Thomas had always been a talkative lad, the oldest of two boys by seven years. He was used to getting plenty of airtime and attention from the adults in the room. It was once said that kids say the darnedest things, well with Thomas it was that kid says the damndest things! He was often known to use adult language and tell adult jokes at a very young age. He loved the dirty comedy. Thomas’ mother Mrs. Mayo was and educator at a Catholic School. She tried to offer good morals and principles to young Thomas but he didn’t readily accept them. The boy could behave when he wanted to but in the end he would always say something outlandish or disrespectful.
Mr. Mayo didn’t make it any better. He thought his boy to be so funny with his nasty little one liners. Respect for authority figures and elders Thomas lacked but was never properly disciplined for. His father called him his “little smart ass”. Mr. Mayo didn’t have a lot of time to spend with his boys so he try tried to overcompensate by being their big buddy and letting them have whatever they wanted when he was present.
The older Thomas got the worse his mouth and attitude got causing him some problems in his young life. He didn’t care, his parents would bail him out so he still said whatever he wanted to say out of his mouth to whomever he wanted to. Detention, in school suspension, being kicked off sports teams, nothing curbed Thomas’ sharp tongue over the years. He attended college but couldn’t dedicate himself to being a scholar. The potty mouthed Thomas didn’t make it past his sophomore year.
In college Thomas picked up a few habits. The boy loved the night life, he never missed a party and certainly didn’t miss out on the party favors. Thomas had a difficult time expressing himself around the ladies and he found it a lot easier when everyone’s inhibitions were lowered after consuming drugs and alcohol. Thomas’s rude and impolite speech sometimes acted as a mask for him. He had spent his entire life hiding behind the persona of a jerk. So eventually it just became more of who he was. The drugs didn’t help.
After college he landed himself in the hospitality industry. Being a server was something that came easy to him and they didn’t drug test for that job. So he could party as much as he wanted, as long as he could make it to work. Through work Thomas found a girl who could actually tolerate him. It wasn’t easy. The girl had a kind heart and she found her way to the boy’s soft side. Thomas covered himself in a hard shell of insults and offensive slurs but he had a vulnerable soft underbelly. The boy was actually quite sensitive and susceptible to shedding tears when his feelings were hurt.
Julie loved Thomas’s softer side. They moved in together and purchased a dog. Mr. and Mrs. Mayo paid the deposit and bought the couple new furniture. They settled in nicely and things worked out for a year or so until Thomas’ immaturity ruined things. Emotionally he was still a little boy, always trying to impress friends. Mouthy and argumentative he would become if his buddies implied he was whipped for doing something his woman asked him to do. Eventually they coaxed him into trying to play the field and of course the inexperienced Thomas got caught right away putting an end to his relationship.
Unfortunately for them both the couple had just signed a new lease and neither of them could afford to break it. So they just moved to opposite ends of the apartment and cohabitated as best they could. Things were respectful initially but Thomas gave into peer pressure and had some buddies and loose girls over. Julie came home from work to see two of Thomas friends half naked with some strange girl on the couch. Thomas was in the kitchen making drinks. Julie met him there with plenty to say.
“Thomas what the hell is going on here? Who are all these skanky girls around the house. Do you know that Jordan and Jeff are about to have a threesome on our couch?”
Thomas smirked at her.
“What do you want me to say? This is what you want.”
He started to walk away with the tray of drinks then he stopped and turned around.
“Oh, and it’s my couch. My parents bought it and if chicks get banged on it so be it. That’s what couches are for.”
Julie stood dumbfounded. Mr. and Mrs. Mayo may have purchased that couch but she picked it out ahead of time. That was her baby. Many a night had she curled up on that plush piece of furniture in a warm blanket with a good book. Now it was being disgustingly defiled and defaced by coke whores and jerk offs. Julie stormed into her room, packed a bag and left the residence. She stayed the night at a friend’s house where she met her friend’s boyfriend’s brother. They hit it off, exchanged numbers and planned a date for the very next night.
