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The Man On the Street

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Imagine Chicago, around five P.M. in the summer, the sun is beating down on the city streets. Now imagine the streets are filled to the brim with people coming home from a long, hot, boring day of work. Now put yourself in the crowd, just trying to get home. You, my dear reader, are the most tired, bored and hot out of everyone. You were fired from your job - it didn't pay much, but it was enough at the time. And you, my dear reader, are wildly depressed, and currently feeling absolutely worthless. You're just trying to get home to your apartment in the city, it's not necessarily a shit-hole but it's not a penthouse either.

After about fifteen minutes or so of walking you see your street, almost better than Heaven at the end of a day such as this. You get inside your building and see the usual crowd; kids running around, guys like you getting home from work, teenagers smoking weed and making out with their girlfriends. The walk up the stairs is almost like running a marathon in first place, two minutes of complete and utter bliss. You get to your room on the 5th floor, room number thirty seven. You fumble your keys around until you finally find the key you need. When you finally spot it you feel as if you've won a million dollars. You just want to get into your home and relax and maybe watch a little T.V. You finally get in you think to yourself, "Ah yes, finally, I've had the worst day and I need to just relax at home". When you finally enter your home, you empty your pockets-a custom when you get home of work. You take off your shoes and go to your couch to watch Netflix, but not before ordering your pizza. You ask for plain and the guy on the phone says, "Alright man, will do."

You wait about thirty minutes and the guy from Papa Johns finally comes while you're watching some random comedy on FX. You pay the man and take your pizza, then go back to your couch and eat two slices. Then when you're done you pack up the rest of the pizza and put it in your fridge. That's what you have decide for breakfast tomorrow. You decide to go to bed and just forget this day you've had, especially getting fired from your job. When you finally get to your bed, you decide to take a shower because you feel a bit dirty from the day. Now after your shower you finally get over to your bed and get some sleep. You wake up maybe three hours later and open your eyes, as with most people you're very thirsty when you wake up. After getting your drink of water from the tap you watch Breaking Bad for about an hour and finally go back to bed.

As you get back to bed you put your water on the shelf next to your bed and climb in. You lay, with one of your eyes open and slowly, but surely, drift to sleep. You hear a noise and open one of your eyes, then trying to look over at what the noise was. You look to the chair in your room and see a gray spot. You think you're just drowsy so you rub your eyes with your sleeve. You still see the gray spot and then decide "Fuck it, I'm turning on the light." You try to turn on your light and it works fine, calming you because usually in these situations shit like that goes wrong. You look over to the spot and see a figure, you can only really see the figure, deciding that this figure is human shaped. Yet you can't see the face. Your brain tries to see what gender this thing might be and you decide it is most likely a man. Maybe six feet tall but in the chair he is about 5'5. You speak, "Who are you?" to this strange figure.

The man answers back, calmly, "I'm you, stupid. A better stronger, taller, faster, sexier, better you."

You say, "You can't be me, that's impossible, who the hell are you?" a bit nervously.

"Go look in the mirror, you worm," he snaps back.

You, frozen in fear, don't want to go to the mirror in your bathroom but some force, some unreal, all knowing force, makes you. You walk up with the figure laughing at you. Then you walk to the mirror, a million thoughts racing through your brain. You see yourself in the mirror and you can't quite see yet, your eyes getting used to the bright light in your bathroom. You rub your eyes again and see your face in the mirror, shocked, you see you look just like the man in your bedroom chair. You try to pinch your arm, thinking this is some weird dream. As you try pinching yourself you are still here, realizing this is all real.

You come back to your room and see the man laying in your bed, laughing at you. You feel as if there is no way out. You ask him, "Why is this happening to me?" with a flabbergasted look on your face.

He answers back, "You will never understand real power, you useless shell," in a voice you can't even hear with your ears, it's a voice you can only hear in your head.

You can't even answer back as you watch him get up. He goes down and you follow him as he goes and takes your shoes and work things. He goes in complete silence and you watch him exit your door. You can't sleep so you go to your couch and watch more Breaking Bad on Netflix again. You don't even pay attention to the show and you're just trying to take your mind off of this. You sit there all day just thinking about the man. You can't even bring yourself to look in the mirror again. You sit there, expressionless all day and you hear something outside your door. You get a bit freaked out but still sit there. The door opens and you see yourself, not the man, yourself, normal, skin, hair, height, and everything. He doesn't seem to notice you. Then he just does everything you did when you get home before. After about five hours of seeing what you did when you got home the day before.

And he goes to bed and some force pulls you to that chair in your room. Now you sit and you just sit there in silence. You can't understand what you're doing. He does what you did before and then he comes and finally sees you. You and him repeat the same conversation you had before and then he starts to look like the man again. The gray man so to speak. You can't keep yourself from doing the same things.

Then you wake up, bright and early, you go to work in the morning and go to your job. It doesn't pay very much but it pays the bills. Two hours later you get to work and see your boss. He goes to you and then says, "I'm sorry man, I have to let you go," with your face in your hands. And you go out and buy something under a underpass. A cold hard something. It was about three hundred dollars and fully loaded. You come back to your job and for whatever reason everyone is sleeping with red paint on them. After you leave. You come back to your apartment around 5 o'clock. You order a plain pizza and go to sleep. It was a great day and you want to repeat it over and over again.

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