Copyright© 2012 by Lazlo Zalezac
"Get up! You are going to be late for work if you don't get up."
Groggy, and in pain, Kyle slowly worked up to where he was able to sit on the side of his bed. His head was pounding. The shrill voice of his wife was driving nails into his brain. It wasn't that her voice was actually that shrill, but that the after effects of alcohol warped all sound into something horrible.
He managed to reply, "Shut up. Where's my coffee?"
Shifting nervously from one leg to the other, his wife said, "If you keep drinking like this, you're going to lose your job."
"Coffee! Damn it, woman! I need coffee."
He said he needed coffee, but what he really wanted was a drink to take the edge off his hangover. It seemed like all of his mornings were becoming like this. He rubbed his face trying to chase away the sleep, but he was tired and no amount of rubbing would change that.
Kyle was a wholesale salesman of paper products. He'd been out late last night entertaining a customer. It was a little before three when he arrived home. It was now seven in the morning and the alcohol in his system hadn't had a chance to dissipate.
After a small burp that brought up some stomach acid, Kyle made his way to the bathroom. After his morning constitutional, he took a much needed shower. He stood for ten minutes under the hot water trying to wash away some of the toxins that had built up in his body. Occasionally, he would open his mouth and allow it to fill with water before swishing the liquid in his mouth in an attempt to get rid of the foul taste.
A hot cup of coffee was waiting for him on the counter next to the sink. He took a large sip of the hot caffeinated beverage and looked in the mirror. His eyes were bloodshot and had dark bags under them. He needed to wake up a bit more. He opened the medicine cabinet and grabbed a bottle of NoSleep. He took a couple pills thinking that he needed to find something a bit stronger one of these days.
He shaved and brushed his teeth. A good salesman had to look sharp. Lately, that was getting harder and harder to achieve. His waist had expanded a bit, but he was well over six feet at two hundred and fifty pounds. That much weight didn't necessarily make him fat. In his football days, he weighed a little more than that, but back then it was all muscle. He deluded himself into thinking that all of that muscle had kind of shifted and moved around on his body.
His wife came into the bathroom and grabbed his empty coffee cup. It was time for a refill. She knew his habits and did her best to anticipate his needs before he got angry.
The energy pills were starting to kick in. They tended to make him edgy and nervous. He pulled out a pair of boxer shorts and socks from his chest or drawers. He sat on the unmade bed and started dressing. He went to the closet and grabbed a plain white shirt. He put the shirt on, buttoning it up without thought. He pulled out a pair of dress slacks. He put them on noticing that they were starting to get a little tight around the waist.
He bellowed, "God Damn it, woman! What did you do? My pants are getting tight."
"You need to lose a little weight," his wife said upon returning with the refilled cup of coffee.
"Bullshit I'm the same weight I was in college," Kyle said.
He grabbed his shoes and returned to sit on the edge of the bed. He put his shoes on thinking that it was past time to get them shined. He felt that being a good salesman was about projecting a successful image.
He shouted, "You need to shine my shoes tonight."
"You need to stop drinking so much and staying out so late."
Irritated at the suggestion he was drinking too much and staying out too late, he sat there and looked at her. She looked old for her age. Her nightgown and bathrobe were plain; not sexy at all. She had gained a little weight and didn't stand up straight. Compared to the strippers last night, she was positively ugly.
"You look like shit. There was a time you were the prettiest girl on campus."
His wife didn't bother to answer. She knew that if she did rise to the bait, that he'd start rambling on about getting surgery to increase her bust size and shots to give her duck lips like some sort of stripper. She didn't want to look like a stripper.
After putting on his tie, he looked around for the sport jacket he had worn the previous night. It was still crumpled on the floor where he had dropped it when getting undressed. There was a shoe print on it from when he had stepped on it.
"God Damn it! You need to clean my clothes. How am I supposed to look nice if I don't have anything clean to wear?"
"You've got a clean sport coat in the closet," his wife answered.
He grabbed a sport coat and put it on. It didn't fit well. It was loose around the shoulders and tight around the waist.
"You've got to change how you're washing my clothes. Everything is shrinking."
"You need to lose weight."
"Would you quit your damned nagging?"
He stomped out of the house and drove off without saying goodbye to his wife. He kept muttering about how she had turned into a nag and was letting herself go. He felt that it was going to be time for him to trade up to someone younger and prettier before much longer.
While stopped at a traffic light, he reached under the car seat and pulled out a near empty fifth of Vodka. One quick slug and he immediately started to feel better. He screwed the top back on and put it back under the seat before the light changed.
He stopped at a breakfast place and ordered the 'Breakfast Super Special.' It was three eggs, sausage, bacon, and a short stack of pancakes topped with fruit compote. It was his standard breakfast. He took his time eating it, not caring that he would be late for work. He'd just have to tell his boss that he was out late the night before, entertaining clients. It was a good excuse, since it was the truth.
He was late arriving at the office. He made his way over to his desk to grab his coffee mug. The two other salesmen in the office had just looked at him and shook their heads. It was obvious they didn't think much of him. He glared at them not really caring about their opinions. Back in his football days, he ate little guys like them for lunch.
He filled his coffee cup and returned to his desk. He stared at his desktop thinking that with a little more effort that he'd get the hotel chain to sign on the dotted line for all of its paper products. They'd had a pretty good night, the night before.
His boss stuck his head into the room and shouted, "Kyle! In my office! Now!"
"I'm sorry I'm late. I was entertaining customers last night."
