Previously, on A Young American…
To start at the beginning, go here.
The factory was really taking advantage of its mandatory overtime, giving me a whopping two days off a month. I loathed it, but at this point I was just testing my limits. Partly to see how long I could go, but mostly because I was making a shit load of money, and the longer I did this the longer I could go without taking a blood bath. It wasn’t so bad during spring, but as summer rapidly approached and the temperature shot up, it was hot as hell inside the factory.
We were lucky if it got below 100 degrees. By then I had learned that almost everyone working in the factory was an asshole. I had two bosses, each operating one side. One was the asshole who gave me the tour, Amie. The other was an asshole that lost two fingers from the shrink wrap machine in the back. His name was Drake. Why they gave a manager position to the living example of unsafe was beyond me.
Then there was Luke. I had quickly climbed the ranks from Quality Checking to Machine Running and was now a Box Getter: A position that I’m sure took Luke many months if not a year to get. He got to train me. This was the first time since my first day we had spoken to each other. I showed up and he patted me on the back like we were best friends, dancing his way down the aisles of the warehouse. It was much cooler back there, and we didn’t need earplugs. I loved this promotion already.
“All right fucker.” He said, walking down one of the many aisles that looked to go on forever.
“Here’s the aisle where you get most of your shit. Closures here.” He slapped a box and moved on, “Triggers theyer. Shrouds and bodies down there. They’re all marked on the floor here in faded yellow paint.” He took a pallet jack and almost ran over my foot.
I backed out of the way and apparently that was the funniest thing he’d ever seen, because he bent over laughing. “You gotta watch it!” He said with those beady fucking eyes. He pulled out his phone and texted something quickly. So quickly I thought that he had just done that to show me how cool and popular he was. “All right, you know how to use one of these?”
“It’s not rocket science.”
“Well, take the reigns then if you know so fuckin’ much.” He spun the handle my way and I grabbed it, “Get us that pallet of closures over there.” I wheeled it over and pulled a pallet out. “Follow me.” I put my earplugs in and we went back out to the floor. He took a sharp left and I followed him as he went back behind the machines.
He turned around and pointed at an empty yellow square next to the closure machine. I pulled the pallet up and it hit one of the other machines. Triggers started spilling all over the floor. I quickly realigned everything, and when I turned around Luke was doubling over with laughter. Either this fucking guy was a hyena, or I was the funniest klutz alive. It was probably a little bit of both.
I clocked out at eleven and thanked any and all Gods that I had the next day off. I wanted to spend it lying around, motionless for the whole day, but I also wanted to go into the city and get a few drinks with Charlie, who had since moved there. I received a text from Martha stating her and the hubby were planning a weekend getaway for their anniversary and she wanted me to take Buddy.
I chuckled as the previous text was a topless photo. No sooner was I out of the elevator then I was back in. When I pushed the button, the doors opened I was pleasantly surprised to see a very attractive Tiffany, dressed in a black sequin dress, bottoming it out with red high heels.
“Looks like somebody’s got plans.” I said.
She looked up at me, “Yeah I’m going out with some friends into the city.”
“It’s a little late for that, isn’t it?”
“Well I’m just gonna crash with somebody.” The inevitable Ground floor came far too soon, and as the doors swung open I said, “Well, have a good time.”
“Thanks,” She said. I rolled my eyes. Down the hall I went with my hands in my pockets and turning corner after corner. When I arrived at Martha’s, my knuckles got inches from the door. “You wanna go!?” The male antagonist’s voice bellowed, “Fucking go to the bar then!” I heard a can hit the wall. May have been a soda.
“Fine, maybe I will!” A liberated Martha screamed back. I tiptoed my way around the corner before spinning back around to check the mail and head back to my apartment. As I was sorting through the coupon books I didn’t need, I saw a black reflector out of the corner of my eye. It was Tiffany.
“Missed it, huh?” I smiled. Tiffany was walking towards the elevator in a huff. She turned and laughed, although it was an angry laugh.
“Fucking guy couldn’t wait two more seconds so I could get my ticket.”
“So, what? That’s it? Night’s over?”
She rested her chin on her shoulder, “What else can I do? The next train isn’t for two hours.”
“You don’t have a car?” She looked at me like I was stupid, and her hair fell over one of her eyes.
“No. I can’t afford the insurance, plus everywhere I ever go is to the city, and the train is cheaper than the expenditures of a car.” Expenditures?
“Well, I have a car.”
“You do?” She said, a slight bit of hope in her voice.
“I do, and it also turns out that I too have a friend in NYC that hasn’t seen me in awhile. I may just be the knight in shining red fiberglass that you need.”
“Well, that would be great. I can pay you for gas, too if you want.”
“All righty then, as the 90s say. Let’s get a move on!” She smiled at me as I pulled out my keys. We took the elevator down to the parking garage “You’re still gonna show up a little later,” I said, “but at least this way you’ll be able to get some fun out of the night.”
“This’ll be cool. I’ve never been through the tunnel.”
When we arrived at the Lincoln Tunnel, her excitable attitude waned rather quickly. This was where it got slow. We moved not as individuals but as one very long snake, slithering it’s way through a series of twists and turns, but at least we were moving.
“Believe it or not, we’re getting there pretty fast.” I said. She pulled out her phone and put it right back. “Do you know any good bars, or are you guys just going to walk around and stumble into something?”
“We know a few, but mostly we’re just going to explore down in So-ho.” Our conversation was getting to the point where both of us were talking just to be talking. That was one of the first signs of a downward spiral. I had to pull us out, and fast.