The date went well. It went so well that it ended at Julie’s place. She decided to be a bad girl for once and invite a fella home after the first date. The relationship couldn’t grow into anything serious anyway since Greg lived in South Carolina where he played football for Clemson University. Julie hadn’t been intimate with anyone since Thomas so she figured it was time she had her a little man company, and what a big man he was. The apartment was empty when they arrived.
Julie took her turn on the tarnished couch with her hunky football player. Greg was just getting to second base when Thomas walked through the door. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. His girl’s breast in another man’s hand.
“What the hell is going on here! Dude, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Julie sat upright and put her breast away.
“Thomas you need to calm down.”
Thomas couldn’t control his emotions.
“Hell no I won’t calm down! Dude, you’ve got to go!”
Thomas reached for one of Greg’s arms and Greg promptly snatched away from the weaker Thomas and stood up over him. Thomas stood about six foot, two inches and slim; Greg was six foot five, all muscle and tough as nails. Greg looked over at Julie.
“Do you want me to go?”
Julie stood up and answered.
“Is this guy your boyfriend?”
“No, he’s my ex and he doesn’t tell me who I can and can’t have over.”
Greg looked back down on Thomas.
“Well dude I ain’t going nowhere. The lady wants me to stay.”
Again Thomas couldn’t control his emotions. He reached out to grab Greg and Greg Took his arm and twisted it around his back. He held that arm tight and pulled it hard making Thomas wince and whimper with pain. He whined and then pleaded for Greg to let him go.
“You gonna clam down now? I don’t want to have to hurt you.”
Thomas looked up at Julie standing at the side of this big guy who was abusing him. She looked so content to see him hurt and that hurt him more.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m cool man.”
Greg slowly let Thomas go and the stubborn boy rubbed his arm. Greg wrenched it pretty good. Julie didn’t care; she wanted her happy ending.
“C’mon Greg; let’s go see my room. We can have some privacy in there.”
She took her big stud by the hand and led him back to her private domicile. With bruised ego and arm Thomas look on holding back a tear. Julie looked back and smiled at him as she closed the door. Thirty minutes later Thomas heard noises that he knew to be sex. Julie was extra vocal and energetic. They were moving furniture around in that room and poor Thomas had to suffer threw every bump and moan. There was a lot of flesh smacking heard as well.
After an hour and a half Greg opened the door to the bedroom butt naked as Thomas sat on the couch watching television. Greg nodded to him then walked into the kitchen. He retrieved a six pack from the refrigerator and walked back in front of the TV on his way to the bedroom. Thomas had never been emasculated like that before in his life. This guy had pretty much beat him up, banged his chick and flashed him all in less than two hours. Thomas limped to his room and laid down. He settled in for a good private cry. After a couple of beers Julie was up for round two. Thomas heard her again all the way down the hall, Julie made sure of it.
The next day after Greg’s departure Thomas confronted Julie about her behavior the night before.
“That was real cute what you did last night.”
She was certainly up to the challenge.
“What do you care Mr. Orgy Man! You fill this apartment with whores and then you have the nerve to complain because I brought a date home.”
“I didn’t have an orgy. I didn’t even bang any of those chicks.”
Julie stood back and smiled at Thomas. He was confused; he couldn’t understand why she was smiling.
“What the hell are you smiling at.”
“You didn’t bang any of those chicks huh?”
“Yeah, I’m sure. You probably struck out because of your big mouth. What, you say something stupid or call someone a cow or something?”
“It’s not my fault those cock smooches can’t take a joke. Screw ‘em they probably all got the herp anyway.”
Julie just shook her head at him.
“I can’t believe that I ever dated you. Your such a piece of…”
She just grabbed her car keys off of the counter and left without finishing her sentence. Thomas felt even lower. He needed to find someone to share his pain with. He had to be at work in an hour so somberly the young man got himself ready. Once he hit the door of the steakhouse his false bravado and cockiness returned. Thomas was known to throw around insults and taunts in the workplace. He was quick to shed light on his coworkers short comings while occasionally cutting corners himself. Thomas’ didn’t only show contempt and insolence toward the cooks, hosts and servers. He treated management poorly as well. Thomas had been warned many times about his language and behavior but he couldn’t resist tearing people down. He had been written up and counseled to no avail.
