I knew it was coming. The first notice came from corporate six months ago. There’s been plenty of time to plan for the inevitable, but I didn’t expect it to come so abruptly. I guess since all the inventory from my store is to be added to the other branch, the big wigs at corporate decided it would be easier to just close mine and empty it during daylight hours.
Devon, Justin, and I got severance, but that’s because we’re salary. Still, it would have been nicer if they had offered us positions at other branches. Now we’re left with our severance pay and any vacation or sick time we had accrued.
I’m completely devastated at the loss. I mean, I’ll have plenty of money to hold me over for a good while, but I had my heart and soul in that store. It was my pride. It gave me a sense of success, like I had finally done something worthwhile.
I worked hard to get there. I gave them ten years of my life. I cherished the day I was made store manager.
Well, that’s all over now. Now I’m just Dana Handen, another statistic of the unemployment office. Not that I qualify for unemployment. I was told that my severance agreement was too “lofty” to qualify me. Isn’t that some B.S.?
I brought home all my things from my office this afternoon. I took some things that weren’t really mine since they were purchased with corporate funds, but I don’t care. They’re not going to do anything with that stuff. They don’t even know what the money went to. For all they know, I used it to buy reams of paper and ink cartridges for the printer. It’s only office supplies anyway. Things like organizers and whatnot that helped me make my desk a little more workable.
Sunday, April 12
I just got home from the hospital. Dad had a “mild” heart attack, though how a heart attack can be “mild” is beyond my comprehension. Seems to me that if your heart wants to quit working it’s a pretty serious thing.
The doctors said he’s going to be fine. They’re keeping him for observation for a few days. He didn’t need any heroics or surgery to save his life—thank God—but they still want to monitor him.
I say, “Good.” They should monitor him. Maybe this will be what finally gets him to slow down.
Wednesday, April 15
“When it rains, it pours.” Whoever came up with that phrase should get a Nobel Prize of some sort.
Rich just left. . .with all his stuff, and without his key. He came over this afternoon to tell me he’s been seeing another woman. Apparently, it’s been going on for quite a while—about seven months.
Of course, it’s all my fault. I was so engrossed in my career that he felt neglected, so he sought attention elsewhere. Why couldn’t he just come to me about it? I’d have given him more time. I would have stayed home more. Why did he just leave me behind? After four years together, he dumped me like I was no big deal.
He said he’s been friends with this woman for a long time, and she was there for him in my absence. That means that I must know her. I wonder which bitch it could be.
Later. . .
I just got off the phone with Carmen. She was sympathetic with my woes, but it didn’t feel like she was entirely sincere. Maybe I’m just becoming suspicious of anyone that was around Rich. I mean, come on, Carmen and I have been friends for at least ten years. She would never do anything like that.
I don’t think she really cared though. She and Rich never really got along too well. Sometimes I got the impression that they tolerated each other just to amuse me. That being said, I was definitely having a bit of paranoid delusion even toying with the idea that it’s her Rich has been seeing.
Saturday, April 18
I just want to die. I have nobody to turn to anymore. My parents are both in the hospital after Dad had another “minor” heart attack. Rich left me for my best friend. And my car is totaled.
Oh yeah, it was Carmen that Rich was seeing. I saw the two of them at a café yesterday as I was walking by. They were hanging all over each other. Laughing and giggling like high school lovers. I guess they feel like they don’t have to hide anymore.
What’s worse is that another of our mutual friends was with them. That means I’m the only one who didn’t know. That means I can’t trust anybody.
Wait, wait. It gets even better. I was so upset that I managed to slide my car sideways into a telephone pole on the way home. I took the turn at the end of my road too fast—way too fast—and ended up with the right side of my car wrapped around the telephone pole on the corner. The ambulance took me to the hospital, but they pronounced me ok to go home.
I called a cab. I don’t feel like seeing any of my friends right now. I feel so betrayed by all of them. I didn’t even tell my parents. They don’t need any more worries.
I need to go open another bottle of wine. This one’s empty already.
Sunday, April 19
Wow. I woke up with one hell of a headache this morning. Maybe I should space out my alcohol a little more. To be honest, I’m surprised I was able to make it through three bottles of wine. I should’ve been asleep well into the first one. I’ll have to make a trip to the liquor store to replenish my stock.
I noticed that the previous page of my journal has some splotches or red wine and some smeared spots that could only be tear stains. Oh well, it’s well deserved. I’ve been through a lot in the past week.
Evening. . .
I’ve made a wonderful meal of ramen noodles complimented with a glass of white wine. It’s good to have comfort food in times of self-wallowing. Everyone should have such a food.
I stocked up well at the store. Not only did I buy several bottles of white and red wine, I also bought bottles of Maker’s Mark, Bombay Sapphire, Crown Royal, and Absolute. I figured I should stock up my entire bar.
Later. . .
