Adam works in the kids department, which other people say he should be grateful about. In his opinion, it is seriously overrated.
Before he got removed, he babysat sometimes after school. He really didn’t mind it because he made money afterwards, and besides, it wasn’t boring, like being a cashier or something. But when the job was over, he was usually too tired to do homework, or eat dinner, or anything but go to bed. Kids are intense, and they wear Adam out fast, like they are a fire feeding on him until he’s black and dead.
Now he works everyday except Sundays. The subtext is that it’s motherducking for eight hours a day with hardly any break at all, and that’s what Adam’s coworkers call it- 'motherfucking mother ducking', they call it- but it isn’t called that. People like Adam don’t make the rules.
He doesn’t get paid, though his particular job allows for some perks. But lollipops at the front desk and ice cream every Friday and cute children’s faces everywhere are hardly substitutes for real cash.
It’s not like he needs money. None of the employees like Adam do, because they get everything they need at the facility where they live and work and die. But he thinks about it sometimes, thinks it would be nice to be able to choose what he wants for a change.
Only sometimes, though. Adam thinks, mostly, that when you can’t change anything, you just have to move inside your confines as comfortably as possible. Straining against immovable bars, even thinking about straining, wastes strength. It makes you wear out quicker.
Adam has seen worn out people.
He wakes up very early because he gets to bed early, and the lights aren’t on yet, so it’s pitch-black in his room except for the red blinking light of the security camera over his head. Somebody is watching him, he knows. All the time. He doesn’t really care anymore, and, when turning over the realization in his mind now, he feels a prick of guilt, or something like guilt… like he has betrayed himself somehow. When he was younger, when he was just removed and placed here in the facility, he used to undress behind his bed, hoping that he was obscured somewhat, so aware of his nakedness. In the weeks that followed, he figured out that the camera’s only blind spot was right under it, so he adjusted his strategy.
Lately he’s been lazy, though. It’s not like he’s the only one they’re watching, the Security, he reasons...