His termination was emanate but fortunately for him the management changed over. The Managing Partner of the restaurant was replaced because of his aggressive, angry management style and inappropriate relationships with women in the workplace. The man was just days from firing the mouthy Thomas yet he had been granted a reprieve. Thomas called the new general manger a nerd or “Steve Urkel”. Andrew was a straight laced, glasses wearing light skinned Black male in his early forties. He was known to wear his pants a little high with brown shoes no matter the color scheme of his outfit. All he was missing was the suspenders, pocket protector and tape in the middle of his glasses. Andrew had a certain way of talking, his tone was professional but certainly not cool. This was his time to shine in life; much of his childhood he suffered through the insults and bullying of his classmates. Now he was finally the boss. A strong leader Andrew was not but he was rounding into shape. Thomas tested him every step of the way.
“Thomas I need you to run food to this table.”
Thomas smirked before answering.
“Damn bro you look past all those people and then call my name out. I’m in the weeds right now. Ask Jill you know she ain’t doing nothin’ as usual.”
The quiet and meek Jill gave Thomas a cross look then continued putting her drinks on the tray. Andrew responded to his insubordinate employee.
“Thomas we’re not going to do this today.”
“You know, just run the food.”
“Whatever, I’m working hard and you’re trying to ride me.”
Just then Jill’s work friend Carol grabbed the plate out of the window and ran it to the table. Andrew glared at Thomas over his glasses.
“We’ll talk about this later Thomas.”
Thomas grinned back at him while walking out of the kitchen.
Thomas loved pushing the boundaries while undermining authority figures. One day he pushed the boundaries a little too far. Andrew was a multicultural man. His mother was Caucasian and his father African American. Andrew had a difficult time as a child comfortably identifying with either race. Not being very talented, bright or athletic made it even more difficult for him to find friends or feel like he fit in. Now a man the uptight Andrew understood a little better who he was. He still remained a little sensitive about race and the way people communicated about it, especially in the workplace.
Andrew’s most difficult employee didn’t share his sensitivity. There weren’t many people of Color working in the front of the house at Cattleman’s Steakhouse. There was one forty year-old Black man working as a server in the restaurant but no others. Andrew hired an African American woman named Janice who transferred from Cattleman’s in Gainesville, Florida. She was experienced but unfamiliar with her new surroundings and coworkers. Thomas didn’t care who was around, he let fly insensitive comments and derogatory statements with no discretion. During her third shift on the floor Janice heard Thomas say something that she could not ignore. She didn’t know him well enough to dismiss what he was saying as Thomas just being Thomas. This time he stuck his whole foot in his mouth.
“Andrew is getting on my damn nerves, walking around here acting like a boy scout. He’s a cock smooch, that Uncle Tom.”
Janice was standing by the register within ear shot of the foolish Thomas as he spewed out a racial slur without even realizing it. Thomas was no racist he was just a smart ass with no filter. Always being a smart ass doesn’t make your ass smart. Sometimes the silly boy just didn’t know the gravity of his words. He didn’t know the history behind “Uncle Tom” he only knew that it was something that you could call a Black Guy you thought was being a sellout or traitor. Janice knew how disrespectful it was and she most certainly didn’t appreciate him saying that about her new boss, especially in front of her.
“Andrew, can I talk to you for a minute?”
“Sure Janice, come on in.”
She opened the door to the small office wider and eased in. Andrew sat up in his chair and turned toward her.
“I heard something in the dining room that I really didn’t appreciate. Some of your employees be saying some racist stuff.”
“What do you mean? Who are you talking about?”
“What’s that boy’s name, um Thomas.”
Andrew figured that was who it might be.