“How’s that factory job?” She asked.
“Fucking terrible.” I rolled my eyes. She laughed. “Every single day is a routine. I wake up, go to work, load machines, cover for people when they go on break, load machines again, take finished shit to the back to be shipped out, clock out and go home. Every day. What about you? Do you work?”
“Of course.” She laughed, “I’m not some rich kid.”
“I work in the city. It’s an overnight job as desk clerk. It’s easy and I absolutely love it.”
“What could they possibly need you at night for?” I asked.
“I just sit in front of a computer and make sure than everyone who walks inside isn’t suspicious looking and has proper ID. The morning is a little busy because everyone’s pouring into work, but I’m not there that long.” Just then I was stricken with ridiculous envy. I wanted that job so badly, and I wanted her even more.
We showed up in the bright lights of the city, and her eyes reflected off of every single one. After all, there was room. I was lost in a trance again as I watched her look around. She was like a kid at Christmas, but I forced myself to stop watching her.
“Where do you want me to drop you off at?” I asked, hoping she’d say the nearest hotel.
“Any train station is fine. I can find my way around from there.” I did as she requested, dropping her off near the 1, 2, 3 stations.
“Well, I hope the night will be worth the drive.” I said.
She turned to me, “It already has. I’ll talk to ya later.” She opened her arms and leaned in for a hug, which was a little weird, but I obliged. She stepped out and I watched her ass shake back and forth as she walked down the stairs and out of sight. The assholes behind me honked me out of my daze and I moved, pulling out my phone and giving Charlie a call.
“Hello.” He said.
“I’m in the city. You wanna go do somethin’?”
“I have to get up early for work. Why did you come all the way into the city and then call me?” He asked.
“Why do you think?” I replied.
“Ohh, okay. I still don’t know. Whep, sorry. I’m about to go to bed.”
“All right, I’ll talk to you later.” We hung up and I cruised around, feeling a little lonesome, until I passed by the cure: New York Dolls: A Gentlemen’s Club. I tried to shake the thought from my mind, but on this night my self-esteem needed the boost.
I found the nearest place to park, which cost me as much as one lap dance, and walked back to the club, fighting with myself. Turn around, I thought, just fucking stop, turn around and go back home. You can jack off to some amateur porn or something. It was as if I had just lost control of my motor functions. Fucking turn around, douche bag! But I was unsuccessful. I walked in, paid the 20-dollar cover, and took a seat, and ordered a 15-dollar Jack and Coke.
I watched the girls dance, sitting in misery and enjoying my drink. It must have been a bad night to be out, because every girl that walked by me was just hideous. It also could have been that my mind was on Tiffany at the moment. I continued to sulk in my chair, offering up excuse after excuse to every woman who sat next to me. And, as usual, none of them were as hot as the waitress. After two more drinks and five more passes on women the waitress started looking at me funny.
“What?” I said, in a drunken laugh.
“No, come on don’t do that. Something.”
She took a seat next to me and didn’t mind that I kept my eyes on her full chest, almost exploding out of her Wonder Woman top. “What are you doing here? These drinks are expensive.”
“I can afford it.” I slurred.
“But you’re not even watching any of the girls. You could be at a bar or something if you just want to drink.” She sounded genuinely curious.
“Yeah but none of them would have a looker like you servin’ ’em to me.” I said, leaning forward, “Just some old Irish man tellin’ me what I should and shouldn’t be drinkin’.”
Although my breath reeked of alcohol, she seemed to enjoy my compliment almost as much as my proximity. She laughed. It was difficult to tell in the light, but I had a hunch she was blushing. She was like a bolt of lightning, this girl. Her long, bleached hair was wrapped in a tight ponytail with streaks of red, which I kindly pulled on while we fucked in the hotel room down the street when she got off work.
She was slightly shorter than me, and her breasts were full, round, and perfectly fake. I loved them all the same as I sucked on her nipples listening to her shriek in pleasure. I kissed her glossy lips deeply while she grabbed my ass to pull me in. Her deep blue eyes were only outmatched by her even deeper blue eye shadow. Her eyelashes curled up more than her eyeballs as I made her come. I grabbed her tight ass and pumped as hard as I could, until I couldn’t take any more, and pulled out, letting myself go on her stomach, as per her request.
She licked her lips and looked at me as I did it, before cleaning my head. Her pussy was tighter than I expected it to be, considering she was so eager to jump into bed with me. I rolled to the side and she walked into the bathroom. I heard the shower run as I took out a cigarette from my jeans on the floor.
I looked at the sign that said NO SMOKING and laid it down, dumping my ashes on it as I puffed away, listening to the sound of running water and hoping that I’d slipped into an alternate dimension where Tiffany would step out with her hair in a towel and robe, wanting to dry off before starting round two.
Of course, that didn’t happen. She was stunning nonetheless. I welcomed her head on my chest as I finished my smoke. I wanted to ask her how damaged she must be to go to a hotel and fuck a complete stranger, but she was fast asleep before I got the chance. This one was just another girl.
I wasn’t the type of guy who counted, but maybe I should have been. It would help me remember them more. She rolled over to her side of the bed and I left. After that night I never saw her again, and I don’t even remember her name, or if she had given it to me.
Another notch in the bedpost, I guess. Although at this point it just began to look like the dog had a chewing fit. I got back home before the sun rose. arrived home and stood behind the apartment complex, staring at the empty train tracks on the other side of the fence.
It was there that I collapsed. Working 12 hours a day with only two days off every month combined with a night of booze, sex, and too much driving, and my body had had enough. I was out before I hit the ground.