She’s one of four pet rats kept in this little apartment, in a cage far too big, or perhaps not entirely big enough. Her little feet rush over the cheap plastic of her ever turning wheel as the others sleep and eat. I wonder what her day is like. Running but going nowhere. Does she know how stuck she is or is it enough to keep the wheel spinning, that wheel that’s started to squeak from age and wear.
It’s still early, early for me anyway. It’s noon and I’ve just woken up. I’ll be stay up until three or four in the morning. The rats will too. I have a cup of coffee next to me and my laptop open. Work first, like always. There’s a schedule I follow every day; work, school, play. I pull up my browser, check work notifications, reacheck my time card, then get down to business. SIx hours of work, from noon to six, sitting there toiling over various tasks. I can’t sit still. My computer chair moves, wheels spin, back and forth absently as my eyes are fixed on the screen.
I get up for bathroom breaks, to eat, or to pause at the cage to watch the other girls napping in their hammock, the three of them together making a ball of fur and pink ears and long tails. I always return to that chair. After work is school. All there in front of the monitor. Endless rows of text. Maybe I can get some writing done later if I’m not too tired. The chair is starting to squeak in time with the turning of the wheel. My fingers are tapping away at the keys, pausing now and again to use the mouse. More coffee. I’m getting somewhere. Once school is taken care of then I can play a little. Gaming, writing, chatting with friends. More text on a screen. I pause long enough to make dinner. I fill a large pot of water with pasta and watch the coils on the stove turn from black to a bright orange before dumping the noodles in. Rigatoni. It’s my favorite kind, long and round. The best for trapping sauce, I think as I stir now the bubbling water, watching the contents spin.
I get back to my seat with a steaming bowl of food, back to wiggling the chair, rolling it too and fro on the carpet, and Sera runs.