The content of my life could be comparable to that of a paper cup.
A simple, paper cup.
Sometimes it’s half empty, other times it’s half full.
Often, it’s completely dry; occasionally, it’s over the moon.
Or the brim, so to speak.
My life could be comparable to a paper cup.
My life, is a paper cup.
Part One: Half Empty
Without order, nothing can exist.
Without chaos, nothing can evolve
Chapter One: Realization
coming to understand something clearly and distinctly
A typical Tuesday; feeling sarcastic, cynical, and raring to go. I stare into the paper cup clutched desperately in both of my hands. Its gritty brown contents swirl before me. I swear I could hear them laughing. Lately, it’s seemed that I can relate to this routine, morning coffee as if it were an old friend. Somehow, it reminds me of myself. I laugh, as this thought occurs to me. My life is a paper cup. I let it sink in. My life…is, a paper cup.
MY LIFE IS A BLEEDING PAPER CUP
I look around the room and hear my voice resonate off the thin walls of the kitchen. I realize that in my sudden outburst, I have pitched the cup against the east wall. It now lies on the floor, crumpled and empty; beneath a new, wet stain on the creamy wallpaper. I remember putting that paper up. I also remember writing, scrawling in fact, myriad curse words across the blank drywall. I pause, reminiscing about this particular occasion. Hopefully in future, new owners decide that they are perfectly content with my neutral colored cover up, and choose not to strip the kitchen, exposing my temporary moment of insanity. Day of insanity. But if so, such is life. I had a moment. Everyone is entitled to a few of those in a lifetime. I look over at the coffee trickling across the linoleum. I abruptly push my chair away from the table and stand up. I walk to the other side of the room where I see the pitiful cup; mangled, draining out its last life. I pick up it up and observe it indifferently. My fingers quickly uncrumple it. A small smile creeps across my lips.
My life is a paper cup
I let the words linger on my tongue. They are real, they are true, and unfortunately, they are me. But I can’t bring myself to say them out loud. It’s a rather disconcerting thought, and I feel more comfortable denying that it is in any way applicable to me.
Cup in hand, I pace across the kitchen and into the living room, where I find myself before an empty mantle. Above the mantle, was a great mirror; a mirror which I came across two summers ago, while on a walk home from the market. It had been discarded into a decrepit alleyway by a local furniture company. As I passed by, its shiny surface glistened in the August sunlight. It caught my eye, and suddenly I fell for it. I had to have it. However I had no means of getting it home. So I called up my friend Jack to swing by in his pickup, and help me bring it back to my one bedroom flat. That’s a story and a half. Little did Jack and I know, a homeless person had taken shelter under this mirror. We tried, inconspicuously as possible, to lift it off of him and hoist it into the bed of the truck. This didn’t prove to be too hard, as he was passed out cold, bottle of wine just inches away. We left a ten folded up on top of his chest. God only knows if he got it. Regardless of that, we managed to successfully bring it back to my suite. Here, is where it was placed above the mantel, and here is where it will stay. It has a single crack in it, stretching from corner to corner. It gives it character, making up for what I seem to lack. I gaze at myself in the old mirror; tired, blue eyes; dull brown hair hung just below my shoulders; ivory skin; I do like my lips though. They’re lush and naturally wine colored. But still, nothing special. Plain, ordinary. I stand in my living room, wearing nothing but a powder blue bra and paint stained jogging pants, and I stare at myself. I stare at myself and I wonder when it’s going to be my turn. When I’m going to have my moment. When I’m going to get some ac-
Suddenly the phone rings. I snap back to reality. It rings again. I scramble across the hardwood floor, almost making it to the kitchen, and then I slip, on a single grey sock, and land flat on my back.
The phone rings again. I pick myself up and run to go answer it. I catch a glimpse of the clock.
Eight fifteen. Late for work. Fifteen bloody minutes late for work. Heart pounding, I pick up the receiver. I’ve never been late. I’ve never been late. I compose myself.
Yes…Yes I am.
Well get moving then!
