So the party has come and gone. I am fine with everything that happened, and I think it may end up doing me a great deal of good. I feel cleansed, spiritually, now that I've finally shattered that insidious image of me that had been emerging in the minds of my scared, lonely, desperate, pathetic and moronic co-workers.
How are they, you ask? Normally I would have first-hand information to pass on, but thanks to the stupidest of federal holidays (yes, I have seen that episode of Nostra's favorite show. I know that insulting Columbus can offend some segments of the Italian American population. If anything, this encourages me to disparage the over-hyped non-achiever all the more. The prospect of insulting even a segment of an ethnic group thrills me!) I have the day off and have been reduced to reliving the night over and over again without any further empirical proof of the damage done. What follows, at least in regards to the trauma wrought on my co-workers' psyches, is purely my own educated conjecture.
I arrived at the Irish bar (Delancy's or O'Sullivan's or O'Herlihy or some other such ugly, bastardized name from a barbaric tongue) to find it almost empty. Perhaps I have the wrong place, I thought, momentarily cheered. I sat at the bar and ordered my usual, Scotch, neat. At least one good things has come from these vulgar, backwards Gaels, I inwardly chuckled as I savored the rich hues of the Glenlivet. To my horror, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
"Arlo! What are you doing down here? The party is upstairs, buddy. Honestly, I'm kind of surprised to see you. It's been a while..." Jim, an abominably boring Nordic creature whose blond hair and blue eyes raised such waves of revulsion in my being that I had always found it impossible to concentrate on anything he said to me, was standing directly behind me, effectively pinning me against the bar. Of course, I thought, upstairs... They're probably all waiting up there like a pack of soul-destroying lemmings... I swallowed a bit of bile that had bubbled up in my throat upon my being touched and said with my most forcedly-pleasant tone:
"Jim, old chum, great to see you. Upstairs, of course, I should have known. I'll follow you." Saying this, I had to suppress a powerful need to unleash a flood of Scotch-laced vomit all over his carefully pressed striped shirt. Mercifully Jim turned away, and freed from that malevolent visage, my stomach calmed. I followed him at a safe distance up the stairs, girding myself for the inevitable moment of total, Conradian horror.
It didn't come. As I rose to the top of the landing and surveyed the assembled crew, a new resolve asserted itself. It was as if a hard, impenetrable shell had frozen my emotions fast. They couldn't touch me now. Now it was their turn to suffer.
To be continued...