Learn, – 2 raffle! “No tickets have been

Learn, and move on. Understand. Forget.
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This is real life. It’s everything you never wished for.
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A feeling of apprehension. Who were these people? Was it too late to order Chinese? There was a tone of buttoned-down formality, highlighted by the Supply Manager chatting with a nest of interns.
Jay seemed to have passed unnoticed, wedged between a cubicle wall and a water dispenser. Peering through the canister, he let his mind settle into an appropriate state of observation. Middle-aged men and women in creaky suits.
Oh, yes.
An office party.
It was a cruel thing, where people who see each other all day are forced to see each other all evening too. The antidepressants made this no more bearable. They shift your focus, making everything easier to ignore. But this… This was too terrible to handle.
“Hold on, let me help you up there. Been hitting the bottle a bit hard, eh?” A woman smiled, and hoisted Jay to his feet.
“What? No. Yes.”
“We were just about to do the raffle. Have you got your ticket?”
“Who?”
He was jerked forward. The sheep were in full discourse.
Remember. Behave.
Jay stayed in the woman’s wake, struggling to remain upright, upsetting cracker trays and leather-patched elbows. She was leading him to… a door? What was going on here? There was no
Yellow – 2
raffle!
“No tickets have been issued. Disco! Discrepancy!” a voice blurted to the false ceiling. Jay looked around to see who had said it, only to realize it was himself.
“Shit.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine,” the woman snorted, dragging him through the door-frame.
Inside was a darkened room, a teal space where a few people Jay dimly recognized as associates were seated in a semi-circle.
“You’ve brought me to a cult meeting! I should’ve known better!” he shouted, scrabbling at the doorknob.
“Now, Jay, we’re here to help you. You remember, last month? You promised to take it easy, stay on the wagon?”
“I’ve agreed to no wagons. This is blasphemy. Bunch of sickos.” A latch… this place needs latches. Unable to outmaneuver the mechanism, he slumped to the floor and wrapped his arms around himself.
“Come now, Jay. Remember what you promised? We’re here to help.”
Now everyone was getting up–converging! He was aware of hands grabbing him, higher, placing him, a chair.
“I have a drinking problem. I have the support of friends and family, who all love me and want to see me better. Absolutely–but I don’t remember having any friends before just now, and my family is surely still rotting in Miami or some other hole. Dandy, sure. What’s next?”
He laughed. At their stupefied, concerned faces. At the picture of the horse galloping through some meadow, free but frozen under glass.
“We done, then? ‘Cause I have a quart of bourbon in need of liquidation. Let’s g–” he said
rising, too fast. Orthostatic hypotension, along with a handful of Prozac washed down with fifty shots
Yellow – 3
of liquor.
Remember. Don’t resist.
Let the toxins fill you up till you burst, dropping in pieces all over the shag carpet.
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