Well, one bottle of wine is gone already, and I’ve broken into the whiskey. It’s amazing how the alcohol can help to drown your sorrows. I’ve got some movie on the TV, but I don’t know what it’s called. (I can’t read the title at the bottom of the screen because it’s blurry.)
Wednesday, April 22
I was woken up this morning by my mother who must have called at least four times until I answered. I didn’t really want to deal with her because my head is killing me, but I wanted to know how Daddy is fairing.
I can’t remember anything but little snatches since last I wrote. I have noticed that most of the alcohol I bought over the weekend is gone. And I must have been coherent enough to eat because the noodles are gone, too. Guess I’ll be making another trip to the store.
Maybe I should go clothes shopping, just to get out of the house. I wish I could call Carmen and ask her to go. I think she called sometime during my stupor, but I didn’t want to talk to her. I wonder if she knows why I haven’t called.
Afternoon. . .
Well, I just spent $200 on new clothes. I don’t need any of it, but it sure felt good to spend money. I got some really cute things, too. My favorite is a blue sundress the color of the summer sky.
I went to Jonny’s Pub for lunch. They have good food. I might have gotten a little tipsy with the wine, but so what?
I also stopped off to restock the bar, since it seems to diminish quickly as of late.
Friday, April 24
I need to go the liquor store again. There’s a guy coming over that I met at the bar last night. He seems to be a nice guy. He’s good-looking, at least. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.
Oh, and I’ve been ignoring Carmen’s calls. She stopped by last night while I was out and left a note on my door saying she’s worried about me. I threw it out.
Saturday, April 25
Well, last night went well. Dave, that guy from the bar, came over. He just left. We got sloshy drunk.
He also had some coke—as in cocaine. First time I ever tried that, and I loved it. It was better than alcohol. It actually allowed me to drink more. And boy, oh boy, did we have fun with that stuff. We started in the living room—sofa, recliner, floor. Then we made it to the kitchen—floor, counter. We stopped at the stairs—bottom and top. We went to bed, then took a shower. We finally ended up back in bed.
I have never had such an erotic experience. I hope he calls again.
Sunday, April 26
Dave came over again last night. We had an equally erotic night as before. He’s supposed to pick me up later and take me to lunch.
That’s one thing I noticed about the coke—I don’t eat as much. Maybe I can lose some weight before bathing suit season.
Evening. . .
Dave and I had a great lunch, followed by a private little party at his place. When he brought me home, we partied a little more.
It’s nice not having to go to work and still having money. I can do what I want, and Dave pays for the extravagant accessories. We make a good pair, I think.
Thursday, April 30
Carmen came by around noon. We talked on the porch. She basically told me I look like crap—my hair is dull, my skin pale, and I’ve lost weight. I told her that maybe it was a side effect of having my world crash around me and losing my best friends in the process. She played like she didn’t understand, so I told her to run along to Rich and leave me alone. Then I came inside and closed the door on her.
Dave should be here soon. I can’t wait. I need a bump to cauterize my frayed nerves.
Friday, May 1
It’s 9am and I haven’t slept yet. I was so irate about Carmen’s visit yesterday that Dave left me some powder before he left last night. I did most of it over the course of the night. At one point I got so hot, I went for a swim.
I’m going to see how long I can go without sleep. Dave’s bringing me some more at lunch. I think he might be a dealer. . .
Later. . .
5pm, still no sleep. Dave and I are going out dancing tonight. That should be fun. The man definitely has rhythm, so he should be a good dancer. Well, I’m gong to get ready.
We danced all night, came home at 3am and went swimming. We spent some quality time in the hot tub.
It’s now 11am and I still have yet to sleep. That’s about 50 hours without sleep. I’ll go to be tonight, promise.
Carmen keeps calling and leaving messages. I want nothing to do with her. Why can’t she just admit that she screwed me over in the worst way and let me get on with my life?
I need a line.
Sunday, May 3
It’s 3am. I haven’t been able to sleep because Carmen keeps calling. Every time she calls I do another line. (Dave left me with a pretty big bag.) I can’t help it. Her voice irritates me with her whining and pleading. The coke makes me feel better.
I think I’ll go for a swim. It might help me burn off some of this nervous energy. Not to mention my anger. Two more line first, though, for that extra boost.
Former GM for Upscale Kitchen Store
Found at Bottom of Pool
Monday May 4—The body of former general manager for the upscale kitchen store, Sensible Essence, was found early this morning lying at the bottom of her pool. Carmen Daily called police when she stopped by to check on her friend, Dana Handen, and found her body.
Police found about $2000 worth of cocaine in the woman’s home. Autopsy results are pending, but the presumed cause of death is drowning due to a cocaine overdose.
Daily stated that Handen had never before used the narcotic. She said Handen was “straight edge” and would never have touched drugs. She did say that Handen’s world had “crashed around her,” however, and that her friend had severely declined since being laid off by the Sensible Essence Corporation less than one month ago.