An encounter with The Beast. A squat, balding man; 1950’s aviators, but most certainly not the posh kind, balanced on the tip of his upturned nose. A rather unfortunate looking fellow, he probably hasn’t seen his feet in years. I giggle at the thought of him bending over his massive, protruding stomach in an attempt to tie shoelaces. That explains the slip-ons I suppose. I’m absolutely head over heels for the idea of another tumultuous day in a poorly air conditioned office building with him. Head over fucking heels.
I cross the room and walk into my bedroom. It’s my favorite room in this godforsaken apartment. I’m completely neurotic about keeping it clean and properly furnished. Decorated it myself; mocha walls with beige trim, a cherry wood ceiling fan, purple silk sheets, and various candles to set the mood. If ever there was a mood to set. I sigh deeply and walk over to my wardrobe. I pick out a calf length black skirt, and a white blouse. I quickly throw it on and observe myself in the mirror. Plain, as usual. But today, I’m feeling slightly more risqué. I’m already making a scene by walking in late; might as well give them something to look at. I undo the first two buttons of the shirt. My lace bra protrudes just a bit. Perfect. I push out my chest. Tease my hair, and then give my sexiest pose. Jesus, what am I thinking? I quickly button myself back up and then make my way to the bathroom. The bright bulbs above the sink sting my bloodshot eyes. I look like hell. But it’s nothing a bit of make up won’t fix.
I grab my keys and make my way through the corridor and to the elevator. The hallway is dimly lit; the paint is peeling, and paintings of various fruit and Nova Scotian scenery are hung haphazardly on the walls. I straighten the one of a pineapple as I pass by. Pressing the down button of the elevator, my thumb sticks slightly. I look at it in disgust and then wipe it on my skirt. Real professional. I stand there, waiting, checking my watch. It’s now eight thirty three. Perfect. I contemplate taking the stairs, when suddenly the doors open. And there she is. Cruella Dykeman: Hooker/Crack Addict of floor eight. Conveniently located directly above my suite on floor seven. She glowers at me as I hesitantly slink into the elevator compartment. It seemed smaller than usual. I press the Lobby button. It lights up. She reeks of death. And sex. A lovely combination. Christ, the smell is unbearable. I watch the numbers go down. Seemingly slower than normal. Please, please, please, please go faster. Before I contract some kind of disease.
I spin around to face the creature in the corner of the elevator. Her sunken eyes are popping out of their sockets; her wirey, yellow hair is everywhere but flat against her head; her skin is slack, as though it could slide off the bone with any sudden movement. Her mouth is rotted, and twisted into a grimace. Or maybe it’s supposed to be a smile. I’m not quite sure. I won’t even begin to describe what she was wearing-which wasn’t much at all. Her arms were covered in scabs and there were definite track marks in the bends. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Yes, can I help you?
She swaggers closer to me. Her gaunt face is just inches away from mine. Her breathe is moist, and smells of something foul. Something that’s been fermenting for months.
Wha’ you mean. I’idn’t say nothing!
I feel spittle on my cheek with the last syllable. The chime rings, the doors open, and she hobbles out, cackling as she goes. I stare in disbelief and numbly bring the palm of my hand up to my wet cheek. I give it a good wipe and make a mental note to pick up a travel sized sanitizer next time I’m at the market. The elevator doors begin to close, so I quickly wedge myself in between the two panels. They bounce off of my body and go back into the wall. I rearrange my outfit, brush off the dust, and then make my way out the door. Bracing myself for the day ahead. It’s been a hell of a morning.
Chapter Two: Indifference
the trait of lacking enthusiasm for or interest in things generally
How lovely for you to show up.
Of course, I wouldn’t miss a day with you sir.
Dripping with sarcasm I breeze past The Beast, walk into my office, and shut the door behind me. Perhaps a little harder than necessary. The blinds rattle against the window. I pull out my chair and sit at the desk. Strange. I don’t remember this bouquet of flowers being here when I left last night. Even more absurd, a miniature envelope balanced between baby’s breath and a rose stem. I reach for the envelope and hold it between my index and middle finger. I check out both sides. There’s no name, no erasures, no creases, nothing. Delicately, I open the flap. Inside there is a folded piece of paper. I take it out. It’s a map of the downtown area. On it, is a local pub (one that I’ve frequented a time or two), circled in red. The date, Friday October 17th is also visible. Along with the time, seven fifteen PM. I flip it over. In small, neat handwriting, someone had written, take a chance. There was no signature. October 17th. That was in three days. I burst through the door and bee line to The Beast’s desk, bouquet in hand.
Who in the hell sent these?
Some bloke brought them up. Delivery man.
And you just accepted them?
Well what was I supposed to do? Turn him away? Maybe if you had showed up on time, you could have dealt with him yourself.
I sigh exasperatedly. Almost growling. Today is not the day for spontaneous proposals, and flowers from only god knows who. I stalk back to my office and hole myself up. What was I supposed to do now? Perhaps it’s someone that I know. Probably not. I don’t recognize the handwriting. I put the flowers on the windowsill. They are pretty. I suppose if anyone asks, I could say that they’re from a lover. Like they’d believe that. I roll my eyes and settle into my seat, and begin to look over some long put off paper work. There is a knock at the door. No wonder I hardly get any work done.
Yes, come in.
The door opens; a man comes around the corner.
Hello love, how’re we doing this morning? You don’t seem quite up to par.
Oh, hi Jack. I’m fine, just having one of those days. Nothing is going my way.
Jack is my best friend. I’ve known him for as long as I can remember. We went to grade school together, we graduated together, we spent many a drunken night at the bar together. I always had his back, and he mine. There was always that sexual tension. He was quite a dish; dark brown eyes, messy black hair, tan skin, rippling abs, a gorgeous smile. I always wonder why he bothers with me. He always tells me that I underestimate myself. The relationship is strictly platonic. We’ve talked about trying to become more, but have always mutually decided against it.
Well, chin up! The day is only as good as you make it, no? Tomorrow’ll be better. What’s this eh?
He points and waves his finger in the direction of the flowers.
That’s a good question Jack. To tell you the truth, I don’t have a bloody clue. I just walk into my office this morning, and there’s this big bouquet sitting on my desk. Oh, and there was this.
I hand him the map. He looks it over, holding it closer to see the fine handwriting on the back.
That’s interesting. Maybe you’ve got an admirer. Tad bit of a creep though, I might add. Ah, he might be perfect for you! You should give him a go.
Oh, thanks a lot. What’s that supposed to mean?
Nothing. Nothing at all.
I don’t know. I’m so busy lately; I don’t have time for blind dates. What kind of respectable guy anonymously asks a woman out to a pub on a blind date? I don’t even know what he looks like! I’m apt to end up meeting somebody completely different. Hell, I don’t even know if it is a man!
Oh c’mon love, have a little fun. Heaven forbid. You need to get out there. Look at you! You’re almost twenty three, and you still haven’t found yourself a decent bloke. You work late every night, you live alone. Eventually the world is going to find you.
I consider. I conclude.
Alright. Alright fine. I’ll do it. What have I got to lose…right?
That’s more like it! Good for you. Who knows what could happen. As for me, I need to get back to my desk. I have a conference call at nine twenty. Drinks at the end of the day maybe? Let me know.
A drink sounds lovely. A drink sounds exactly like what I need. A nice half pint of hard liquor. Beautiful. I’ll see you later Jack.
He smiles, and then walks out of my office, leaving the door open behind him. I sigh and walk towards it.
You know how I feel about this.
He simply shakes his head and sits down at his desk. I close the door behind me. Gently this time. It’s time to get down to my own work. My job is to design labels, and use keen marketing tactics in order to launch new products. Sometimes that’s a bit difficult. Especially with this cynical outlook on life. I always thought that toilet paper should be advertised with soft, inanimate objects. Such as feathers, or sand. Well, maybe not sand. I’m not sure who’d be too enthused about wiping their ass with sand. But they’re all over furry animals. What do kittens, bears, and puppies have to do with daily bathroom routines? What could they possibly be trying to imply? It’s completely beyond me. It’s absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. Almost like the absurd mascot for the 2010 Olympics in Canada. I mean, I know that they’re trying to be all multicultural and whatnot, but an obnoxious Japanese looking character isn’t the way to go. The creators should just crawl back into their igloos where they belong. I haven’t been there myself, but I hear its just freezing!
Today, my task is to design a label and catchphrase for a new type of shoe wear, which is predicted to be all the rage by next summer. They’re like flip flops, except for that there’s a jelly pad underneath your foot that squishes between your toes when you walk. They’re rather comfortable, despite the awkward feeling of something invading such an untouched part of the body. Something that feels like stepping in shit with bare feet. They’re really quite nice. I’m at a complete loss on this one. Maybe: Remember that one time last summer in the backyard? This is exactly like that. Without the mess! I laugh out loud. I’d buy it.
A pop-up appears on the computer screen. I have a new message. Would I like to read or ignore? The real question should be: which do you feel obligated to do, read or ignore? I unwillingly click read.
To Whom It May Concern,
I regret to inform you that your slogan for our new all over body cream does not reach our company’s standards.
“Feel delicious as sin, in Satinskin” does not quite depict how we are looking to portray ourselves. We have chosen another company in place of yours.
We’ll notify you if we ever need your assistance with another product (but don’t hold your breath).
I re-read it, to make sure that I’m seeing straight. Don’t hold your breath. Who does Satinskin think they are? That was a brilliant slogan. I click new message.
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. You have really just been the cherry on top of a shitty day. I am sincerely sorry that my catchphrase did not “depict” the way you are trying to sell yourself to your old lady consumers. I will contact you in the future if I need somebody to give me a good blow to the self esteem. Don’t hold your breath.
Whom it does concern.
I move the mouse to the delete button. It slips. I click send. Oh no, what have I done? I frantically click cancel. Cancel, cancel, cancel, cancel. Please cancel! But the deed has already been done. A new popup appears: Your message has been delivered successfully! Wonderful. I stare, horrified, at the computer monitor. Damn program; why even have a cancel button if it doesn’t work? I can’t believe I sent that. There goes my job, might as well start packing now.
The Beast’s voice bellows through the office. My name; that’s my name. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. I get up out of my chair, cursing myself silently, in the most vulgar way possible. I walk to the door and approach The Beast’s desk. I can hear the death march playing in my head with each step. I look at his face. It has turned purple and a thick, blue vein has appeared, throbbing near his left temple. He holds a sheet of paper in his balled up hand.
Would you care to explain why THIS e-mail has been sent to me from your address?
He thrusts the sheet towards me. I can see that it is the message. A wave of relief washes over me, similar to taking a cold shower on an excruciatingly hot day. It didn’t get sent to Satinskin, I didn’t permanently lose a client. I’m most likely not going to lose my job.
I look at him; his jaw is clenched, and he is drumming his stubby fingers on the oak desk.
Yes, sorry sir.
I crack a grin, and stifle back a laugh.
What, is so funny?
Nothing at all sir. I’m very sorry for the miscommunication. Although think of how much worse it would have been if it was sent to the actual client. Whew, am I ever relieved.
Yes…Well it’s not a laughing matter. This could have seriously damaged our reputation. Next time, if you decide to have some childish tantrum, write it down on paper.
I take this advice, put it on the back burner of my mind, and then turn and walk back into my office. I sit down at my computer and open a new document.
I regret to hear of your decision. I am sincerely sorry that my marketing suggestion did not meet your needs. Please let me know in the future if there is anything else I can do with you. I give you my word, you will not be disappointed. Best of luck with your campaign. I look forward to hearing from you.
I click send. Once again, it is successful. This time, I put in the right address. I should be a teacher; Ass-Kissing 101. Why don’t they teach anything useful in schools? If I taught class, I would teach skills that people are actually going to need in life; none of that polynomials nonsense. Perhaps something like: Preparing Meals that Actually Satisfy Your Spouse, or How to Talk Your Way Out of a Parking Ticket. Life would be that much easier. But instead, I will go through life wondering why X squared doesn’t solve everything, or why I can’t break down my problems into simple elements. What a bunch of bull!
There is one hour until the end of the day. It is never. going. to. end. I stare at the clock. The hands are moving so slowly that it’s like they’re not even moving at all. Hang on. They’re not moving at all. It is apparently 2:27 AM. I check my computer clock. It’s 12:35. THREE HOURS LEFT. I growl at the old clock, and then chuck it into the bin behind me. The glass cracks as it makes contact. Good. Serves it right. I can not believe that there are still three hours left. I leave the office and walk to the water cooler. Grabbing one of those flimsy paper cups, I thrust it under the spout and pour the water. I guzzle it down. I start to feel more complete. I fill it again. Drink it again. I do this five or six times, moving with wicked speed. On the seventh cup, someone approaches me mid-sip. A shoe taps behind me. Stella; official head bitch of the building. I turn around to face her. Her red mouth is contorted into a sneer. Her blond hair has been perfectly curled around her face, highlighting her high cheekbones. Stella is one of those women who believe that she is above everyone else, despite the fact that she is on the bottom rung of the seniority ladder. She also feels the need to incessantly hang off of every male co-worker, and usually, they go for it. She is in her early forties, but still has the body of a twenty five year old. I won’t ever admit it, but I might be secretly jealous of her. I bet she doesn’t spend too many nights alone. Bloody cougar. I continue to pour myself water, just to spite her. She’ll get over it. Halfway through cup ten, she shoves past me, causing it to spill onto the front of my white blouse.
You've got to be kidding me.
She smiles, sickeningly sweet, and then retreats to her lair. AKA cubicle. I'll get her back eventually. She'll get what's coming to her. I look down at my chest. The material is now completely see through and my blue bra shows through. I guess I've ended up giving them something to look at after all. Someone whistles in my direction. I look around. It's Joe. Pervert. He comes onto all the women in the office. He's only managed to bed one of them. Poor girl, she never returned to work. I don't blame her though. The day after, her MySpace profile was hacked and littered with various pictures of them “caught in the act”. In positions I didn't even know existed. And trust me, I've read the Kama Sutra a time or two. I'm quite surprised that Joe and Stella haven't gotten together yet. He's half her age. I'd say he fits her criteria just fine. Oh Stella. I glance back down at my shirt, it's sticking to my skin. This makes me even more angry. I ball up the paper cup in my hand, aim for the back of her head, and fire. It narrowly misses, and lands in the bin next to her right foot. She spins around in her swivel chair and stares at me incredulously. Terribly sorry. I've got beer league baseball tonight. I was practicing my pitch. One point for me.
A quick smile, to appear sincere. I would get an A in Ass-Kissing 101.
I walk into the staff bathroom. It smells of cherry hand soap and bleach. Everything is sterile and sparkling. This makes my day a tiny bit better. Despite the fact that it's not a very professionally run workplace, it is usually clean, and thats always a relief. I approach the hand drier. I think that these things are completely useless. All they do is blow the droplets of water up my arms, and I usually just end up wiping my hands on my skirt anyways. I remember my friend in grade school used to wipe her hands on the walls as a means to dry them. It kind of defeated the purpose of washing, I thought. Some things, I will never understand. But today, the hand drier does have a use. And that is to dry my wet shirt. I look around, check under the stalls, and then proceed to pull it over my head. Suddenly, I hear the door creak as it opens. The material is over my face and I can not see who it is. A couple foot steps.
Oh, sorry love! Wrong door.
The door opens again. It was a mans voice. But I couldn't tell who. Great, they probably recognized who I was. It'll get around the floor in no time. I finish pulling off the blouse, and then thrust it under the drier head. The water stain begins to shrink, slowly but surely. A burning smell wafts up towards my nose. I'm going to blow the fuse. Oh well. I continue to hold it there until it is completely dry, and then pull it back on. I smooth out the wrinkles, give myself a quick look in the mirror, and then walk out the door. As I make my way past the printer, I pull a random document off the pile and pretend to be submersed in it as I walk by my co-workers. Hopefully the story of my bathroom adventure hasn't spread too quickly. I look at the sheet of paper; the title, Promotion Proposal, has been bolded and underlined twice. I like the use of an alliteration. If I were The Beast, I might actually consider this, I think, as I throw it into the paper waste bin. Stella bursts into my office.
Jane, have you seen one of my documents on the printer? It was just there a few minutes ago. It's called Promotion Proposal, and it's gone missing.
I look at her, pulling my blankest expression. I glance over at the bin.
Nope, haven't seen it.
Chapter Three: Ambivalence
uncertainty when caused by inability to make a choice or by
a simultaneous desire to say or do two conflicting things
Three and a quarter.
The minute hand of the clock, in somebody else's cubicle of course, finally strikes six. Finally, the day is finished. I thought it would never end. Tomorrow I'm bringing in a new clock to replace the one I had cast into the garbage, so that I can watch the minutes pass painfully, by myself in the comfort of my own office. I shut down my computer, no more tentative messages for me today. Bloody Satinskin, they can go fuck themselves. It wasn't much of a breakthrough product anyways. We could endorse something better. Getting up from my chair I look over at the flowers sitting on the sill. I contemplate taking them home, but then quickly remember that I am going to the pub with Jack. I suppose that carrying around a bouquet isn't exactly a quick way to meet men. I grab my coat from the back of my chair and slip it on, crossing the room. Shutting off the lights to my office, I close the door, lock it, because I definitely think that someones going to break in steal all of my 'valuable possessions', and make my way over to Jack's cubicle. He's finishing up a call. I lean against the wall, folding my arms, scuffing my right shoe across the ground. I make a face. Jack grins, giving me the 'just a minute' forefinger. I watch him scramble around the office, looking under stacks of paper, going through filing cabinets. He's always been so scattered, yet his sales are constantly on the increase. He always makes quota. My friend Jack, is indeed, a valuable asset to this company.
Hey, how was the rest of the day?
He hangs up, then walks over to me and gives me a quick peck on the cheek. He then grabs his sweater and we head for the exit.
Oh you know, the usu'. I'm just glad it's over.
He nods, smiling at me, knowing that I'm not telling him everything. I've never been one for outward complaining. I'll bitch all I want in the quiet confines of my mind, and sometimes, I suppose I'll scrawl it all on the walls. But I do try to spare people all the 'woe is me' bullshit. I'll tell Jack the contents of the day once I have a few drinks in me.
We walk down the hallway, down the stairs, and through the door to outside. It's still fairly bright out, but it won't be for long; Winter is slowly creeping in. The autumn glow that was present in the sky last week has begun to fade. The trees have no leaves left on their spindly branches. The cobblestone pavement is dry and cold, and it brings out the grey in the clouds overhead. There are even sporadic Christmas decorations and garlands visible in some storefront windows. Crazy people, the holiday is more than a month away. We're all going to be sick of it before it even happens. But I can't deny, the Winter season does make me feel a bit more pleasant. With everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off, looking for the 'perfect gift'. And lovely carolers in the colorfully lit streets. It's a nice time.
We come to Jacks car, parked by the curb. It's an '84 BMW, an undeniably beautiful vehicle. It's matte black coat didn't really reflect the sun, the tire rims didn't spin, or sparkle, but I loved it. I always wanted one for myself, but instead got stuck with an '86 Jetta. Not that it's a bad car, I completely adore it as well. It's beige, and a classic, and it gets me where I need to go, so I'll take it. We both get into the car, it's a bit chilly; Jack starts it and turns on the heat. A low guttural noise comes from within the engine.
C'mon love, thats it, thats it. Give me some fiiiiirrreee!
Jack gently talks to the car, caressing it with his smooth voice, and it responds. The interior is warmed up within minutes. He puts the car into reverse, then drive, and we roll down the old cobble road.
Pulling into the parking lot, we hit just about every pothole in the gravel. Jack curses loudly as he sees the dust clouds rise up and fall around us.
I just washed the bloody vehicle! Who's idea was it to come here? Awe, fucking hell. You've got to be kidding me.
It was your idea. What? What is it?
I follow his gaze to the other side of the lot. There aren't a lot of cars, so I assume he's staring at the mauve convertible parked in the corner. It looks fine, I don't understand what the all the commotion is about.
