Nightmare on Paula Street


I arrived home to my small one bedroom apartment to be greeted by no one. I sat down and tried to replay the entire day in my head. There was no way I could have predicted this day and its grim outcome. Yet, I still felt at fault somehow. Questions and thoughts began to swarm my head with the usual should a, would a, could a.

I had to stop my brain from thinking. I reached for a bottle of white wine, put a bag of popcorn in the microwave, and began to drink whatever thoughts I had out of my head.

I was lying on my couch three quarters of the way through the bottle when the phone rang.

I rolled off the couch, yes not a move I am proud of, and answered it.

‘Hello?’ oh boy, sounding similar to peanut butter stuck in my mouth.

‘Hi Paula, it’s Richard, everything okay?’

That had to be the most loaded question anyone could ask right now I thought, or was it that I was loaded?

‘Oh sure, it’s great!’ I mumbled sarcastically.

‘Okay, well the General Manager and myself came up with an idea and wanted to pass it by you’ Richard said.

‘Sure, why not? I’m not going anywhere.’ I said nonchalantly waving my hand as if someone else was in the room.

‘We thought you could type up mailing lists for a couple of weeks at home. We will provide the typewriter, supplies, and lists. This is only until we can figure out a way to get you into the building’ Richard said excitedly.

At this point I was fading. I was never a big drinker and I do believe at this point, I was as my Baba would always say, drunk as a skunk.

‘Trust me, the General Manager is a man of his word. He will figure this out. Don’t worry’, Richard said trying to re-assure me.

‘I trust you Richard, I don’t know the General Manager, so I will put my faith in you, okay?’ I quietly muttered.

‘Perfect, I’ll call you Monday morning to get your address so we can send the driver to deliver all the items.’

‘Great, thanks’, I said defeated.

‘Everything will work out, I promise you!’ Richard said.

‘I know, I gotta go, talk to you Monday’, I said feeling a little dizzy and queasy.

‘Have a great weekend Paula!’

‘You too’ I said quickly.

Next thing I knew, I was praying to the porcelain god.

The morning came and I was feeling the aftereffects of the wine from the previous evening. I will never do that again, I thought. Note to self: never drink white wine and eat microwaveable popcorn again.

I headed into the shower so that I could visit Mom and Dad. I had no choice but to give them a heads up on my last day at the record company.

I arrived at my parents still feeling a little queasy and headachy, but needing the familiar company.

I put my key in the door and walked in. Dad was sitting at the dining room table reading the paper and Mom was in the kitchen.

‘Hi Honey, we weren’t expecting you’ Mom said with a smile.

‘How was your last day yesterday?’ Dad asked. ‘Glad to be out of there’?

‘Yeah, about that’ I said as I sat down across from Dad.

‘Paula, you want a coffee?’ Mom asked cheerily.

‘Ah, no thanks, but if you have orange juice I’ll have a glass of that, but I’ll get it’ I said beginning to get up from the table.

‘Don’t be silly, you sit down, and I’ll get you a glass’ Mom smiled.

Here were my parents, the ones who always, without fail supported me. How was I going to let them in on my last day at the record company and the radio station job development that no one would have ever seen coming?

‘Well?’ Dad inquired looking at me with his baby blues.

Mom brought the orange juice and sat down at the table to hear the story that that came out of left field.

Recounting the previous day it seemed like it had happened to someone else. In fact, it sounded like a scene out of a movie.

I looked over at Mom as I ended the story. She in turn looked over at Dad and tilted her head to hear if he had anything to say, before she chimed in.

‘Hmmmm, so how did this Mario come up with ammunition of why you quit the record company?’ Dad asked.

I looked over at Mom and then said to Dad, ‘He never liked Leslie and I assume it was one way he could get back at her’.

‘And what again did you say to Leslie, when she asked you about all this?’ Dad asked.

‘I lied; I couldn’t tell her some of it was the truth. Dad, I’m not like the rest of them in the business. I don’t schmooze well and she never made it any easier at events. She barely recognized any of my work, she hardly gave praise, it was always about her’, I said.

‘Then explain to me why you lied’ Dad asked.

‘Oh Ray, she’s hurt enough, she’s a good girl’ Mom said clutching her hands together looking at me as only a mother could.

That was it, it could have been the hangover, the stress, the lack of sleep, but the tears began to fall down my face.

Mom immediately rose from the table to get a Kleenex while Dad looked down at his newspaper.

Dad, still looking down at the newspaper, said quietly,

‘I’m sorry, but I hope that you understand this was a learning experience for you.’

I nodded, as I couldn’t form any words, took the tissue from Mom, and wiped the tears from my cheeks.

Great I thought, I haven’t even told them about the radio station affair yet. What would Dad say about that???


© 2014 Paula Bilz. All Rights Reserved.


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