15 Minute Break

During their break, workers debate the writer’s strike…

Mr. Omar King is ready to rumble

15 Minute Break

When I take my 15 minute, cool down in the break room, I grab a chair and sit in the corner and get my copy of American Psycho out of my locker, and attempt to read it. I have not gone far. I am still stuck  on page 134. There is much around me going on that it’s hard to focus on Patrick Bateman. As much as I want to read of his daily skin routine, clothes, cologne he wears, lavish food he eats, people he encounters, sexual escapades, and let’s not forget his murderous deeds… now is not the time for it. I will just have to sit in a corner and decompress; maybe next time, Bateman. 

I watch the television screen, with an intense feeling in my shoulders. I have difficulties sitting still. It is a habit of mine that I can not stop, not for a second, I need to move. Yet, at the same time… I have to relax. Some of the co-workers channel surf before they have to go back out. A Simpsons marathon, National Geographic, and their segments on the wild life; ABC’s, The Young and The Restless. It’s awkward sometimes, when I go into the break room, and find nobody there, yet the soap opera is playing. Sometimes I catch the The View but somebody will comment “FUCK THAT!” and then change the channel (them ladies are not their cup of tea, I gather.) We’ll settle on our local news program. FINALLY! Coming up at 5: Couple found dead on the highway!Coming up at 5: Hit and Run on Main Street. Coming up at 5: Man found dead in a ditch! Coming up at 5: Local woman and her dog get hitched! 

Sweet Jesus, all this going on at 5?!

I stare at the wall and get lost in the dream- a dream, one or two or three or four or five scenarios play out in my head. I see it and know it very crisp and clear. David Lynch and Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz) would understand. Going beyond my horizon. Floating mid-air. Light as a feather. My index finger transforming into gummy worms. My voice changing from monotone to a high note. And my body is growing like the Godzilla monster. I am in this day-dream. Half awake and half sleep. I don’t know exactly when I’ll wake up again, part of me wants to stay in bliss and the other part needs to keep a straight and clear head, both at work and at home. I am caught between both worlds, the reality and the dream, interwoven.

A story on the Writers Strike shows live footage of actors and union workers marching with their signs up in the air, giving it to those folks, whom are sitting in their ivory tower, milking money off of their likeness. A worker at my job scowls on the sight of a picket sign. Co-worker thinks that these “Big top celebrities are just doing it for attention. Why should we care about them folks? When they don’t give two pissers about us?” Another adds: “We have bigger problems than that bullshit.” Another person: “Believe me. These people are performers and they are giving the biggest performance of their lives.”

“You’re damn right they are! They’re performing they’re freedom of expression! Don’t you see these people are angry?”

“Over what?? Money? Please they have plenty.”

No you stupid dumb-ass! They’re tired of these corporate folks in Hollywood screwing them around.”

“Of course these prostitutes are tired of putting out! They’re burned out and want they’re money.”

“Sure, Grandpa.”  


“You don’t have no right to call these celebrities greedy. Don’t you see their pain and how they’re suffering?”

“I’ve seen enough pain and suffering, my day, I don’t have to see it on TV.”

“You just don’t understand the bigger picture. That this greed effects everybody-not just the celebrities-everybody. Why it’s effecting you too, isn’t it? Can’t have enough money to pay for your medical bills, your insurance can’t cover it, and you’re working two jobs to pay those fees. And where do all that money go? Huh? Who do they go to?”H

e didn’t say a word, just chewing on his shrimp.

“Got nothing much to say, huh? Keep having a blind eye and live in your delusions with your shrimp. One day the world will be rid of people like you.”

“Glad, I won’t be able to see them go X-tinct like Twitter did. Why don’t you grow up and smell the fucking flowers.”

I will admit, I had my own biases as , I too didn’t understand the bigger picture, at first, I was so naive and gullible that it was about their issues with artificial intelligence—it’s more than that. These celebrities and character actors and crew members are human beings. These people want their share of the wealth that they work hard for. We see them on TV, from a distance, we think we know them right through the core of their bones, but we don’t.

Outside of the lime light, camera, stage, they’re like us, on the clock.

About the Author

Omar King is an artist from California, and he is autistic. He makes digital and physical art pieces, mainly of the physical variety, out of cereal boxes and other cardboard. He finds them to be cheaper than the art materials the stores are selling these days. So, he uses Crayons and markers and cardboard, and combines them all together to make a MASTERPIECE!

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