one to go to tomorrow; I still looking at them because I doubt that I'll get the job.
Tomorrow comes, and with it a new meal; bangers and mash. Sausages again? Father had a lot of variety in his diet, but I guess the sausages needed using if there were some left over. As I head out in this suit I keep in a little box, the tidiest place in the whole room, I reach for my keys... but they're not there. I spent five minutes looking for them; on my desk, on my bed, on the floor... they're not in any of the usual places. I just headed out anyway, it'd only take a few minutes. Since the room was unprotected though, I hid my graphics tablet under my bed and opened a window to get rid of some of the smell (you can never be too unsafe.)
And whaddya know, the job offer went terrible. I didn't even drink any coffee this time.
I sat down in my computer chair and noticed that the keys were right fair smack in the middle of my keyboard. I guess I put them there when I was getting ready, but oh well. Ate my bangers and mash in woe, and noticed that the mash was a bit... lumpy. Father always mashed by hand so I'm not surprised, it just seemed a little bit more off than usual. Still, a meal's a meal. Gotta love that man.
I ended my day by drawing some weird fetish stuff for a regular customer. Guy freaks me out a bit- his profile even says that he lives in this town- but a livin's a livin'. Easy money.
Today was pasta bake. My fave. It had bits of meat and tomato in it, lovely. Couldn't really see what the meat was so I decided hot-dogs and pepperoni. Those meats are made out of everything so I wouldn't be completely wrong. That day I spent my time waiting for my phone to go off with a job offer, but no. Nothing. The phone never goes off for me. Wait a second, that's a bit weird. I put the phone up to my ear and it sounded like it always has. I go up to my landlady (she's kinda hot. Funny accent, though) and ask about it.
"Didn't you know, Rob? Your phone's never worked, mate. I left a note on it right before you moved in, you plonker."
I never saw a note. The phone always looked fine to me. Weird... Huh... wait a bloody second here. That phone number was the one I gave to all the people I was interviewed by. Oh bloody hell I could have won loads of jobs and never have known it. Well, looks like I'm gonna have to break my rule of 'never borrow money.'
After eating the pasta bake full of mystery meat (some chunks even had some hair in. weird. Father's getting sloppy in his old age it seems) I headed over to my parents' house; it was during my father's work hours so he wasn't gonna be there. Mother was there, though. She always was. It felt like she just haunted the house; she works at home so I guess it's understandable. I gathered some courage and as soon as I saw her, I asked:
"Do you think you and father could lend me some money for a mobile phone? Turns out the phone in my apartment's never worked, heh." I didn't want to deal with the nervous moment between parent and child before the kid asks the mother for some money. It happened so much when I was younger, it kinda drilled me into getting that aforementioned 'never borrow money' rule.
She was pale. Her eyes glossed over a little bit. A small amount of moisture gathered in the corners. I chalked all that up to the wind as it was a chilly day today. What did strike me as off was how she wasn't able to get any words out; she looked like a fish out of water, mouth opening and closing as if the words were stuck in her throat. I didn't understand until she finally was able to piece together a few words. She said:
"...You didn't get the call?"
"No...? My phone's never worked. Mom, what's the matter? What's wrong?"
"Oh god, Robby. Your father. You... this... Oh jesus. You didn't know?"
"...Didn't know what?"
"His funeral's tomorrow."