The Secret Lives of My Coworkers-3Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2008-09-23 09:53:30 EDT
Rating: 1.94 on 45 ratings (45 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
What I know:
Melissa is an older woman, probably 40-45 or so, and hasn’t been with us very long. She works as the receptionist for our corporate office, but due to her long career history of being a waitress/bar-wench, she often directs the calls to the wrong person. That wrong person is often me, and I bear a grudge, so this story probably won’t fare well for her.
She has 2 children that I know of, 2 daughters. The oldest, 26 years old, drops by occasionally, and chats with her mother while everyone else scrambles to answer the calls she should be catching. The youngest is 15, and is a typical little 15 year old girl.
Melissa is currently undergoing her 2nd divorce, maybe her 3rd, I’m not sure and really don’t care. Her soon to be ex-husband drops by nearly every day like some love-sick puppy dog bringing flowers for her, ignoring the futility of the situation and trying to win her back. Lately he hasn’t shown up so much, hopefully he’s moving on.
After she leaves work here, she goes to her second job as a waitress for a seafood place next to one of the local lakes. I’ve never eaten there, but assume that any restaurant that hires her probably has low standards, which I presume extends to the cooking staff as well.
I could be wrong on that last point though, as she previously worked for the local Mexican joint serving chimichangas that were bomb-tastic, along with $3.00 pitchers of frosty cold beer.
I can’t prove it yet, but I’m certain she’s a cokehead, because she visits the bathroom 4 times per hour, and she’s often rubbing her nose, plus she exudes that whole “I’ve snorted away 20 years of my life” vibe. This is further evidenced by her desperation for company.
A few weeks ago, she threw a birthday party for herself at her new restaurant, and when she invited me, it looked like she was going to cry. I told her I might, but that I’d be busy all weekend, which was true. I would have told her the same even if it wasn’t though, for the same reason that girls wouldn’t date me or sleep with me for almost 2 years before I got married.
Desperation can be picked up on a mile away, and everyone avoids it like the plague that it is.
Now for the speculations, which are purely fictional (I think.):
Melissa leaves work in her beat up 97 Pontiac, and heads off for the evening, tonight she’s off work, and she’s ready to get blasted. What the fuck was she thinking taking on a job that won’t let her wear a tube top and flip-flops to work? This certainly isn’t for her.
On the way home, she’s got to run several errands. Single mother status and all that you know. First off is to stop by the restaurant and pick up her paycheck. Getting paid here is always a bitch, because the jerk off that runs the place is always making “mistakes” on her paycheck, which means that she’ll have to hang around another 15 minutes getting things sorted out with him before she can move on to more important matters.
During this time, the old geezer mostly just nods his head and leers at her while she leans over his desk asking for her money, and she doesn’t mind because it’s not often that she gets the opportunity for flattery like she did when she was young.
She misses that, and that’s why after she leaves here, she’s going to get wasted, because it makes her feel vigorous again, that and the company.
She roars out of the fish shack, and down the road to “Stink’s” the local gas station/check cashier. Her paycheck, minus the $10 “fee”, and she’s off again with her rightly earned $175.00 to her party supplier. This guy’s got it all, and due to the nature and length of their relationship they’re on a first name basis.
She knocks on the door, and it crack’s open, the voice on the other side asking “You didn’t bring that cracka husband of yours did you?”
“No, of course not Leroy, we’re getting divorced.”
“Good, cause he’s a fiend, and I’m pretty sure he stole some off my table last time y’all were here.”
“He did NOT steal from you, now let me in, I’ve got places to be, and I need to be there in a hurry.”
So he reluctantly lets her in, and she places her order, and he weighs it out, bags it and hands it to her as she hands him the money.
Familiarity or no, business is business, and this shit don’t operate on credit.
She walks out the door with a half-jog to her car, the eight-ball tucked into her bra causing her to sweat bullets, since this isn’t the best part of town, and the police know what’s going on here, but luckily, they have better things to do today.
