Do you remember Jeff from L? I remember Jeff from L.
Let's have a sequel.
Someone took a dump in the stockroom. I really don’t know who, but I swore to find out. I didn’t know what I would do once I found the culprit. Scowl, maybe; especially if he turned out to be the one guy we hired who was afraid of public washrooms. But I wondered: what if it was my manager, or someone trying to make a postmodern statement about the nature of retail work? I hadn’t thought about that. Then again, some jobs aren’t for thinkers.
That only ruined part of my day. On top of that, I had a swarm of customers nattering to me about delays in deliveries and my co-workers blasting some horrible euro-dance apocalypse over the speakers. Awful, yes, but did it make me want to light myself on fire and jump at an oil spill?
No, not yet, I told myself, but that day will come, and it will be totally sweet.
I returned to my apartment, my sanctuary from the rest of the world. I hoped Mark wouldn’t be home. The last time we spoke, he was mostly naked and trying to discuss something personal with me. I was not in the mood for it; I’m never in the mood for it.
Setting my key in the lock, I threw open the door and waltzed in. Almost immediately, I felt like I had just won ten million freeze-dried dicks. Arms crossed and stern-eyed, my roommate and best friend Mark was leaning against the wall and watching as I entered.
“Oh good, you’re dressed,” I told him, bitterly.
“Oh good, you’re pissed,” he retorted.
I set my bag down and strolled past him, “We’re not having one of those touchy-feely broments now, are we?”
Mark shrugged. “Now’s a good as time as ever.”
“Well, let me break out the violins, first,” I said, throwing myself at the couch and seizing the remote.
As I flipped through channels, my concerned roommate paced into my line of sight. “Look, Jeff –”
“You’ve been taking it hard the last five months, I know –”
“Move. I can’t see Spongebob.”
“But that doesn’t mean you should be taking your frustrations out on me. Or Haruka, for that matter. She doesn’t deserve it, and neither do I.”
“That girl’s gonna ruin you, man,” I said, jumping topics and still trying to look around him, “Can’t trust Asians for one second.”
He blinked. “Jeff, you’re Asian.”
“Yeah," I nodded, "Your point?”
Shoulders slumping, he kept appealing, “Look, I know that this is about Sylvia –”
“Broke my heart and fed it to pigeons,” I snapped, “Case closed, roll credits. Let's order pizza.”
He rolled his eyes and left the room, “I know, but can’t you let that go?”
“I’ll forgive her when she brings me the moon on an iron leash.”
“Give her a break,” he said, going for the fridge, “She just got back from Siberia, and apparently one of her friends got killed by a bear or something.”
I looked at the ceiling. “Someone’s been reading my diary.”
Mark jolted erect and glared at me. “Okay, even for you, that’s cold.”
I hated admitting he was right, and so I said nothing.
Unfortunately for me, he said everything. “Listen, Jeff, you got reasons to be mad, I know that more than anyone, but letting it get to you like this is insane and childish. I know you’re better than this, and I sure hope you know you’re better than this.”
“Heh-heh, Patrick,” I chuckled, pretending not to hear him.
It didn’t work. He came back after pouring himself a glass of orange juice. He stood, looking angry but thoughtful. After a minute, he piped up: “Why don’t we go out tonight?”
This hit me like a train. “What?”
He shrugged. “Yeah, for old time’s sake. You, me, dinner, someplace nice?”
“You know you have a girlfriend, right?” I said, eying him.
My friend sneered and sat next to me. “C’mon, man.”
“Fine, fine,” I smirked, “Just wondering if I needed to bring some peanut butter for later.”
“A gentleman always brings his own, thank you,” he joked, his face warmer than before.
This made me laugh. “I’ll get ready.”
What's that? It smells like a cliffhanger to me.
See you next time,
EDIT: May 17, 2012. Edits!!