January marked the last month of my Boss as my Boss at the old company. He gave his notice and left. The day he left, the sadness was palpable throughout the office. A lot of people saw him as the savior, the one who was going to rescue everything and everyone, and let me tell you, when you see the person you pin your hopes on get up and walk out the door, it sent a message loud and clear.
The Boss was going to a place where he could create his own company from the ground, up. I asked him if he would consider taking various people with him and he said that he couldn’t. I’mplicit in all of these conversations had been the obvious – that I would be the only one going. He said, “I don’t need them. But I need you.”
I quit shortly thereafter to go with him and began the process of finding, constructing and decorating what was to become a high profile office. The Boss and I went from daily interaction to talking once or twice a week by phone. I got Satan’s Death Flu and ended up in the hospital. Then I was renovating my condo, and I couldn’t get the piece of shit contractor to finish. I lived among drywall for MONTHS. I dated a string of losers, all of whom were incredulous at the lack of construction. Losers would come and losers would go and that damn drywall sat leaning against my wall for months.
That time is also a blur because more of the snow and because now instead of dating just 2 guys like in 2004, I embarked on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. It wasn’t good. It started with some guy I met the night Satan’s Death Flu struck. He hung around for several weeks until I was ejected from the hospital and he stole my vicodin. The vicodin I needed to manage the pain it took just to SWALLOW WATER so I wouldn’t end up in the hospital again. I did get down to my preferred weight at this time though, so that was good.
Starting with him, I perfected the fine art of throwing men out of my house. I think this was the order, and yes, they are real names because who the fuck cares anymore: Derek who stole my Vicodin, Bret who asked if I would consider having sex with him despite having a fight on our first (and last) date because he thought leaving work at 3:00 in Reston for a 6:30 date was normal and showing up very early was also normal, George who lopped 10 years off his age and thought I wouldn’t notice, Mike who could have had staying power but we just drifted apart, Josh who conducted an entire “relationship” over text and whose rampant non-stop use of the word “amazing” made me want to punch him in the balls, Jeff who was such an amateur liar that it resulted in my throwing a sandwich at him and the Bartender who did nothing but encourage my partying and bad behavior.
Somewhere between Mike and Josh? Velvet in Dupont was born. June, 2005.
That summer was a hot one. I had a routine of walking my dogs late at night and I loved it. I loved being in the city, I loved walking the puppies around with no leashes and teaching them how to stay and not cross the street without my command. I loved half-ass working from home. All of it was great.
One night on one of my dog walks with my neighbor/friend, A, my phone rang. It was the former-current Boss. It was about 9:45, a little late for one of his calls.
Boss: Hey, I’m sorry to bother you.
V: If you were bothering me I wouldn’t have picked up.
Boss: Well, I just took my phone, got up, walked out of the house and now I’m walking around Home Depot with nothing particular to do.
I knew exactly what he was talking about but I was still stunned in silence. I think it was the first time that we possibly crossed a line.
He said he was sorry for calling, that he didn’t have anyone else to tell, and he got off the phone pretty quickly. My friend A said, “Don’t do it.” I said, “What?” She said, “Just don’t do it.”
A few nights later, around the same time, the Boss called again and apologized for calling the first time. This time he was on a “walk,” and said when he took his phone to leave, his wife accused him of going to call someone. They had an argument about it and he left anyway. He wasn’t really looking for my two cents or advice, he just wanted to vent. I remember him saying the words, “Just, listen. Just, listen. I don’t have anyone else I can tell so I need you to listen.”
My response after he spit it out?
“Your perfect trifecta has shifted. They say there are three aspects to your life: work, home and relationship. For the last few years at the other company, things have been such turmoil. Now you have a job that’s wonderful and our company placed you in a brand new perfect house, so you have no more work drama and no more house drama, and you can focus on the other area – the relationship.”
He said, “No, that’s not it.”
But he called me back the next morning and said, “Can you explain the three aspects again?”
OK, not really the point of this I know, but stole your fucking vicodin. Jesus, that is low.
