“Just wondering, do I look h~hung ~o~ver?”
“Nah. Just tired.”
The two furniture movers were looking around a gas station for coffee and assorted junk snacks for their morning routes that dry Evillian morning.
“Go~od, be~cause~e,” she chuckled nervously, “I was o~out part-tying to~o~ late~ las~t n~night.”
“Wouldn’t have noticed, actually.”
“You s~should- join me next time. It’ll b~e fun~n.”
Jane subconsciously patted the small sobriety book in her jeans pocket.
“Thanks, but I’ll pass.”
“Ah, why not~t? You’d be a r~real ~hit in the cl~lub!“
Jane took a deep breath, exhaled slowly, and looked over her colleague that would be traveling on a different truck route that morning. Karina was certainly there because the money was decent, or maybe, because of the flexibility? Between the “cute,” as she once described it, fitting company-issued light gray shirt everyone received and the highly-reflective company vest, she clearly looked like a mover, but she also wore her make-up well enough not to fit in with the long-term employees, such as herself, that were there merely because there were no better options.
“I’m trying to stay good.”
“Ah~h, that’s no f~fun!” Jane drifted her focus away from Karina to waiting in line to pay for her coffee. “We’ll be headed out again to~night!” There were two people in line ahead of them and Karina was standing close enough to smell. “Sorry, I have plans tonight.” Karina’s breath smelled of alcohol as she leaned even closer, with a slight wobble, to continue talking. “Coo~l! Maybe we’ll see you out there to~nnight? O~our first stop is the-” “-sorry, let me stop you right there. My plans are to stay at home tonight and read.” Karina pouted her lips. “Oh~h, s~shucks! You should come!”
“Sorry, but I’ve moved on from that life.”
She nearly knocked over a display stand and the customer leaving the register. “B~but Ja~ane, how else do you meet me~n.” A business-suited older gentleman in front of them turned away after looking slightly disgusted. “Try bookstores and libraries.” The cashier looked bored. “R~really?” That transaction went quick. It was their turn. “Hi, just the coffee for me. Thank you, sir.” She dug through her purse for some change. “O~oh! I’ll get your coffee~e! I have the-e-e-ese ~a~s well~l!” She pushed a canned drink, bag of chips, and bagged donut on the counter, then swiped her card on the machine before Jane could protest.
“Thank you have a good day.”
He already looked ahead at the next customer. “S~ure thing, you have a gre- he~y, you’re really cu~te, what’s y-” “-come on, Karina, let’s leave him alone. Sorry, sir.” The stylish man in a bright-red gas attendant uniform blushed momentarily before turning his back to grab some cigarettes for the next customer. “O~ooh, hah-hah, that, umm~m…” Jane stealthfully took Karina’s arm and guided her outside. “Hey, are you drunk right now?” She winced at the sun. “I~I… had some this mo~r~n~ing.”
Jane sighed. “Alright. Sorry, but we’re gonna need to get you cleaned up.”
|Sources: My imagination, mainly. Karina’s name was from Behind the Name.|
|Inspirations: I’ve only been drunk at work once and no one confronted me about it, but by then, I was already past gone so it wasn’t outside the realm of expectation and I could stow away for a few hours to straighten up. Other times throughout my career, people have thought I was drunk, but I’d cleaned up. What if I hadn’t?|
|Related: Somewhere in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”|
|Photo: Bars and Seattle waterfront.|
|Written On: August 7th [1 hour]|
|Last Edited: September 10th [30 minutes]|