Down the road after a few quick bumps and her pulse is racing. Everything is in order, her kid can fend for herself, and she can go celebrate her night of freedom.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, her youngest is experiencing freebasing for the first time with her 20 year old boyfriend out of her mom’s pipe that she found hidden in the bottom of her sock drawer. She realized something was out of place when she reached for the pink socks, and felt something hard inside. It didn’t take long to figure out the rest.
Melissa pulls into the driveway of her best friend Charlene. Her husband Charlie is standing off to the right of the driveway, under the old oak tree, drinking beer and flipping burgers and hot dogs for their pack of kids, aged 4-12. Charlie doesn’t do coke, and doesn’t like that Melissa has started showing up more often since the announcement of the impending divorce, but the fact that she’s a definitive attention whore makes her tolerable. A little smooth talking and he’ll probably be having a threesome tonight.
Melissa and Charlene go to the bathroom to powder their noses. Thirty minutes later and they walk out, noses scrunching and eyes watering. Charlene goes to finish the mac and cheese, and baked beans for the kids dinner, while Melissa walks outside, opens the cooler, fishes out a can of Budweiser, and then uses the cooler as a seat while she drinks and chatters on and on and on and on until Charlie finishes the food. He mostly just nods and occasionally throws out the odd “Yeah, that’s just how it is innit?”
The girls skip dinner of course, opting to spend their time buzzing around Charlene’s bedroom, alternating between the mirror resting on the dresser, and reading tattered, occasionally outdated tabloids and women’s magazines. They don’t really read, except for the “How to Drive your Man Wild” type articles, mostly they just pick at the celebrities and models, pointing out their flaws, and how they were so much better looking in their prime.
This drags on for about an hour, in between momentary knocks on the door for “Mommy! Sara hit me!!” and trips out to the cooler to get more beer.
By 11:00 pm, with half the bag gone, the girls are out of their heads. The talking has picked up pace faster, and their teeth are grinding so much Charlie can hear it in between sips and the flick of the lighters sparking the cancer sticks. At midnight, he can stand it no more. They’ve had their fun, now he wants his.
“Melissa, I need to have some marital relations ‘fore my balls bust, you’re welcome to join in.” He’s smiling. His wife isn’t however, and pops him one on the cheek.
“What the fuck Charles?!”
Melissa looks at her and says “I don’t mind, I could use a good release! All the pressure from the paperwork is about to kill me.”
“Get the fuck out!”
Melissa walks back to her car, dejected, listening to the shrill screams of husband and wife fade into the night as she drives off. She shouldn’t be driving, but she couldn’t stay there. Luckily, she’s a local, and knows all the cops by name, even dated quite a few of them in her time, and if she does happen to get pulled over, she’ll probably just get an escort home.
That’s not a concern tonight, or this morning as the case may be. The concern is why that little punk’s car is parked in her driveway at 12:45 am.
She walks in the door, and finds her precious little one naked and wrapped in a blanket on the couch, with her boyfriend asleep on one side, and a young black kid on the other, also both naked.
She walks up to the couch, not noticing the crack pipe with the now empty bag from last weekend sitting beneath the coffee table. She shakes the black kid awake, and he wakes up, eyes bugged out, but she puts her finger on his lips, and he stays quiet. She pulls him into the bedroom, cuts out a few lines, and starts to get undressed...
She wakes up shortly after noon, with the sun glaring down on her through the open blinds, and the first thing she notices is that the boy is gone. Also missing is a half-gram of her coke, and the straw she’d been using all night.
Her daughter is also gone, along with her boyfriend, and what appears to be a large portion of what had been her bedroom.
She should be crying, but instead she just cuts another straw that’s he’s pulled from the drawer where she keeps all the ketchup packets and napkins from restaurants she’s worked at, and snorts another couple of lines.
She walks over and kneels down in front of the counter, opens the door and pulls out the bottle of gin hidden behind the pots and pans and sets it on the counter with a shot glass. She sits down on the bar stool, and begins to drink in the silence of a Saturday at home alone, and lets her mind slip into reverie.
There was a time when she too was young, beautiful, and desired.