I am so scared of what happens next. Just because it happens to you doesn’t mean it should happen to me. But it’s such a cliche… me and my boss… tell me Mr X is someone else! not your boss with whom you have such an amazingly great relationship and who everyone suspects is fucking you, when in fact you just have what few people have — a great friendship… and of course nobody believes you, because they think it’s all about the CEO fucking his PA…
(I’ve been reading you for years but very rarely comment… hi Velvet).
I’ve thought from about 2 months of Mr. X’s first comment on your blog that he was your ex/current boss. It will interesting to see if my theory is correct!
I’ve not commented much, mainly because it’s not really my place to comment on the content of someone else’s life story, but I *am* riveted.
Lemmie – yes, I was pretty mad. I was so unbelievably ill, I thought death was coming for me and I really needed those Vicodin. That bastard. I had a flip out on him and he brought it back. Though knowing him it was probably a placebo he kept on hand.
Dipsy – Hi! It’s nice when people who have read for a long time come out to comment, so thank you! Am I dragging this out too long? I’m trying to get a history down of the time of my life where everything was unfolding.
Alaina – Really? That’s funny! I wonder what he said/did that made you think that. He had tried a host of other names before he settled on Mr. X. I told him it was too confusing to do that, pick it and stick with it.
Dagny – Why not? You can comment away. I never professed to do the right thing all the time and I know I made several really unfortunate mistakes. But I guess the moral of my story, or one of them anyway, will be, so what? We make mistakes and our lives still shake out for the best.
cliff hanger argh — i am so loving this
Men. They never hear you the first time.
Zippy – Sorry! I don’t mean to be all cliffhangery. I’m just trying to break it up into manageable pieces.
LiLu – No, not until they believe it applies to them do they actually listen.
“…not until they believe it applies to them do they actually listen.”
That would be correct. Very correct.
Heh – I don’t know that I’d even comment negatively, considering how it’s apparently contributed to your ability to tell a great story, and to do so very well.
I am amazed by your detailed memory, despite the amount of white during that time. I had a year of white, but everything is pretty blurry.
Are we going to see who you and Mr. X are in the end?? I’d really love to see a picture!
Cyndy – Yep, that’s right. Selective hearing too. The guy in the office next to me is supposedly hard of hearing, but damn if I don’t whisper something and he hears me.
Dagny – Well, I was just saying because of the whole drug part, it’s putting me out there for judgment, I understand that. I’d probably judge too. But thank you!
Pook! – I’m not sure how I remember so much, but in the days pre-blog, I did keep journals. I didn’t consult them for this, but I did piece things together with emails and some things do stick out pretty much for me. I thought at the very end of the blog it might be nice to post a picture, but then I remember that once it’s up there it’s there forever. But Facebook is fair game…and all these years I thought you were a guy…
This is like “Lost”!
Is it bad that I come home from work and come straight here? Another loooooong time reader, sometime commenter.
I like your trifecta theory. Does one of them always have to be out of balance? I was kind of hoping my keeping them in balance right now would stay.
But I digress. Love the blog, always have. And reading the backstory is fun because we already know the happy ending. It’s like reading the last page of a novel and not having to worry that the heroine is going to make it.
So, count me in for tomorrow.
Phil – I’ve never watched that. They are still on the island? Jesus Christ! Oh, wait, maybe I see what you’re saying…the story doesn’t stop. Gotcha.
Laura – Aww, no, it’s not bad! Well, it’s not bad for me because it means I’m remotely interesting. I didn’t invent the Trifecta thing. I got it from a friend, and when I googled it, I came up with a few other sites who all referenced it the same way I did: “They say…” I don’t know who the “they” are. I wish I could find a legitimate source for it because I would like to really understand it in full. My three are in balance, but it doesn’t mean that when one goes out that it’s a bad thing. Like maybe you’re happy at work and in your relationship, but you want to redecorate your house now. It’s not always a bad turmoil. Just, turmoil. Thank you so much for sticking with it. I know there were years of drama, and unexplained absences. Sadly, they were necessary. I should have known back then that if people in my life resulted in the drama that it did, then it wasn’t right.
I’ve never watched it either….I just mean that everyone’s trying to figure out who’s who and how it all turns out.