Opportunity Costs

A hot philosopher who is self-righteously roasting chestnuts on an open fire suddenly realizes that his handsome looks were not the only thing causing warmth in the room as his favorite wool blanket caught on fire a mere inches from his right foot.

A hot philosopher who is self-righteously roasting chestnuts on an open fire suddenly realizes that his handsome looks were not the only thing causing warmth in the room as his favorite wool blanket caught on fire a mere inches from his right foot.

Philosopher: MARY GRAB THE FUCKING FIRE EXSTINGUISHER

Mary:  Wait, we have one of those?

Philosopher: Hurry the fuck up, THE BLANKET IS ON FIRE MARY

Mary approaches the fire as it has spread to a nearby table and sprays the entirety of the of the fire extinguisher. Mary was effective with her approach except one small flame near Joseph.

Joseph jolts forwarded, furiously stomping at the last flame in the room.

Joseph: (Looks towards Mary smiling) Well there goes our security deposit.

Mary: Easy for you to say mister my parents have a stupid amount of money (tosses fire extinguisher to Joseph)

Joseph: Looks like you’ll actually have to start taking that job search seriously. (passes the fire extinguisher back to her roommate)

Joseph’s mother always looked down upon him for being roommates with Mary, she just couldn’t wrap her mind around the thought that her son is living with a female that was not his wife. Classic baby boomers.

Mary sets the fire extinguisher safely into the trashcan, turning around to a startled Joseph who continued to stare at his burnt blanket.

Joseph: How did you know where the fire extinguisher was, I didn’t even know? And wait isn’t there a special way you need to dispose of that fire extinguisher?

Mary gives Joseph an amused look

Mary: This was under the sink, maybe if you would try and do the dishes more often you would’ve noticed it sitting under there to begin with. You’re lucky I was here to save your poor self. Enough with the questions, I think we’ve had enough excitement for the night but this is why I love being your roommate, you always think of everything.

Raising his gaze from the blanket to Mary, he attempts to decipher her intentions

Joseph: Why thank ya, it’s what I do best. I excel at worrying, that paired with my career as a financial analyst I will never stop worrying. You never know if Apple’s stock market price will collapse, destroying the financial future of retired citizens or a careless man could possibly burn down his apartment complex on accident, really fucking up a lot of peoples financials. But hey that means job security though.

Mary Strolls towards the coach and plops in the seat next to him, raising her glass to the sky

Mary: I’ll cheers to that, somebody has to pay rent around here and it sure as hell won’t be me!

Their eyes lock as she takes a swig of her Budweiser

Joseph: How did I manage to get such a cool roommate that is a girl and she drinks Budweiser, I couldn’t make this up if I had to.

Mary: Good thing you don’t have to

Mary gives Joseph’s shoulder a nudge, getting his full attention she leans toward him expecting a kiss, simultaneously Joseph’s phone rings. He stares past her, reaching for his phone.

 

Joseph and Mary derive from two different worlds. Joseph is from Cumberland, Maryland from a wealthy family that found its fortune from cyber security. This proved to be a problem when he wished to attend business school while his family urged him to immerse himself into the family business. Joseph was surrounded by guns as he grew up, his father along with his brothers would force him to shoot an uncomfortable amount of bullets into pumpkins and various other irregular targets. He always thought they were too loud and unnecessary he always said “yeah dad if the government needs to overthrow your dozen AR-15s will make a true difference when in battle with an Abrahams Tank.” He escaped to New York in hopes of finding a new life and new friends for that matter.

Mary is your middle class girl that hopes to make a difference in the world. Originally born in Solon, Iowa you can understand her desire for adventure. Something away from the corn, the tractors, and the small time letter jacket jock that happens to be 27 and peaked in high school. She dreamed of the day to work as an environmentalist for a non-profit organization as she worried for what would happen to her home state when weather change truly took its toll. Mary thought the best way to get involved was move straight to New York in hopes of finding ways to get involved to find herself instead working at a Costco until she found her way into her dream field.

Joseph normally left for work around 7 in the morning while Mary fought for the shift starting at 9 a.m., this would sometimes allow them to go without seeing each other until Mary returned home at 6 p.m.

The duo had not seen each other since Mary’s attempt the night before, she was unsure if this was the correct move for her to make as it could make things quite awkward between them. They wouldn’t unite until their normal tradition of watching the show Lost, as they were deeply involved with the show being three seasons in.

