Three : Sixteen

by Jowell Tan

We are a city of overworked workers. 

A solitary light in a darkened building hovers in the air like a lantern cast adrift, an 18-65 year old crouched over his laptop, bathing his face in blue light as he crunches numbers, sorts through his pile of electronic mail, finishes his work for the day. It's night enough for the time to be morning.

He leaves, completing the building's transition into shadow. He hails a cab off the street, the car's headlights illuminating him for a split second before he enters the backseat. During the journey he hears the nightly news on the radio, the streetlamps overhead flashing in bursts as he speeds home.

When he reaches home, he turns on his bathroom light and takes a quick shower. Then lying on his bed, he scrolls through social media on his phone, catching up on the things he's missed during the day, falling asleep to the glow of the screen. 

He wakes up to the morning sun, and he leaves for work, repeating the cycle again. 

Overworked workers are constantly doused in light.