Fucking January 3rd. Another day just like any other goddamn day.
January 3rd is August 18th is September 29th is March 21st. What the fuck difference does it make? Driving himself to his shit-ass job just like any other day, driving himself home from his shit-ass job just like any other day.
All the mindless idiots throwing happy new years at him. What is so happy about it? Fucking people fooling themselves that they got a fresh start, a new perspective. Pretending. Most of them spit out the words without thinking. Because that's what you are supposed to do. Even though their lives still suck. Even though they will always suck.
It is all one long continuum of complete fucking bullshit.
He knew better than to get his hopes up. He had been around too long. Besides his hopes were buried so deep it would take a fifty ton crane to drag them back up.
And what about these assholes with the Christmas lights still on their houses? On January 3rd? They are not kidding anyone. The holidays are dead, leaving a bad taste in the mouth. It's usually the tacky ones, the people with cheesy multi-colored lights sagging along the side of their crumbling houses.
Probably still too drunk to get out and take them down. Maybe too stupid to even know the holidays were over.
Yeah there was no such thing as a happy new year. All there ever was was more of the same. More sacrifice, more loss of dignity, more struggling, more disease, and eventually more death.
This is what Rick was thinking as he ran over Janice Bulba's dog. He was taking a sip off the Knob Creek nip a hundred proof and delicious; when his eyesight came back down he saw the dog in the middle of the road.
Sam. The dog's name was Sam. He was 18 years old and he was all Janice Bulba had left.
Janice lived two doors and half a mile down the road. Rick spent time with her once in a while; they drank together and laughed about people who manufactured positive attitudes. Her husband committed suicide eight years ago because he could not face one more meaningless new year. He was worn and torn, beaten and down and lost.
So he checked out.
Since then Sam was all Janice had left and she latched on to him with an iron grip. She loved that dog; worshiped him. Hugs and kisses all around.
She had nothing else. No money. A fucking relentless mortgage payment that sucked her dry. Two part time jobs. A thin winter coat, and a broken down truck. Broken and buried dreams and a solid understanding of the cruel irony of life.
Rick should have cared for her but he didn't. Rick didn't care about anybody. Because life had fucked him bad. Caring was soft and soft did not survive.
He never even slowed down. Pulled into his driveway two minutes later, shut down the truck and sat for a minute.
Slowly, a warm feeling spread throughout his mind and his body.
Janice would suffer. For a little while anyway. Even more than Rick was suffering.
Turned out to be a happy new year after all.