Monday, March 16, 2009

Reader's Diary #470- Graham Greene: The Destructors

Ever have a job you absolutely loathed? I have-- but should any of my current employers read this, this was many, many years ago, I swear. While I'm giving away my secrets, I may as well go all out. One day when I was the only one at work, I was so embittered and bored that I had a wicked fantasy of wrecking the place. Of course I didn't act on it, but just the thought alone was cathartic. Plus, as I imagined myself smashing the pictures on the wall, ripping up the carpet, and so on, the sheer magnitude of it became half the fun. How could I destroy the place better than a mere vandalizing punk? By making sure every inch of the place was beyond recognition. It was no longer enough to smash the picture, now I had to bend up the frame, shred the photos, and snip the hanging wire as well. Ooops, maybe I should also remove the tacks holding the frame together and bend those out of shape, too.

Ahh, don't run away. It was a harmless little daydream, the building and all it's contents are still in tact. Besides, if Graham Greene's "The Destructors" is any indication, I'm not the first one to have this particular fantasy.

Of course, there's always a certain unease when someone admits to a taboo thought that you've shared: should you be relieved that you're not alone? Or should you be scared that you're not alone? But just to clarify, it's Greene to whom I relate, not the characters in his story. Greene seemed to have fun simply fantasizing, while the boys of "The Destructors" are the ones who act it out. There's a huge difference.

"The Destructors" is a wonderfully provocative story.

If you've written a post for Short Story Monday, please leave a link below!


Stacy said...

Definitely had a couple of those jobs but my fantasies never got better than the plain old act of quitting.

JoAnn said...

I had a job where I felt that way, too! I've never read any of Greene's short stories, but I did like The End of the Affair.

Eva said...

I'm a big fan of Graham Greene, so I'll have to check this one out! I haven't had a job like that yet, but I'm still young, so I imagine I will at some point. ;)

Anonymous said...

I love Graham Greene. It never occurred to me to try his short stories. I bet they're terrific.

(I don't think I've ever felt that way about a job...I've never *cared* enough to want to expend that kind of energy).

Lynda said...

I haven't read much Green - but will search out some of his stories thanks to your review.
My story is up late - but better late than never ;0)

Teddy Rose said...

I have had a couple jobs like that in my younger years! Sounds like a gre3at story! Thanks John!

John Mutford said...

I've been informed that the story link above is no longer valid. However, my informant helps me even further by finding it elsewhere: