This Is The Deck Life Dealt You

I was running late, and hungover again. I wish I could skip this entire day.

Friday morning, 7:00 am, the annoying alarm on my cell phone buzzed, urging me to get my ass out of bed and into the bathroom. I quickly stuffed my hair into a low ponytail, brushed my teeth, squeezed into some jeans and an old black grad hoodie. My best friend Alice was outside waiting for me in her civic, equally as distraught.

“K, like what happened last night?”
“We did it again.”
I took a sip of her chai latte. Too hot.

“What did we do again?”
“We went to Thirsty Thursday at the Long Horn Saloon, even though we hate that place and swear we will never go.”
“Fuck.”
“Yup.”She is swerving in and out of early morning traffic trying to get me to class as soon as possible since she knows I don’t handle car sickness well.”Thanks for the ride babe.”
“Of course pretty lady, good luck on your test! Text me right after!”
“Will do, bye. Love you!”


First part of my exam is a breeze, the practical section online. My teacher stands behind me and instructs me on what he would like to see. I know all the correct keyboard shortcuts, where to put the anchor points, how to use different effects. Standard Illustration stuff in my Graphic Design Sham Certification Program. Now the second part of my exam, the written section. My stomach is in turmoil, tossing around last nights numerous shots. I start to get really hot and saliva is rushing to my mouth. Not a good sign. It’s not nerves, please this school is your basic CTRL+ALT+DELETE bull shit, it’s my poor choices from last night that are causing me to lose focus. My phone buzzes, I usually wouldn’t answer it but its a message from my dad… weird, we are not on the best of terms. I open it.

Ya Luv u 2 sweetie xo

Well that’s fucking strange. I never texted him first and that would be the day he would be showing some sort of affection towards me since I haven’t seen him or heard from him in months. I finish the rest of the test, hand it in, grab my cell and go sit in the deserted stair well. I open my phone and read it over and over. I reply.

Was that meant for me?
Ya hunny, because your doing so good on your exams.
Bull Shit. And mom doesn’t even have a cell phone.

“Come pick me up from school.”
“You’re done already?! Ballin!”
“My dads cheating on my mom, again.”


 

Two hours later I am furious and flying through my parents garage door. It’s 11:00 am and my dad is so drunk he falls off his stool onto the cement floor. He knows he’s been busted. My uncle and cousin are there having beers with him. I come in screaming, shouting, crying, getting in his face. My cousin, Richy, grabs me and pulls me back away from my father.

“I FUCKING KNEW IT! I’M GONNA MAKE SURE SHE LEAVES YOU THIS TIME!”

My uncle and Richy try to diffuse the situation and make sense of it all. It’s all coming together for them through my high pitched screams and sobs. My dad can’t even form a sentence, he’s three sheets to the wind. He tries to rationalize and justify. What a low life prick I think to myself. Richy drives me 90 km back home after I have successfully kicked over all the bar stools, slapped my dad in the face and snapped his cell phone in two. Middle fingers in the air as I storm outta there. You will never see me again, I inform him.

“We all have shit we go through, the important thing is that we are family and we will stick together and get through this. Me, you, my dad, your parents, your brother. We always have each others backs. Could be a lot worse things happening. This is the deck life dealt you and its up to you how you wanna play them.”

Wise words from Richy I am not to keen on hearing at the moment.

“Today I need a drink, or 10. That’s how I’m gonna handle it.”


Slightly intoxicated, but looking good, I jump in my Escape and head to the other side of the city for work. 5 minutes late, not a big deal. I forgot my mini skirt though. Damnit. I apologize to my boss, he says jeans are fine and I start counting out my till before the big Friday night crowd comes in. Some of my girl friends are already pre gaming and huddled around me, excited for the weekend. They can tell something’s off so I start telling them about my day when I hear a smash of glass hitting the ground from behind my bar. A bus boy dropped two 26’s of Blue Bols and Raspberry Sour Puss, I look over, he’s on it cleaning up. My boss, a very miserable lonely fat man in his early 40’s clearly wishing he was at a different point in his life, comes marching over to me and starts yelling to clean the mess up.

“He dropped them! He’s cleaning it!”
“GET OUT OF HERE AND DON’T COME BACK!”

Well that escalated quickly! Surprised and kind of relieved because I didn’t want to be at work anyway, I pack up my stuff, look at my friends and bolt towards the door.

“Meet you guys at Dano’s across the road?”
“Yep!”

I walk into my second home. My watering hole. The place where everyone knows my name. Dano’s. A greasy dive bar on top of an Italian restaurant. You can find me and Richy here almost any day of the week sitting at our usual high top table downing Pilsner’s and Jag Bombs. And tonight it’s where he and a whole crew of my friends already are. He puts his arm around me as I walk in and I tell him that I just got fired. Immediately the waitress is dropping off trays of shots at our table. Fuck your boss! Fuck that place! Let’s fucking party!


 

The room is buzzing, spinning, blurry. I’m sweaty from dancing and light headed from laughing. I feel good for the first time today. What’s missing? My boyfriend. If I try and say good bye no one will let me leave. They want to keep partying. I just want to see him and have him hold me and tell me everything’s going to be okay. If I sneak out no one will know I’m missing, not for awhile. It’s too loud and busy. I grab my keys out of Alice’s purse. I speed down the stairs trying not to trip. I jump in my Escape and am cruising to the other side of the city to my house. Black Out. I’m sitting at Richy’s computer printing out directions to Mellow Green Lake. I don’t know what time it is. The house is quiet. Three hours. I can make it. I get back in my Escape which I left running and leave my house. Black Out. Tunes are up, I’m awake. I set my cruise for 120. I think I am on the double lane highway. I am not. The pavement turns to gravel, fast. Here we go. My back end starts swinging back and forth. I’m gonna hit the ditch. Don’t slam on the breaks. Just tap them. Cruise is still on. I fly off the right side of the road and start to roll. I don’t know how many times. Black Out. My SUV is on it’s side. My seat belt is still on. I’m hanging by it. Music is still on. The engine is running. I try open the drivers door. It won’t budge. I slowly let myself down out of my seat belt. I don’t hurt. No bleeding. I find my cell phone and call Richy. He’s still at Dano’s, I can barely hear him. I’m yelling at him to come get me. I don’t know where I am though. He say’s he is leaving the bar and will come find me. I hang up. Battery is almost dead. Great. I call my boyfriend. He is scared and worried and said he will call Richy too. I shut off the engine. I turn off the lights. I don’t want the police to find me. I’m wasted. I’m cold. I climb into the trunk and wrap myself in a sleeping bag I find in there. I can’t open any of the doors. I wait. I don’t know what time it is. I hear a footsteps. It’s a man. I assure him I am okay, not to call 911, my cousin is coming for me. He agrees and leaves. 2 hours later I can hear Alice’s voice screaming. They’re here! They found me! They can’t get me out. All of a sudden there is a massive whack on my front windshield. Richy grabbed a crowbar from his truck and is smashing a hole I can climb through. I keep the sleeping bag wrapped around my body and he pulls me through the front windshield. I grab my phone and purse. We leave my vehicle and drive back home. I need to devise a plan. What the fuck am I going to do? I have alibis. I call 911 and report my SUV as stolen.

Alice, Richy and I sit around the table.

“I wish I could have skipped this entire day.”
“Yup.”


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