Navy Blue

Planned, written and edited with a sixty minute time limit using the following quotes as inspiration. 1. Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.

2. When you do well, everybody's after you, and sometimes the motives are legitimate, and sometimes it's envy and jealousy.

3. I don't get jealous of people. Jealousy is such a waste of time because you're jealous of them, and they go about their lives, so what's the point?

4. The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.

This room is never without a sound. Be it the indiscernible mutterings of those strolling the footpath below or the crackle and gentle hum of cars traversing the downtown street there is always something to listen to. Thought of as more of a detraction than a feature by the lone tennant of the one by one apartment, he sits at his rickety dining table in darkness immersed in the endlessly random, but seemingly ever repeating ocean of dull, white noise.

Despite being separated by nothing more than a glass window and a few meters of concrete from the pulsing rhythm of the cityscape just next to him, his attention remains fixated on his laptop screen bearing the just released cover of an electronic newspaper.

Business Magnate Secures Multibillion Dollar Deal. Pictured just below a burly, suited man is shaking hands with another businessman dressed in a modest navy suit. The man enhances the image, zooming in on the second man, a deep blue spewing from the laptop screen onto his battered, tired face leaving a silhouette on the now navy coloured wall behind him. He stares intensely at the man in the navy suit, analysing his facial features, his hair cut, the perfect tailoring of the expensive fabric. With the most minuscule of movements, he manipulates the image again, now zooming in on the grainy hand shake. Just visible is a familiar silver ring around the second man’s index finger.

He grips the stem of a wine glass next to him with his own right hand and finishes the last of what was a generous pour of an underwhelming wine. As he replaces the glass on the table he looks to his own right hand, and to the identical ring on his index finger.

A gift to both of them from their father, just before the trip that changed their lives forever. Now the rings represent the only connection, physical or otherwise, they have to one another. After their father’s passing, his brother was the one who was welcomed by the business to fill their father’s shoes. The position, whilst being endlessly demanding and no doubt life-shorteningly stressful, afforded the occupant a healthy remuneration of millions of dollars every year.

The money is what drove them apart. Within the man grew an unrelenting feeling of indignation, as though he was cheated by his fractured family, by his brother. In his eyes, a share of that money was rightfully his. In the initial years, his brother acquiesced, passing on money as a sign of goodwill, as a means to keep their once hardy relationship alive. But after the umpteenth escalating financial demand, like a gangrenous limb he cut him off. No more would he fund the man’s callous lifestyle of alcoholism and gambling.

Now, fifteen years later, the dust from their falling out is still yet to set. It hangs heavy in the air of the noisy, budget apartment. Instead of coming to terms with his own jealousy years ago, he still sits lonely, drinking cheap wine and obsessing with an ignorant toxicity over his brother’s achievements. Government support payments confine this man to his downtown apartment and dead end job, never to be privy to the lavish high flying lifestyle afforded to his brother. As he scrolls down the article detailing the specifics of his brother’s corporate genius, a familiar rage fills his body.

He grips the body of the empty wine glass and throws it at the white wall behind him, shattering.