31 March 2010

Vernon Story Tweets - March 2010

He rolled his eyes, sighed, leaned back and grabbed the hair near his temples. "I won't publish anytime soon if you keep hounding me." Vernon looked to the clock, dropped his hands, slammed his laptop shut and dashed for the door. Editing awaited.

"Vernon!" His mother yelled after him as he dashed out the door. "Vernon, remember today's the day."

* * *

The wind whipped his cheeks even harder as the city bus flew past him. Again, he'd missed the bus and would have to run to work. 'So much for a raise,' Vernon thought as droplets of sweat rolled down the nape of his neck and chilled his back.

He slipped through the warehouse doors, up through the stairwell past the smoking warehouse supervisor and into his chilled chair. His monitor crackled to life as he flicked the mouse. His eyes probed over the cubicle. John, his manager, was nowhere in sight. "All clear." Vernon sighed as he relaxed back into his chair.

"What's all clear?" The sound of his boss behind him made him lurch. "Got something for you, Vern." The smirk on the clean-shaven, slick-haired man with the steaming coffee cup made him squirm.

Vernon's chair squeaked as he turned to face his boss. He wondered if his boss noticed his legs quaking with anticipation and trepidation.

The man with the mug reached inside his shirt pocket and pulled out an official looking envelope and placed it in Vernon's shaking hands. "Congratulations," said his boss before walking back to his corner office. Vernon watched the man's chuckling back walk away.

Vernon held the envelope, too afraid his raise request was rejected. But his boss had congratulated him, hadn't he? He fumbled to open the envelope, finally ripping one end open. The meat of the document within was torn and pink.

* * *

The letter said he had until the end of the day to vacate his cubicle, but he didn't need that much time to pack up his meager items. He had plenty of time to catch the bus back to his mom's house but opted to walk instead. 'Delaying the inevitable,' he thought.

As he passed the welfare office, he had to step into the street to get around the crowd of people clustered around the block. A cab squealed up beside Vernon and rolled down his window. "Need a ride buddy?" With a whopping $3 in his wallet, Vernon declined.

Five steps from his mom's front door, thunder rolled and the sudden deluge of rain soaked him to the bone before he entered the house. Vernon turned his eyes to the sky and thought, 'Why must my entire life be such a cliche?' He turned the knob only to find it locked.

Even with the deafening patter of rain, passers-by were startled by his deep groan. Some kid asked his mom, "Is he right in the head?"

He sighed and lifted the sopping wet doormat, searching for the spare key. It was gone, but a soaked envelope awaited him. The heavy pen lines had started to run, but Vernon could make out the message well enough: "The back door's unlocked." There really was no back door at his mom's place. What she meant was that the window around back was unlocked.

Vernon managed to climb the fire escape to the apartment's window that overlooked the grimy alley. As promised, it opened. As he stumbled through the window, he noticed that the apartment was virtually empty. Within a few short hours, his mom had moved out. His room was untouched and a few kitchen and bathroom items littered the rest of the apartment. Another letter waited for him.
Dear Vern,
I'm sick of harping on you and hoping you will get your life in order. I'm tired of you relying on me to take care of you. It's time for my little boy to grow up. You can keep this place if you can afford the rent, but let's face it, you can't.

When you get your shit together and find a permanent place to live, let your Aunt Joanie know and I'll be in touch.
New York was no place to try and make it on your own. Now that his mom had moved out, the landlord was sure to raise the rent. People in the Midwest bought mansions with mortgages that compared to this roach-infested two-bedroom flat. How could he afford it? 'Besides,' thought Vernon, 'How much chance do I really stand in New York? I need to switch coasts, need to get out West."

1 comment:

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