Saturday, December 5, 2009

2.) The Other Extreme

I'm glad you guys all enjoyed the first post! I hope I never disappoint your high, high expectations. I love you all so much!

Soundtrack Song - Damone, Outta My Way
(Note: Please ignore the printed lyrics, they're not correct. However, it's the only good version I could find of the song.)

It was inexplicably difficult to wake up that particular evening. My head was screaming in pain. I didn't think I drank that much. As I reflected back on what lead up to this point, I realized that I had lost track of how many red plastic cups I had gone through, so, yeah... maybe I did drink too much.

I was in so much pain that I didn't want to get out of bed, let alone move one molecule of my body. My phone was vibrating in my pocket, though, so I needed to do something about that. Whether that be answer it or ignore it or shut it off or drop it on the floor. I needed to do something to stop the subtle disturbance. Buzz buzz buzz. Fucking buzz! Finally, I reached into my pocket and looked at the screen. About a billion missed calls from my boss. Damnit, I was late. Again. Why did he ever expect me to be on time?

Bearing the pain, I rocked my body back and forth until I was sitting up. Tubby was still dead asleep beside me, passed out and probably going to stay that way for a few more hours. We partied 'til the sun was fully over the horizon, probably until eight in the morning. It was... ten o'clock in the evening now. How did I sleep for fourteen hours?

With a grunt, I propelled myself out of bed and into the bathroom, stubbing my toe along the way. "Fucking cocksucker!" I yelled as I limped the rest of the way. Tubby never moved, still on his stomach with his bare ass hanging out. He was out for the count. He only stays over when he gets really fucked up, which doesn't happen that often. I wondered if we had sex or did anything last night, or should I say this morning, but I couldn't remember. And I hurt too badly all over to be able to tell. I was still wearing pants, so my guess was no. We were just friends—best friends since kindergarten, in fact—but when alcohol and perhaps some other substances were involved, we sometimes fooled around or whatever.

I wanted to just throw on a decent shirt and head straight to work, but I reeked of booze and weed. The alcohol smell, I could probably get away with, but not that tell-tale sweet and smokey, skunky, ass-like smell of marijuana. I'd get canned for sure if I walked in like this, and although my job's shitty, it pays the bills and buys the herb, so I shouldn't complain.

So I popped a couple pain killers and took a quick shower. The water that flowed around my feet was a bluish-purple hue as more of the dye washed out of my hair. Oh well, it was time for a change anyway. I'd lost track of my natural hair color a long time ago, because I always dye it again before the roots show. What can I say? I get bored easily.

I thought I almost fell asleep in the shower before I turned off the water and wrapped myself in a towel. Stumbling around and still feeling drunk, even though that epic sleep marathon surely sobered me up, I found a pair of ripped up jeans and tossed those on before I grabbed a sports bra and a baggy white tee shirt. No one would see my clothes under my uniform, anyway.

Before I rushed out the door, I nudged Tubby with my foot. He had somewhere to be tonight, too. Usually he was the responsible one, the one who made sure I was on time and didn't stray too far outside the boundaries. He had been there for me through so much and still watched out for me. It was annoying as hell sometimes, but when my dad and brother could no longer be there for me, he stepped up to the plate and batted one thousand.

"Tubs! Yo! Wake up, man," I called, kicking him softly. "I'm leaving for work. I'm already late. Gotta make sure you're up!"

"I'm up," he yawned, rolling onto his side, not caring that his junk was out in the open. "Holy shit, what time is it?"

"Like, ten thirty or something. I'ma get reamed out when I show up at work. Fucking douches have it out for me, I swear."

"Maybe if you showed up on time for once in your life. Remember when you actually cared about being punctual?"

"Remember when you weren't a cock-licking retard?" I quipped back, and then I scrunched up my face and answered before he had a chance to respond. "Me neither."

"Very funny, Joanna," he said, letting my name roll off his tongue. I hate that name, and he does it when he wants to get under my skin.

"Don't you have some rap contest to get to? Get up, Eight Mile," I repeated. I slipped my boots on and nudged him once those were on my feet. He didn't like that, and he grunted. I slipped into B.E.V. as I teased him. "Why you trying to be a black Eminem? Shit, I got more street cred than you, fool! You never been shot at in no drive-bys."

"Shut up," he said with another yawn, playing along. Tubby's probably the most eloquent guy I know, but you'd never know it otherwise. We were both top-notch students with bright futures, once upon a time. I suppose it's my fault he never made it any farther in life than this. My lot in life doesn't bother me, though; in fact, I prefer it. No stress and lots of time to enjoy my youth. "You just a cracker-ass white bitch. You never been shot at either."

"Unless you count hockey pucks," I laughed, belying any street cred as I grabbed my brother's old leather jacket off the chair and shrugged it on. "And those motherfuckers hurt." I stopped laughing when I thought about those memories; the ones I had tried so hard to block out. It will never matter how long ago that happened, because it will always pain me to think about it.

Tubby noticed how my mood had shifted, so he played the role of protector again and changed the subject. "You gonna come over after work? Hear me lay down some phat rhymes?"

I snorted as I grabbed my helmet and keys. "Um, no. As much as I love your 'phat rhymes,' I hate being the only white chick at those places."

