Friday, March 16, 2012

A Great Whatever (blog story) 21

     The more miserable you are, the more helpless you feel, the easier it is for you to justify your drinking. It’s an excuse, not a cause. You want to get lost for a little while. Alcohol lets you do that.
     The biggest problem is that you can’t hide it as well as you think. A wall started to go up between you and Heather. It was subtle and you were buzzed. You didn’t even notice. You figured that as long as you could avoid getting sloppy she wouldn’t notice, but she started going to bed before you and she would be asleep when you finally got there. When you tried to wake her she’d rebuff your advances. You’d pass out and in the morning she’d be up before you.
     At work your displeasure was becoming overt. You’d have a drink before and then during the day. Usually you’d be blissful. Occasionally you’d turn surly. When Bob Thermin finds you playing solitaire at your desk the anger you’ve been repressing escapes your control.
     “What are you doing here?” He stands tall above you and speaks with authority.
     “Playing solitaire.” You reply glibly, not even bothering to look up.
     “Is that what you are supposed to do?”
     This sets you off. “I’m sorry Bob. Is there a trash can you need emptied?”
     “Do you have a problem?”
     You stand up to face him. “Maybe I do. I have been here five months. I have done nothing. Nobody wants me to do anything. So, I play solitaire. I have a business degree and I use it picking up your lunch.”
     “I didn’t get my lunch today.”
     “I ate it. It was delicious. Thank you.”
     “You realize that you are up for review very soon.”
     “And what does that mean? You aren’t going to bring me on. You never had any intention of bringing me on. Since day one you have treated me like shit. I don’t know why I would even want to stay.”
     “Are you saying you want to quit?”
     “I can’t. I promised my father I wouldn’t. He must have pulled a lot of strings to get me this job and you guys might be really good at what you do, but if it were up to me I would tell him to pull your account. Traft is a big company. Why you would treat the son of the vice president of one of your largest clients like shit is a mystery to me. You are all a bunch of assholes.”
     There, you said it. All your frustration hangs in the air on the end of the A word. You feel empowered. You could conquer the world.
     Then Bob says, “You father doesn’t work at Traft. He resigned before we hired you.”
     This shocks you. All your exuberance vanishes in an instant. You wonder what could possibly be going on. How could your father quit his job and not tell you?
     “I’m going to take the rest of the day off.” You feel faint.
     Bob knows he has you where he wants you and he savors the words he says. “You don’t need to come back.”
     You don’t reply. You know you are done. You pack up all your belongings and head out the door without saying a word to anyone. You want to call your father right away. You can’t imagine what you’ll say. There are so many questions. Everything that has been happening with your parents the last few months seems inter related. You want to find the connection. You head to the bar instead.
     You were drunk when you heard your mother died.

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