Lausanne. Switzerland. Exhausted employee, Paul Müdé, stepped out of his office late Thursday evening with one single desire burning in his chest. No, it was not the desire to go out and party like in the good old pagan days, although he still had some life left in him. At least according to statistics.
What actually snowballed in Paul’s mind, was the idea of getting home, stuffing his face with the most life-span reducing food available and surrendering into the loving arms of his pristine, light, although not thin, comforting, warm and always welcoming eiderdown. Little did Paul know how far he was from the fulfillment of this simple, yet for so many, unattainable dream.
Upon turning a corner he found himself in the middle of a costumed group without the possibility of escape. A group of kids willing and able to celebrate Halloween had stopped to admire his ensemble: The Exhausted Employee Costume. The group itself was composed of a nurse (ofc), a witch, a vampire, a pumpkin head, and Boris Johnson (why?).
“Look at his face, Bernadette,”, the vampire exclaimed! “Who did your make-up, garçon? It’s among the most realistic works I’ve ever seen. It’s….it’s the Balzac of make-up!”
Paul somehow didn’t get it. It is possible that his brain was still drenched in all the tasks he did ‘t manage to complete today, despite having spent 16 hours at the office.
“The dark circles under your eyes look amazing. And you’re skin has this super cool shade of grey, while at the same time you look hungry and downtrodden. This Proletarian-Chich look really becomes you. One could swear, you didn’t see the light in weeks!”, the pumpkin head blurted out.
Paul was too exhausted to resist when he was dragged into the overcrowded Irish Pub. He was already seeing leprechauns when the noise and the movement, and everything else just stopped. The MC was about to make an announcement:
“And the winner of this year’s Halloween Costume Party is……”
The Exhausted Employee!!!
The group of kids who messed up Paul’s humble plans started cheering him on. “Come on, Mister!!! It’s time to pick up your prize!”, but by the time he made his way through the crowd, the party had already moved on. There was an unclaimed pint of Guinness on the bar for just enough time to inspire tantalizing hope, but someone had snatched it right before Paul could assimilate the joy that hope brought.
“Mister, mister!”, he heard someone call softly. “Look! Come on! Over here..”, a stranger signaled him.”
Paul was really confused and he could feel his brain starting to shut down. At that very moment the pub door flew open and the most beautiful, clean, nice smelling, shiny, and bright yellow taxi appeared in front of him. The right front door opened.
“Go on now, Sir. Off you go”, the stranger whispered.
“But who, who are you?”
“Oh, me? I’m The Exhausted Waitress. Don’t you remember? We won the costume contest tonight, you and me. Except, you know, it’s not a costume we’re wearing, right?”
Paul could not believe his ears. He immediately thought to himself, that this must be what it feels like to be at the pearly gates of heaven, be granted entrance, and be patted on the back for having shared your mobile hotspot with a stranger on a train that time you really didn’t feel like sharing.
“Thank you, Exhausted Waitress, Thank you! And Happy Halloween!
See you at the Rested Friendly Adults Costume Party tomorrow?”
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on an idea by Anonymous.