If you have been reading this site since the beginning, thank you and you clearly are a glutton for punishment and yeah, you have seen this piece before in a slightly edited format.
THIS is a revision of a fictional piece that is supposed to start a novel that I am supposed to be writing. I have hated every word of it since I first wrote it, so I did some editing, fixed some commas. I still hate it but I’ve suffered for my work, now it’s your turn.
Robyn Taylor was slowly becoming inebriated on BarVolo’s patio. After every three or four sips of her vodka tonic, Robyn would proclaim, with great wisdom and slurring with increasingly productive salivary activity; “God girlfriend”, “It’s your life! Live it!” After the first few drinks Robyn was sitting up straight in her chair, her tall frame and long brown hair giving her the appearance of the older sister to the more petite Adele, after a few more Robyn began to slouch.
The two co-workers had left work at Datascape, a heavily funded data services firm with an overpriced suite of offices just north of Eglenton, just after lunch where Adele had confided to Robyn that she and Darius, her boyfriend of three years, had broken up. A break up that Adele had not only seen coming but was actually relieved it had happened, and she was glad she didn’t have to be the one to pull the trigger. The breakup was over a week ago, it only occurred to her to let Robyn know today.
“You know, I’m not sure Darius and I breaking up was that much of a bad thing really, we weren’t getting along all that well lately. I’m really okay with all of this Robyn. I’m actually kind of relived.” Adele had given up the vodka tonics for ginger ale about an hour prior.
“You’re damn right you’re okay! “ slurred Robyn “It’s your life! Live it! Whoo!”
“Is anyone else from the office coming? Did you say you e-mailed Sarah, Javad, and Carrie to meet us? “ Adele was grateful for Robyn’s support, whether she needed support or not.
“Yeah, they said they were going to be down after 5 but you know….” Adele was hoping for someone just a little more sober, as much as she loved and appreciated Robyn, it was getting tough to maintain a conversation, much less anything resembling a posture for Robyn who continued to slouch into the table.
It was full on patio season in downtown Toronto. Not too hot yet, the sky clear above the busy streets. Robyn gave a long look to the tall punk rock looking dude in the tight bike shorts who was on his bike turning onto Dundonald Street zooming toward Church.
The sound system on the patio started to play Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean.
“OH SHIT Adele! This is it! This is for you!! Caribbean Queen!! Now we’re living the same genes, beans I don’t know what the fucking words are…” This is your song girlfriend..forget about that guy! Your life!! Live it!! Whooooo! He’s an ASSHOLE”
“Well she got some of the words right’ Adele thought
“You’re a Caribbean Queen, Adele, you know that..a fucking Caribbean queen! “ She said louder than was in any way appropriate.
Robyn was officially drunk.
The waitress came back to check on the two of them.
“Can I tell you something? Wush your name?”
“Stephanie” the waitress smiled.
“Stephanie, your hair is fucking HOT….HOT! I love it. You’re beautiful!”
Stephanie looked at Adele “can I get you guys another?”
Adele smiled a sweet smile “I ‘d like another Ginger Ale and she’s not driving, or walking evidently. She’s ok,I’ll take care of her”
“Vodka Tonic but only one more, I don’t want to overdo it” slurred Robyn, oblivious to the fact that “overdo it” had come and gone about an hour ago.
Adele was relieved to see familiar, sober for the moment figures walking up Yonge as Sarah and Carrie headed to the patio at BarVolo.
“Hi Guys! You made it!” Adele said with a mixture of delight and relief.
“No kidding,” said Carrie with a smirk “asshole Scott called a meeting at 5 o’clock, some staff were conspicuous by their absence and names were mentioned specifically, just a heads up in case it comes up guys.”
“What the hell happened to her?” Sarah asked, noting Robyn’s advanced and rapidly deteriorating condition.
“She’s cheering me up”
“How’s that working?”
“I was pretty cheery to start with but her heart is in the right place.”
“Hope the right place isn’t anywhere close to her liver.”
“We snuck out of work like right around 2 and came right here, Robyn’s been on the V & T train ever since, drinking like a Cossack.”
Robyn has started to nod.
“She not long for this night from the looks of her” Sarah was looking concerned.
“I’m okay!” yelled Robyn in the midst of a drunken head bob, before gravity won the battle.
“Ill pour her into a cab soon, “ Adele volunteered, smiling. “After all she got hammered like this to cheer me up.”
“How sweet of her, what’s this about a break up Adele? You ok?” Carrie asked as she moved her chair over between Adele and the increasingly listless Robyn.
“I’m fine, It was a week ago. I had honest to God kind of not even thought about it until I mentioned it to Robyn in passing after the production meeting. “
“Who broke up with who?” Sarah wanted to know. This was now an interrogation.
“What’s the difference?”
“Adele it matters.” Carrie shot back.
“Why does it matter?”
“It just does. Guys have man law, we have girl law and girl law prevails over man law, and IN girl law it’s important to know who broke up with who because if he broke your heart and broke up with you first then he’s a bastard, fuck him. Trust me on this, I was pre-law in college.” Carrie was on an evangelical roll. Sarah was nodding in agreement. Robyn was just nodding.
“But we all know him and he’s a friend of all of us right? You know what, it wasn’t working out anyway, and I don’t want this to become a ‘thing”. Its no big deal. Where’s Javad, I thought he said he was coming?”
“He broke up with you, clearly”
“Then he’s an asshole. Javad got a booty call from his new boytoy and wont be joining us yucky girls, some alpha bear stylist named Paul from someplace near Church and Wellesley, go figure, our little boy was getting all dolled up for advanced sodomy studies.”
They all giggled, even Robyn who was perking up.
“Darius is not an asshole, he’s not. This thing was on shaky ground anyway. We didn’t agree on anything, we fought too much. The writing was on the wall really. It wasn’t a matter of who broke up with who, it’s a matter of timing. Had he not pulled the trigger I would have eventually. So I’m totally ok, I am. This is a good thing.“
Sarah was not convinced. “No, you’re not. You have psychic damage, you’re just too traumatized to know it you need support, Robyn is right. We need vodka tonics. Where is that waitress with the pink hair?”
Adele was desperate to change the subject. When Darius took her to dinner the night it all became official, they met at the Irish Embassy on Bay, in retrospect she was pretty sure he picked it because it was the noisiest restaurant he could think of, just in case she broke down, or yelled at him, or begged for him to reconsider. Anything to prevent a scene, which is why Darius invoked the words of breakup weakness; “I think we should take a break” , which is cowardly guy-speak for “lets break up”
When Adele heard the words, there was a brief tinge of sadness, Darius is a nice guy, but no bitterness, no anger. There was relief. When she got to her apartment that evening, after what ended up being a very nice dinner, she put on the TV and hung out like nothing ever happened. Adele was going to be okay.
Stephanie brought a round of drinks to the table and with a smile placed a large iced tea in front of Robyn.
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