He grips the steering wheel, and exhales loudly, banging his head against it. It clicks. It's her. Gabriel, his ex-girlfriend from a few months back. And she wasn't just your standard ex. She was the type who continued to call, long after they were broken up, asking to go for coffee, 'just as friends' of course. She was the type who would send 'anonymous' messages and gifts, dropping hints that they should get back together. It was a nightmare really, she was just relentless.
Hey, it's okay. Maybe it's just a car that looks exactly like hers. C'mon, just put on a brave face, you can't avoid her forever.
Ahhhhh fiiiiinnee. Lets go.
I've noticed that Jack likes to talk in hyper extended syllables whenever he's upset, or distressed. We get out of the car and slowly walk across the lot. I put my arm around him, giving him a comforting rub on the back. He turns to me.
I've got an idea.
What is it?
How about.....You pretend to be my girlfriend? Just for the night, pleeaaaaaaaasseee. It would help me out so much.
What?! No! Absolutely not. That's a ridiculous idea.
And as ridiculous as the idea is, I find myself reaching for his hand and taking it in mine. His palm is a little moist, he must really be stressed out. Poor guy.
Thank you Jane, you have no idea how much this means. I'll make it up to you, I swear.
Yes, yes. You're bloody right you will.
I laugh, as we walk across the parking lot. Smiling to myself, I wonder if he thinks of it as just a simple diversion, or perhaps something more. Probably not, thats just crazy. It would never work out. But somehow, his hand in mine feels right. Like a match.
You alright love?
His voice brings me out of my trance, and I look up at him. His brown eyes staring into mine. He looks slightly panicked, as though I might bail out on him at any given moment.
Yes...Yes, I'm fine. Everything's fine.
I give his hand a slight squeeze as we come to the door. He reaches out and opens it, stepping in front of me, and letting himself in first. He barely pushes it open so that I can slide in after him. This irritates me a bit, but I quickly remember that we are not an actual couple, therefore it is not required that he acts chivalrous towards me. Though it would be nice to keep up appearances.
The air in the pub is warm, suffocating almost. It smells musty like old wood. The lights are dim, and some redundant Sex Pistols song is playing in the background. It's not the best pub in town, but it gives me my fix, for a relatively low cost. Jack and I sit down at the bar. He pretends to stretch, places his arm around me.
I do what I can.
The bartender spins around to face us.
What can I do for you folks tonight?
Pint a' Stella please.
Just a spiced rum and coke for me thanks. With lime.
I answer. I was in the mood for a nice pint of draft beer earlier, but my mind had changed. The bartender places our drinks in front of us. Jack takes a long sip, as I squeeze my lime, stirring it in with my straw. I look at the contents of the glass. Just over half full.
* * *
And then! I told her that, noooo, I hadn't seen her document. I mean, she could have quite easily printed off another one, but still. It was like, fuccccckkk yoooouuuu biiitttchhhh. Oh, and I also 'accidentally' chucked a wad of paper at her head. It was classic.
4 drinks later, I listen to myself talk. Words just keep pouring out of my mouth, I have no control over them. I want to tell myself to shut up, but I can't. I just keep rattling on. I'm sure Jack isn't even paying attention anymore. I sure as hell wouldn't. I suddenly feel bad; here I am getting drunk, and he's sitting there listening to me, like a good friend, go on about my pathetic day, and my pathetic attempts to get back at people. I look at him, staring at me, his mouth smiling, head nodding at the appropriate time. And then, before I can even think about it, I lean in and kiss him. I'm a little off, and get the corner of his mouth. Our noses bump. He moves, kisses me full on, his lips covering mine. He places his hand behind my head, his lips part, they're moist. His tongue slips into my mouth and caresses mine. I pull away.
I, we, shouldn't..
No, no matter...
He takes his arm from around me, and folds his hands on the bar in front of him. We both stare straight ahead, taking occasional sips of our drinks. Though I notice Jack is tipping back a lot more than me. We grasp at small talk, trying to act as though what just happened, didn't happen at all. It doesn't work very well.
Uhm, Excuuuse me?
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