Mary steps into Joseph’s doorway to his room, while his gaze remains on the computer

Mary: Yo you ready to see what John Locke fucks up next homie?

Joseph: .……

Mary approaches him, touching him on the shoulder. Causing him to jump in his seat

Joseph: holy shit you scared me!

Mary: My bad man, I just didn’t want you to miss out on the adventures of John Locke and friends. I hear Jack, Sawyer, and Kate are about to have some weird three-way this episode.

Joseph Stares blankly towards Mary, giving her a strange sidewards stare.

Joseph never knew what to think of Mary. Since the day he met her after awkwardly meeting on craigslist with each of them hoping the other wasn’t a serial killer. He found her to be a fun girl to be around and always kept things fresh, making it a good contrast from work which could often be dull, full of numbers.

Joseph: Ooooo, just because of those three I’m about to rate Lost as a 4 star show on Netflix!

Stands up abruptly, running towards the Xbox

Mary: (laughing) No you can’t do that, not until the show is through with!

She chased him onto the couch, stealing the controller from him. They then each took their assigned position for optimal Netflix enjoyment and turned on Lost.

Recently Joseph wanted to ask Mary on a date but couldn’t decide how and if he should really go through with it. He was afraid of the devastating effects if she said no, ruining their friendship and making their apartment hella awkward.

Joseph thinks this is the time, he is anxious because of this. He continues to wait, waiting for the opportune time to make a move. Two, three, four episodes pass by in the blink of an eye as he looks over to find Mary sleeping thinking to himself, “of course, why would it happen any other way.” Joseph turned off the Xbox, covered Mary with a blanket, and quietly left the room to plan.

He decided this was when he made his move, he would plan the perfect date for them to finally explore their love for each other. This would work perfectly as she always returned later than him after work; he quickly found a pen and paper to make a list of essentials. Wine, past possibly? More wine, candles, what else do women even like, damn? Joseph dreams of the next day, a Wednesday, a perfect Wednesday. He felt as though he was dreaming even though he was wide awake, eventually he did fall asleep as his alarm clock sprang into action at 6 a.m.

The workday flew by as all he could think about was his night with Mary, has he finally found a woman that could make him happy? Perhaps something to fill that void that was his love life?

Joseph returns from his shopping spree, nearly dropping his precious purchases as he reached the dining room table. Joseph assembled what he believed to be the perfect night, decorating the living room with candles, recovering his fancy silverware from the depths of his closet and actually dressed up a little bit. The room was assembled perfectly, the pasta was nearly done. Joseph’s eyes darted to the clock as it read 6:30 p.m., time went by with Joseph feeling as though he was in a time vacuum. 6:45, 6:50, 7:00, 7:30 with each minute passing he stared into the deep blackness of his phone, practically witnessing his life fade into darkness when suddenly it was lit with Mary’s favorite PePe meme.

Joseph practically tackled his phone, answering it as quickly as possible.

Joseph: Hello, Mary? What’s….

Strange Voice: Hello? Is this Joseph?

Joseph: Yes it is, who is this? Why do you have…

Strange Voice: Okay, I assume your Mary’s significant other. Her parents live out of state and we felt the need to contact you.

Joseph: What, what is going on?!

Joseph began to fret about the apartment, forgetting about the noodles as they simmered over the bowl

Strange Voice: Yes this is a paramedic from new York Presbyterian Hospital, your friend here has been hit by a car.

Joseph: wha…

Strange Voice: She was climbing into the cab when a car changed lanes, she had to enter the street side door because the taxis other door was broken, I’m so sorry. You need to get down here sir.

Joseph froze in place, how could happen to him. Why is this happening to him, what is he going to do? Joseph dropped his phone, his mind going a thousand miles an hour.

  1. May I ask what relevance him being a philosopher have on the story?

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    Reply

    1. For sure, definitely a valid question! I was hoping to show to the reader that Joseph felt that he was a philosopher in the way he lived his life. Of course he was a self-proclaimed philosopher so the reader begins to realize that he isn’t much of a philosopher after noticing his inability to really take hold of his life with him often times acting in ways opposite to a philosopher. Sorry I didn’t make that more clear, might have to make some changes. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      1. Ah, when you mention philosopher I was expecting the protagonist to be based on one of the philosophy school’s of thoughts.
        I would suggest for clarity, you add why he thinks he’s a philosopher.
        That would tie his character in nicely 🙂
        No problem. Just here to help!
        Have a goodnight!

        Liked by 1 person

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