Low Road was a novel that I completed in 2015. It was terrible. Because it was the only piece of fiction I’ve ever written, I have re-evaluated it. I have edited out a lot of unnecessary bullshit to make it presentable.
Recap: Rod Townshend is alcoholic and an all-around terrible person living in northeast Oklahoma. Jeanne is a bank manager that’s been essentially using him as a prostitute. Because Rod has isolated himself from his family and surrounds himself with shady people, he runs out of cash….
I didn’t know when, or if, Jack was going to pay me. I quit speaking to my dad. I was out of money.
I was still living with Jeanne. She gave me money on occasion. But I was essentially living at her house rent free. She still requested that I meet her demands. Right after my 25th birthday, when I finished pleasuring her, I asked for a job.
“I couldn’t hire you, Rod.”
“Why not? I’m smart. I went to the University of Texas. I can work hard when I need to.”
“You got kicked out of the University of Texas, and you have a huge employment gap on your resume. As far as I’m concerned you don’t have a resume.”
“I need to start somewhere, don’t I? Just give me a shot, I’ll do anything. I’ll mow the grass and clean the toilets if I have to. Just give me a chance. Please.”
“This is a bank. You have to look the part. Do you even own a shirt and tie?”
“If that’s all I need, I can find that shit.”
“Fine. Once when you find presentable work clothes, come into the bank and fill out an application.”
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” then I went back to giving oral.
A few days later, I had a job as a teller. It was the first real job that I ever had. I made $10 an hour. It was easy money. I’d sneak off to the bathroom and take shots of vodka. I felt that I was moving up in the world.
Tamara and Jesse were two girls that were working with me. Tamara was tall and dark-skinned. Probably Native-American. She didn’t put up with my bullshit. Jesse was shorter, blond-hair, about 18 or 19. She was attending one of the community colleges and was always giggling and smiling. I don’t think they ever noticed my drinking.
Tamara hated me. “Can you shut the fuck up please?” she always told me. Fair enough, I though. So I flirted with Jesse instead. But she was too naïve to understand what I was saying. She’d just giggle and talk about her boyfriend. Her and Tamara would take lunches together. I’m sure they talked shit about me.
Jeanne gave me an evaluation after a couple of weeks. She called me into her office. She told me that she was going to handle this function instead of my direct supervisor.
“It appears that you’ve been doing a good job, no customer complaints.”
“No complaints? That’s the standard I’m judged by?” I said.
“Look Rod, I know that you’ve been drinking on the clock.”
“You are smart and capable. I want to do what’s best for you. That’s why I think that you should move back here with me. Be an office assistant. You can assist me in scheduling, calls, special projects, anything that we need. That would be best for you and the company.”
“You just want to keep an eye on me.”
I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Tamara and Jesse. Jeanne pared me up with Tim for training. He was a dumbass. Tim was a church goer, a Methodist or some shit. He kept a picture of his wife on his desk. She was hot. He always wore a plain navy blue button-up shirt to work and khaki pants.
This was a much harder job. Occasionally I’d go into Jeanne’s office to gripe. But she would have none of it. She maintained her professionalism and mentored me through the problem.
Now that we were working together, Jeanne distanced herself from me physically. One evening she invited me into her bedroom.
“Come have a seat next to me.” She said. I sat down and began kissing her neck. She pushed me away.
“Rod, I feel bad. I don’t want you to think that I’ve been using you this entire time. If you think that I have been, then I’m very sorry.”
“The hell are you talking about? Use me. I don’t give a shit.”
“No, that’s wrong. It’s not fair to you. Look, I’m your boss now, I’m twice your age. I’m only holding you back. I know that you’re seeing another girl. I don’t know if she knows about me, but you’re a talented and handsome young man. You deserve to be with her.”
I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t ready for this to end.
“Okay, I know what’s going on here.” I said, “So how about one more fuck for old time’s sake?”
Jeanne started crying. I sat there frozen. I wanted to hug her. Tell her that everything is alright. But I couldn’t. So I watched her.
“Rod, you need to find help. I know that you have the potential to be something great. You’re just too young and stupid!”
I just sat there.
“Don’t you have anything to say?” she asked.
“I guess that it’s time to move out.”