Saturday, March 3, 2007

Change - Part 1

So I've decided to share a very personal story on this blog. Keep in mind this was written for a small group of friends and not a piece I edited or anything. I reserve the right to pull it at a later date should I choose to. Enjoy.


It's tough to pick exactly where to start this story, so I'm going to try and keep it short and start around the middle.

I was 26 and about three years into my career. I was fiercely loyal to the company since I had been there from its inception. I had been promoted to "Director" a year prior but was grossly underpaid - this was an issue that had been beginning to bother me more and more as time went on. I made a little under $60,000 a year - which may be a fair salary for some people, but considering I had basically been single-handedly running the show, I felt I deserved more. But, I helped start the company, and I considered the CEO to be my best friend as we had been together now for four years and had done everything from go out and bang 18 year old college students together on X to cleaning up each others puke when we were drunk and/or heartbroken. I always knew women and money were ranked higher than our friendship in his list of priorities, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

I finally demanded a raise that December, and was told I could get one if I brought in just one more client. This wasn't a big deal, as I'd brought in 7 of our 9 past clients on my own, so I agreed. Within a month, I had signed our biggest deal yet. We went from a 6 person firm to 25 people overnight, with me managing over a million dollars in advertising budgets alone. It was time for my raise.

My friend/CEO told me that I could either get a raise, or hire a personal assistant and wait a little longer for my raise. My first instinct was to go for the raise, but I realized I had been putting in 80 hour work weeks for months now, and my social life had suffered drastically for it. I compromised for the assistant and said I would wait for the raise. My first mistake.

A few months prior, even though I had been told we didn't have enough money to give me a raise, we had hired a mutual best friend of ours who was freshly out of the military. He had no discernable skills to speak of and was in no way qualified to work for us, but he'd been promised a position in the company once he was discharged. I resented the decision to hire him, but I took it for face value as a sign of loyalty among friends.

When it came time to hire my assistant, the job requirements were pretty thin. After all, the applicant simply had to be able to understand and execute my orders, and be eye candy for clients. The rest I could teach them over time. Our mutual friend who we'd hired a few months prior suggested his ex-wife, a former stripper, as a potential candidate. We agreed to interview her.

The moment we saw her, it was blatantly obvious for anyone with the slightest clue that she was absolutely wrong for the position. She was far too good looking - a literal 10 in my eyes. A bone of contention between the CEO and myself had been women before, as we'd had major turmoil in our relationship not long ago when he decided to sleep with a girl I was heavily interested in - and I, unbeknownst to him to this day, retaliated by sleeping with his girlfriend a few months later. This was the worst hiring decision we could have made, but we did anyway because we were both known to think with our dicks - we lied to ourselves and said it would not be a big deal.

It was a big deal.

Within a month, she and I were sleeping together. He freaked out. For brevity's sake, we'll skip to a month later when he "asked" me to resign from the company. I had no choice, I resigned.

She stopped sleeping with me pretty immediately after, but kept coming around every night. I didn't date anyone else as I kept up hope that she and I would get together again once the entire mess died down. She introduced me to cocaine. I had dabbled in drugs before, like mushrooms and pot, but never really took a liking to anything in particular to do it more than a few times. This was different. I loved it.

In the meantime, I had befriended a little mini-me. An awesome lesbian I had stumbled across at a local bar who was my splitting image right down to the shaven head and the New Rock boots. She and I hit it off right away and were two peas in a pod. We did everything together. Played pool, hung out every day, checked out hot girls, and did copious amounts of drugs.

I still had my priorities in order, though - and with the help of my newfound friend I had decided to start a competing firm out of spite. I knew I could do the job, and I knew I could do it better. What was still a lingering friendship between myself and my former CEO suddenly went to shit when he heard of my intentions. My non-compete which he'd let me out of (in writing) was suddenly being enforced and lawyers were being flung around left and right. This fight lasted three months.

Three months of limbo over whether or not I could start my own company, and tens of thousands of dollars in savings just burning a hole in my pocket. I took to the drugs pretty quickly.

