John left for work at 7am every morning, never later. Well sometimes later and it upset him when he was late. It didn’t happen too often as he was used to this routine, but it would upset him just the same. John worked all day as hard as he could, being that he’s been working in that same office for what, twenty-five years? He certainly knew how to do the job by now, so what about it? He talked to the same folks everyday, his co-workers, about the same things like the football game last night, who was screwing who, who was saying what, all the same things everyone talks about it seems.
At the end of the workday he drove home and walked into his house the same time as usual, 6pm, never later. Well sometimes later and Gina would be impatient as dinner was on the table, like usual, and the kids were running wild, playing and laughing and creating pandemonium, the way they always did.
They ate dinner and laughed and fought. Sometimes dishes broke. They did this pretty much every day- is there anything so wrong with that? Gina was a good cook and would make a big dinner, maybe the chicken parmigiana, all the dishes her Italian great-grandmother used to make and everyone used to love. Her great-grandmother made chicken parm quite often, and Gina wanted to be as much like her as possible. Her great-grandmother was highly regarded. After the meal, John always gave the kids a bath, each one by one. Every night he did it. He loved doing it, loved them, and was a dedicated father.
It was all the same for him. All the time. It was Gina’s job to put the kids to bed, and once they were asleep (or at least in the beds), the two would sit on the couch and watch TV. She would talk about her day and the knitting circle she attends, who was screwing who, who was saying what, all the same things everyone talks about it seems.
John went to sleep around 10pm, like he’s done for the last twenty-five years. He dreamt many dreams, most of them disjointed, many of them unsettling. Dreams mostly about his regrets, what he could have been, what he still could become.
Or could he?