“Low Road”: Chapter 14

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Low Road is a novel-sized draft that I completed in 2015. It wasn’t good, but hey…it was the only story I’ve ever written. SO, I reevaluated it. I’ve spent the last several weeks editing down this hunk of shit. Hopefully now it’s somewhat presentable.

Recap: The alcoholic dirtbag Rod Townshend has officially split up with his sugar momma, Jeanne. He’s also been living with her. The problem is that she’s still his employer.

Chapter 14

Jeanne let me keep my job.

I’ve been splitting my time between Jack and Taryn’s place anyway. Not much was going to change. As I was gathering my things, Philip stopped me in the hallway.

“Where are you headed?” he asked.

“Who knows?”

“Are we still friends?”

I gave him a long hard look. I wasn’t sure what he wanted me to say.

“Of course.”

We shared a hug and then parted ways. Angel was nowhere to be found.
Jeanne did everything possible to make things not awkward at work. I didn’t really see her much. I was too busy.

I decided to cut back the drinking. But Tim was too damn annoying. Then his wife visited him at work.

Her name was Jill.

She was everything that her picture said she was. It didn’t make sense what she saw in this dumbass. Tim excused himself momentarily. Jill and I were alone in the office. I was too sober to carry on a conversation.

“How did you meet Tim?”, I asked

“We met at Oklahoma Baptist. We were in the choir. He had an incredible voice. You know, he likes working with you…”

“Well, I…”

Right then, Jeanne butted into the conversation. Her and Jill exchanged pleasantries.

“Are you guys looking forward to Iceland?” Jeanne asked.

“Tim is. It’s a little too cold for me.”, Jill says.

“The hell’s in Iceland?”, I asked.

“It’s a mission trip. Did Tim not mention this to you?”

“Uh, well…”

“Well I hope you two enjoy yourselves.” Jeanne interrupted. “Rod will hold the fort down while Tim’s gone.”

“I’m sure.”

I was too aroused by Jill. I had to be careful. I was wearing a thin pair of slacks. My hands began to shake. Then Jill left. I went to the break room and grabbed some water. I couldn’t control the shaking. I was sweating. I couldn’t focus on work. I noticed that one of the secretaries was wearing a short skirt. I began to sweat some more. I didn’t have any liquor in my truck. I had a massive headache. Then I went to Jeanne’s office.

When I sat down, I didn’t have anything to say. She looked at me. She waited for words to come out of my mouth.

“Yes Rod?”

“I’m speaking to you as a friend. Not as an employee.”

“Okay?”

“I think I need to step out for a few minutes. Maybe take an extra longer lunch break.”

“Are you feeling okay? Do you need to take a sick day?”

“No. I’m just working through something at the moment.”

Jeanne got up and sat down next to me. I needed her near me.

“You can speak to me about anything. You’re still my friend.” She placed her hand on my shoulder. I began to sweat more.

“I just need to take a couple of hours to pull myself together.”

She agreed. Once when I got outside, I frantically called Taryn. I asked her to come by the bank with a bottle vodka. When she arrived, I got in the car and took a few swigs.

“I badly need to fuck.” I told her.

“How about a handjob?”

That was all I needed. I stored the bottle in my truck and went back to work. When I sat down, Jeanne told me to come back to her office.

“You weren’t gone long.”, she said.

“Yeah, I just needed to freshen up. I’m fine now.”

“You’ve been drinking.”

“Look, I’m trying my best here. I went through most of the day without a drink. We’ve got to take baby steps.”

“I can fire you for this.”

“I know. I’m sorry, I swear to you that this won’t happen again.”

“Do you know how many chances that I’ve given you? It’s a lot more than what I’ve spoken to you about. One of my supervisors wanted to fire you weeks ago. But I vouched for you because I knew that you were trying. But I don’t know if that’s true. Are you trying?”

“Welp, I guess that I’m fired.”

“You’re not even going to defend yourself?”

“I don’t see the point.”

“Then go. Take the day off. I’ll let you know if you still have a job next week.”

I walked out. I had no personal belongings at my desk. I undid my tie, poured vodka in my flask, then went to the casino.

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