What was once casual use of a gram here or there, suddenly turned into an 8-ball a night addiction. I didn't have a care in the world, though. I had a new best friend who was even cooler than the one who had betrayed me, the girl I had fallen hard for was still coming around, and when she wasn't, I had a different girl over every night of the week. As far as I was concerned, this was the peak of my happiness. Until Ozzfest.

It was the night before Ozzfest and I was at a local strip club with some friends when we ran into the band Slipknot. We were doing shots of liquid cocaine (Goldshlagger, Rumplemints, 151) with the 151 layered on top so we could light them on fire before drinking them. I was on my 12th within the hour, and the last thing I remember is accidently setting my hand on fire.

I woke up in a jail cell with 2nd degree burns on my right hand and zero memory of what had happened after I had set my hand on fire.

I got up and knocked on the glass window to my cell to see what had happened, and they looked over something and told me that I was just there to sleep it off and would be free to go in a few hours. They had no further information about why I was there. I asked for a blanket and went back to sleep.

I got out of jail at 11 in the morning and had no money on me and my cell phone was nowhere to be found. I immediately found a pay phone and called my lesbian friend to see what had happened - no answer. I called the girl - no answer. I decided to look around and finally realized I was a few blocks from a bar I frequented. I made the walk there.

Ironic sidetrack: As I'm walking to the bar, a cop car stops me and says hello. I am confused and worried considering where I had just woken up, but quickly realize it's a local cop who we had had drinks with a week before at our local watering hole. He was there with his gorgeous blonde partner who I was hitting on. They'd been off duty and at the bar the day before when we were smoking pot outside for everyone to see, and had done nothing about it. So they were cool in our books, and we'd invited them for drinks when we spotted them there that second night.

Anyway, I exchange pleasantries with the cop for a minute then make my way to the bar. I get inside and a friend of mine is bartending. I have a little hair of the dog, and call a cab to take me home. I use the cabbies cell to call mine, and a stranger answers. I'm like, "Who are you and why do you have my phone?" It was my friend Joe from the night before - I had left it in his car.

I asked him what the hell happened, and he sounded confused, "What do you mean?"

"I woke up in jail, dude." I responded.
"No way," he replied.
"Yes way. What the hell happened?" I asked again.
"How do I know dude, I dropped you off at home." he said.
"Home?" I was even more confused.
"Well, like next door at the girls house." She and I lived in the same complex.

"Oh, shit..." It started coming back to me.

Apparently, her front door was unlocked, and I walked (in this case, stumbled) in as I usually do only to find her going at it with my best friend. Now I don't have a temper and have never really lost my cool before, and I don't remember a lick of this, but the story goes that I got quite upset and kicked her dining room table in half and threw bottles and shot glasses across the room. Thus, the cops were called, and I ended up in jail.

Makes sense why they didn't answer their phones or return my calls, though.

But this was nothing to get hung up about, I had Ozzfest to go to. As we're driving there, Joe hands me back my cell phone and as I reach into my back pocket, I feel a piece of paper in it. I pull it out and it has a strange girl's name and phone number on it.

"Who the hell is this?" I ask.
Joe starts laughing, "You don't remember?"
"No. I'm asking because I do." I grumble.
"It's the bartender from last night, bro." He continues to laugh.
"The blonde with the big tits?" my interest perked.
"Yeah man, she gave you her number after she put a wet towel around your hand to put out the fire." He's cackling at this point.
"Nice," I bask in my glorious ability to get a hot girls phone number even while i'm on fucking fire.

Ozzfest was a great time, as expected. Lots of alcohol, lots of drugs, and I managed to get a girl to take off her top and give me a lap dance during the Judas Priest opening set. She came back home with me.

The next day, I find out from a mutual friend that they had gone to the courthouse and were pressing charges against me. No criminal charges could be pressed because the police witnessed nothing and I had not touched either of them personally, but they could file civil charges.

Now there I am, with no job, money quickly running out due to excessive drug use, about to be served a warrant - with an unregistered hand gun and enough cocaine in my house to send me away for a very long time....

Continue to Part 2

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