"I said, 'in my office, now!'"
Kyle rose and followed his boss into the office. He dragged his feet in a minor protest at being treated so poorly. Considering that he was about to land a good sized contract, he felt that he should have been treated better than that.
Once Kyle reached the office, his boss exploded, "What in the hell happened last night?"
"What are you talking about?"
"I got a call this morning from Harry Johnston, demanding that I fire you," his boss shouted.
"Why would he do that?" Kyle asked confused by his boss's claim.
His boss' face was purple. "He claims that you had one of his buyers raped."
"Are you kidding me?" Kyle asked.
His boss took a deep breath trying to control his temper. He asked, "Did you stop at a strip club, when you were supposed to be driving them back to a hotel?"
"The evening was young. I figured I'd loosen them up with a little partying at the Pink Pussycat."
"Did you physically pull Howard into a strip club?"
"His mouth was saying no, but you know that his cock was saying yes. He's a guy. Every guy likes visiting strip joints."
"Did you hold him down, while a stripper performed a lap dance on him?"
"I wasn't holding him down. I put an arm around him, and was letting him know that he was lucky to have Kat taking care of him."
"You outweigh him by at least eighty pounds."
"You were holding him down."
"No, I wasn't."
"Did he object to getting a lap dance?"
"It was a money thing. I paid for it."
"Did he get angry?"
Kyle answered, "It was just an act. He didn't want anyone to think that he was enjoying it too much. Kat went all out on him. She stuck her titties in his mouth and was rubbing on him like you wouldn't believe. I'm pretty sure he came in his pants."
"You can't fire me! I was just doing my job!" Kyle said.
"You're job is to sell paper products, not pay strippers to sexually molest someone against his will. You're fired!"
"I'll sue you," Kyle said.
"Sue me? You're going to sue me? You'll be lucky, if Howard doesn't press charges!" his boss said.
"This is bullshit!"
"Clean your desk and get the fuck out of here!"
Kyle grabbed a box, went to his desk, and packed up the few personal items stored there. It didn't take him more than three minutes. He dumped the coffee that was in his coffee cup onto the floor and then walked out of the office carrying his box. Once he was in his car, he took another swig of vodka.
He drove off to a bar that he knew opened early. It was a little hole in the wall place. It served mostly alcoholics, who had nothing better to do during the day than drink. The top shelf liquors were bottom shelf liquors at most bars. The clients attracted there, weren't all that particular about the quality of the drinks. They were more concerned with getting the greatest quantity of alcohol, for the lowest price possible.
Kyle spent a couple hours drinking vodka martinis. At least he wasn't slamming them back one right after the other. He spent a lot of time telling the bartender that Howard was a chicken shit, if he was upset about having a world class lap dance. He talked about how he was going to sue his boss, for firing him. He talked about a lot of things. The bartender didn't care – his job was to serve drinks.
By lunchtime, Kyle was feeling no pain. He stumbled out to his car thinking that he'd head over to one of the local strip joints for lunch. He'd taken a number of clients there and was on pretty good relations with a number of the dancers. They'd know what to do to cheer him up. They had a private room and the dancers were more than willing to cross the line that separated the legal from the illegal for the right kind of money.
With thoughts of the pleasures he was about to experience going through his mind, he was driving down the street when he spotted his wife going into a bakery/sandwich shop. He slowed down to make sure it was her. A middle aged guy was holding the door open for her. The guy bowed and gestured for her to enter. She smiled back at the man, and said something to him.
"That fucking bitch is screwing around on me!"
Kyle slammed on the brakes. Once the car was stopped, he opened the door and got out leaving the door open. The car slowly rolled away and headed down the hill, while Kyle crossed the street for the restaurant. It had crashed into a parked car by the time he actually made it to the door of the place.
After setting his tray on the table, Carl rubbed his hands in anticipation of enjoying his favorite lunchtime meal at this place. He had a salad and a bowl of cheese soup. What was special about this meal was that the soup was served in a bread bowl. They had the best bread in the country at this place.
Carl looked up from his meal to see a middle aged man checking out his food.
Carl asked, "Can I help you?"
Looking a little embarrassed, the man asked, "What kind of soup is that?"
"It's the cheese soup."
"Does it have broccoli or cauliflower in it?"
"No. It's a plain cheese soup, but very good," Carl answered.
"It does look good," the man said.
"Get it with the bread bowl. It costs a little extra, but the bread really completes it."
"Thanks, I will."
The man got in line behind an attractive younger woman. He was studying the menu knowing that he was going to get the soup, but trying to decide on what to get to go with it. Carl smiled at the sight of the man struggling to make up his mind. He remembered his first time there and trying to decide what to get. Everything on the menu sounded good. In fact, everything he had tried there had been pretty good.
Carl watched a very large man walked up to the middle aged guy.
Kyle tapped the older man on the shoulder. When he turned around, the large man sucker punched him square in the middle of his face. The victim, taken completely by surprise, hit the floor. There was blood flowing from his nose. Not satisfied by the damage he had done, Kyle kicked the man in the stomach.
Shocked by the sudden violence, Carl rose from his chair. He was convinced the big guy was going to kill the older man. He felt he had to do something to stop him.
Kyle's wife turned upon hearing the commotion behind her, to see what was happening. She screamed when she saw Kyle kick the man. That was a mistake on her part, since it caused Kyle to turn his attention to her. He backhanded his wife, sending her spinning to the floor.
He shouted, "You cheating whore!"