"Sorry, but they just don't recognize you when you show. White chicks all look the same," he laughed, making me laugh, too, and in the process forget all about James.

"All right. Good luck or break a leg or whatever. Call me if you wanna hang out after, because otherwise I'm just gonna light it up here on my own when I'm done with work. Lock up on your way out," I told him as I headed out the door and straddled my bike. I wanted a Harley all my life, but I got this crotch rocket because it was cheaper. I slipped the helmet on and buckled it, and then started my bike. It's nice driving a motorcycle, because I can weave in and out of traffic and maneuver around cars to get to my destination faster. Which is great, because I'm never on time for anything.

My head was swimming as I navigated through the streets to Mellon Arena. I was still in pain, both from the hangover and the haunting memories that nag at my back of my mind. It would be so much easier on me if his actual ghost haunted me instead of the memory of the guy he was. What happened wasn't my fault; I wasn't even there. But I still kind of felt guilty. Like I should have done something, although there was nothing that I could have done. Shit happens, for no goddamn reason sometimes. That was just one of those instances.

He had worked so hard for everything in his life. He was going to make it out of this hellhole and make something of himself. He was my idol, and surely once he made it, everyone would recognize in him what I saw. James was a shining star amongst the dimly lit candles around him. He outshone everyone, but his light was extinguished far too soon. If the good people of this Earth are taken before their time, there's no hope for stupid fuck-ups like me. I guess that's why I do what I do and why I'm the person I am. It's funny though, because with his death, he kinda turned me into the person he had hoped I wouldn't be while he was alive. Oh well. Since when has life turned out the way I wanted it to?

I can't and won't play these fucking mind games, because it's worthless and pointless and a complete and total waste of time—and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that you don't waste your time. You do what you want and you do it when you wanna do it. You've gotta enjoy the time you have while you have it to enjoy. Who knows what'll happen to you in the next year, next day, next minute. So fuck it: do whatever makes you happy, because your current happiness is the only currency with any worth in life.

Why work for something, when that can all be stripped away in a matter of seconds? All that hard work James had committed himself to in order to improve himself turned out to be useless. He's six feet under. He should have been enjoying himself while he was young; instead, he used his youth to prepare himself for a long life ahead of him. A long life that he was not fated to have. How useless. It's despicable. That's why I devote myself to the hedonistic lifestyle. The present moment is the only one that matters; what happened in the past is irrelevant and pointless, and you may never see the future.

Of course, life has its necessary unpleasantries. Like this fucking excuse for a job. I'm a stupid janitor, picking up after drunk slobs. At least when I get stoned, I do it in the comfort of my own home and I don't make anyone else clean up my mess. They think because they paid for those tickets that they can leave their shit around for other people to pick up.

Live and let live. That's the best philosophy. I don't do anything that will screw up someone else's life, as long as everyone else stays out of mine. I don't need anyone to stand up on their soapboxes and preach to me about how I'm gonna go to Hell and I'm heading down a road of sin and debauchery or whatever other rhetoric they want to throw at me. I don't scream at them how uptight they are, so they can just leave me alone. I don't need advice or help. I'm fine the way I am.

My bike screeched to a halt as I finally made it into work. Bob was going to holler at me, I knew it, so I jumped off and hurried into the building as some asshole just stood there at the entrance and didn't bother to get out of my way. Didn't he see me coming, or that I was in a hurry? I'm all about the path of least resistance, and he should have politely moved. Fucker.

As soon as I was in the building I could hear Bob. "Jo! You're late! Again. I swear to God, you make me wonder every day why the hell I hired you...."

"Bob, I'm sorry," I groaned, like so many times before. I don't know why he even expects me to be on time anymore. It's not like those nachos containers or spilled beers are going anywhere anyway. It'll still be there for me to clean up regardless of what time I show up. I threw off my helmet and jacket and slipped into the coveralls.

"Don't bother apologizing. Just go do your job."

"Yes, sir," I bit out sarcastically, heading out to the stands to begin the massive clean-up that always took place after the Penguins games. The only thing that kept me going was knowing I had a joint at home with my name on it, waiting to be smoked and toked.


  1. Okay I'm intrigued. I like how you contrasted their outlook on life. The stark differences in their circumstances should make for interesting stories. I love your writing so I cna hardly wait for an update.

  2. very interesting...cant wait to see where this one goes...

  3. Woot! Absolutely love this chapter! Joanna is so badass it makes me giddy hahaha.

    I love the banter between her and Tubby.

    "You just a cracker-ass white bitch. You never been shot at either."
    ^^LMFAO. Just lmfao.

    But I also love how she has the deep philosophical side. I really can't wait to see more about her past. Because I have a feeling she's gonna be really sweet under that tough exterior (yes, I know that was corny. :p)

  4. I agree with PeytonRose, I can't wait to learn about her past. The very little you mentioned get me very intrigued :) Great update as always.

  5. I am hooked, fer sher, with this chapter...keep on turning 'em, sister, cuz we are reading them!

  6. is it bad of me that I smiled when it was revealed she's a pot head? This will for sure be a very interesting story. They have something in common, but character wise they are the direct opposite of the other, and for this I'm very anxious and excited to see where this goes!!