In addition to my usual excerpt, I'm also adding a post to let you know what's going on in my life as Jane's esteemed author.
It's my birthday! Not to be mixed up with Jane's birthday, which is the anniversary of the dream and coincidentally also Shakespeare's birthday. No, Jane's esteemed author was born today, some years ago.
I had the dubious honor of deleting someone off of Facebook today. This person made a snarky and rotten remark to me in the tone of someone who was contemptuously talking down to me, and I just wasn't having it. So- good riddance to bad rubbish. It's not the first Facebook pruning and I'm sure it won't be the last. Sometimes I tolerate people I probably shouldn't, but in the long run, I have to be true to myself and keep around me the kind of people I truly like, whether it's in real life or online.
This isn't the first time this has happened. I knew a very mean woman in college named Rebecca who acted like she was my friend to my face and said terrible things about me behind my back. I had a feeling in my gut that this was so, but didn't act on it until I had hard evidence years later. How I wish I'd listened to my gut all those years before and faced up to the situation, but it was better late than never. I decided when I turned 30 that she and another person (see blog post from last year here) were out of my life for good...
I always seem to get a lift around my birthday. It's as if I'm taking inventory and deciding what gets to follow me into the next year of life. Anyway, cheers, my friends. Thanks for tuning in, and best wishes for you in the week ahead.
Jane's esteemed author
P.S. from Jane: OK, we have to stop hopping around now. My esteemed author is valiantly trying to get the end of the book written (properly- the bare bones are in place) for her big peer review next month and besides, we can't give out all our secrets! Some of this ending has to be a surprise, and let me tell you, some of this stuff is nutty! So, what we'll post from now on will be rewritten sections that have been peer reviewed and re-worked. I hope that works for you all too.
In this next scene, I am celebrating the demise of my temporary employer, a mortgage company that was closed down by the Federal Reserve!
I logged in to my computer and turned on my phone just to make sure I’d heard that news bulletin correctly. I had six text messages already, which wasn’t bad for a woman in Winterville with one friend:
Text 1, from office manager: DO NOT report to work. TB&J is closed until further notice. HR will mail final paychecks to employee’s addresses on record. DO NOT reply to this message.
Texts 2-6, from Patti:
Are you up? Did you see the news?
No more work at TBJ! Call me when you get this!
Landlord is letting me out of my lease early. Starting to pack already. Want to help me pack? I’ll buy you lunch!
Call me! I need to talk about this!
I replied to Patti’s texts with my own:
This is the best Monday morning ever! I’ll come to your apartment after I get some more sleep, but only if you promise that Jenny won’t be there too. Lucky you, moving away and getting engaged! Take me with you!
Patti texted back:
Why the hell would Jenny come over? And why would I invite her? She doesn’t work, she shops! See you soon.
I showed up at Patti’s apartment around 10:30 a.m., wearing a t-shirt, a pair of overalls, and some sneakers. Patti’s hair was up as usual, but in a ponytail instead of her usual updo. It was the first time I’d seen her in casual clothes and sneakers, although she still looked like she’d walked straight out of an Old Navy summer shorts commercial.
We collected boxes from a nearby liquor store, bought more boxes and packing material, and worked as long as the caffeine in our lunch drinks allowed.
“Thanks for keeping me company for all of this, and helping out,” Patti said as we sat in her living room, surrounded by boxes, after we’d run out of steam. “It’s good to have someone familiar around with all the changes coming up.”
“You’re welcome. I am glad to do it, because I know someday it will be me who’s leaving, so it’s almost like rehearsal, you know? Getting ready for the real thing.”
“It probably sounds cliché, but change really can sneak up on you. Even if you’re not ready for it, you have to deal with it.”
“Do you need a drink, Patti?” I asked, half-joking.
“No, but I am just a tad bit nervous about all of my life changing so quickly. Well, maybe I do need a drink,” she confessed.
“I could use one too. You don’t want to pack that mostly-empty bottle of rum, do you?”
“Heck no, bring it over here. There’s got to be something to mix it with in the fridge.”
Once our drinks were prepared, she began a small speech.
“To drinking buddies near and far. May we remember each other whenever we raise a glass for the next toast, and the one after that,” Patti said.
“To being prideful,” I added. “We should look that up.”
We clinked glasses and sipped our rum and seltzer water drinks. Then, she fumbled around on her smartphone and eventually found a website with that information.
“It means being arrogantly superior and disdainful of others who you think are unworthy. And also, people around here use the word whenever they’re jealous of anyone else’s success.”