Short Story: Drive

There's something to be said about being a male nurse in a hospital. You can pretty much give up on ever hoping to be taken seriously again. I'm probably working against myself here by engraving this stereotype deeper by saying it goes against tradition. But it DOES go against tradition, and I'm sort of stuck here in the middle of it all.

You know, you're probably right, I don't have any bloody ambition, and I'm not gonna 'make something out of my life' anytime soon (Thanks dad!). Still, I think I'm pretty content right now... Walking out the hospital's main doors on the wrong side of midnight, just having punched out another 8 hours in hell. This hospital can really get me down sometimes, and you'd be lucky to survive a day of my life, but hey, you've got the time to be reading this, so I'm guessing you're a lot luckier than that right? Still, Ryan-Schroeder General Hospital, Hyderabad, India. You'd imagine it had some prestige. Well, it doesn't.

So yeah, the bleak end of another day of my life so full of suck. I sometimes wonder why I'm here, doing what I'm doing. I know it's definitely not something quite as diving as 'helping people', or any really good reason that I'll be able to tell my relatives about the next time I see them at one of those infamous family get-togethers where everybody can only talk about MBAs and the US of A, yes sir! And then they turn their eyes on me and I think it actually pains them to ask me what I've been doing. It's comical how they still frown when rolling the word 'Nurse' off of their tongues. And Nursing school is not easy, let me tell you.

I guess life just happens. And there I was not quite sure what I wanted to do with my life, and one thing led to another, with me not giving a shit about where I was going, and here I am, caught up in my own indifference. Still not entirely sure what the hell I want to be doing with my life.

"Hey Rahul!", I hear someone shout, breaking me reverie and I feel the beginnings of a headache. I feel a hand pull on my shoulder, turning me around, and I succumb to the pressure. I can smell papaya shampoo and feel dark hair against my face. "You look horrible", she says.

I cough. This is my ex-girlfriend. Apparently this break up isn't killing her at all, her enthusiasm about it is practically suffocating. Which is funny, because I broke up with her. Sometimes I don't see why I did it (that's sometimes, if you catch my drift), and then she talks, and I know I can't stand it. Fuck perky people, they can all go boil their heads. There's definitely such a thing as too happy.

"Thanks Nisha, appreciated, gotta get home, bye.", I mumble this very quick, quickness can get me out of another very long irritating conversation that I certainly don't need today, hell, don't need any time this year actually. I won't wait to see her pout at me. I walk down the wheelchair slope of the hospital now, and I can just barely see my car, a sad old second hand Maruti 800. As I get closer to it, I see a gleaming (oh, it can't quite possibly be a brand new, oh my god, oh my god) Porsche.

I'm still drooling at the Porsche as I get into my 800 and slam the door. I sit behind the wheel, still staring, contemplating. And suddenly there's a constricting feeling in my throat, and there's a burning in my eyes that has nothing to do with the dust now rising from the slammed door. And there's bitterness and rage... And I don't want to be feeling this right now, I don't want any part of emotion or feeling spoiling my carefully arranged indifference. 'I'm the pissed off guy in all the movies', I think to myself as I shift the car into reverse and start backing out. I'm halfway out as I slam the brakes...

I don't know what I'm doing, my rage at my insignificance blinds me as I get out of the car, leaving the engine running. There are still stinging tears in my eyes, tears of shame, and then shame at the tears, as I head over to the driver side of the Porsche, and (fuck it) I break the glass with my elbow, bawling sirens going off (in my head?), and I can't see anybody around... everybody at home, safe in their beds (somebody to love)... I'm inside the car (ah yes), and I'm trying to hotwire it, but the engine just won't catch (fuck the movies). For two seconds I feel fear, and my mind starts to take in consequences... But I quickly push fear away, allowing nothing to dampen this exhilaration.

The engine catches, the engine roars. I can feel raw power coursing around me, gentle vibrations, I can feel it coursing through me. Incredibly, I feel my rage abate, and it's replaced with a blanket of calm. My face rearranges to a grim smile as I push the pedal to the floor, tires squealing.

I never had a chance anyway.


Comments, criticism, suggestions welcome.

This is purely fictitious, so you'll forgive me for ignoring the technical difficulties of actually hotwiring a Porsche


8 comments. Share an Idea ]:

tina said... 3 August 2009 at 12:03  

as far as the story goes, the actual details of hotwiring is irrelevant ^^

not an original plot, but the narrator's voice is very clear and strong... and it's a short enough piece for that to work :) this'd be a good intro for a longer story, if you're up for it

Gautam said... 3 August 2009 at 15:44  

juxtaposing shroeder and hyderabad, or a maruti and porsche doesn't really seem realistic. go east or go west, don't muddle about in between.

does the protagonist like his profession? i can't figure it out, there are passages suggesting for and against. or is he supposed to be a psychotic loser who can't make up his own mind?

maliha's musings said... 4 August 2009 at 15:42  

i really like! its so dark, totally up my street! and the best part is knowing you wrote it, that ur so much more moral and caring and damn unspontaneous that its really amusing as well!i really enjoyed it, makes me think of writing again too!i want to see more soon!

Bharat said... 4 August 2009 at 16:35  

@tina: I don't know about a longer story, I've been mulling it over for a bit, but I usually have a problem with continuations to prologues (e.g. Claustrum) :P Still thinking about it though, thanks!

@Gautam: I agree about the shroeder and hyderabad bit, I just cast around for a name and got that, I'll probably change it. But I think that in a overdone noir story sort of way, the Maruti and the Porsche work.

Well, the protagonist is supposed to be dissatisfied with pretty much everything he comes across. Pretty much a 'psychotic loser' who's not willing to do anything about his life. But I haven't really decided on whether he likes it or not, maybe he places too much stock with how people view him.

@mali: Why thank you =) Incidentally, I hope to see more stuff from you too.. It's been what? an year? >=(

Komal said... 15 August 2009 at 16:18  

//And Nursing school is not easy, let me tell you.


Shahnaz K. said... 4 February 2010 at 01:35  

I love the way you write! Everything flows nice and I just wanna keep reading to find out what happens next! Good job!

At first I thought this was about you, then I read the title and the little "fictious" note on the bottom. Wow you're from the UK, I was born there!

Shahnaz K. said... 10 February 2010 at 23:55  

lol I didn't know how to answer your question or where, so I came back here. I was born in the city of Luton. My parents were visiting during a holiday when I was born, so they stuck around until I became 6 months old. Then they went back to New York with me.

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