“Thomas, figures. What did he say anyway?”
“He called you Uncle Tom.”
Andrew was furious but he masked it well.
“Did anyone else hear him say it?”
Janice paused to think about it for a minute.
“Oh yeah, Carl heard it. He was standing right there when he said it.”
“Okay, good; I’ll talk to him about it later. I know you’re new here and I’m sorry you had to hear that from one of our employees. I assure you this will be dealt with.”
“Thank you, because I don’t appreciate that.”
The next afternoon when Carl came to work Andrew approached him with another manager asking if he indeed had heard what Thomas said. Carl was an honest man. He didn’t want to snitch on the misguided lad but he wasn’t going to lie for him either. Carl knew that Thomas didn’t understand what he had said or whom he had said it in front of. Carl impressed upon him to apologize to the woman because he was sure she was offended. Andrew asked Carl to write a statement and he obliged. There was no way around it.
Thomas was later confronted with the evidence of the statements he had made and how he had been warned and written up several times before. Thomas was aloof and dismissive as usual not realizing the severity of the situation.
“Yes or no, did you say this Thomas?”
“I guess, yes. I was just kidding guy. What’s the big deal?”
“Do you understand that can be viewed as a racist statement?”
“Racist, c’mon. So you’re calling me a racist?”
“No, your comment was.”
“This is BS.”
Andrew smiled at Thomas, so happy that his goose was finally cooked.
“You may say this is BS Thomas but it doesn’t change that fact that you are terminated.”
“Terminated! You mean you are actually going to fire me. You can’t be serious.”
“Yes Thomas, very serious. Now, will you please leave the building sir.”
Andrew stood up and walked away from the booth in which they were sitting. His assistant manager walked Thomas out of the restaurant for the last time. Thomas stopped by the liquor store and bought himself a bottle of vodka on the way home. He thought that maybe he and his estranged ex-girlfriend could share it as he licked his wounds and vented about how unfair it was for him to lose his job. They hadn’t spoken much the previous three weeks but she was always there for him when the chips were down.
When he arrived home he got a very unwelcome surprise. As he walked through the front door he called for her.
“Julie, hey Julie I know we haven’t been talkin’ much lately but I was thinking maybe we could drink a little vodka and…”
That’s when Thomas saw her on the back patio with her best girlfriend and two guys having dinner. They were sitting at the patio table his parents bought for then when they bought the couch. He was crushed. Everything came crashing in on him all at once. Thomas stood in the kitchen window looking at them as he made his drink. No one took notice to him and without realizing a tear started to roll down his cheek. Laughs were had and seductive looks were given across the glass table. Dave Mathew’s Band played in the background. That cut Tomas just a little deeper. That used to be their thing. The two of them went to see the band in concert a little over a year earlier.
Hearing Julie bang another guy was tough enough but to see her looking at a guy the way she looked at him hurt that much more.
“She really likes this guy, whoever he is. I guess she really has moved on. Damn that sucks.”
Thomas thought to himself as he wiped his cheek and walked to his room with the bottle and the tall glass of screwdriver he made for himself. Over the next two hours he watched television, drinking and weeping. The volume was low so that he could hear what was going on in the living room once the couples came inside. Thomas wallowed in his own misery while secretly wanting Julie to at least come and check on him. Her heard them talking about him.
“Julie, is Thomas home?”
“I don’t know, why?”
“Isn’t that his car in the parking lot?”
“Yeah, I guess so. Anyway.”
“Well where is he?”
“I guess he’s in his room Rebecca. I really don’t care.”
“Okay, I just thought it was a little weird. This whole thing is a little weird.”
“The lease is up in three months and when it is, I’m outta here.”
“Do you think you and Doug might move in together?”
“It’s a possibility.”
Rebecca grabbed both of her friend’s hands interlocking their fingers, palm to palm. The girls jumped in place squealing.
“I am so happy for you. He is such a good guy. I am so glad you got rid of that A-hole Thomas. God he was such a jerk all of the time and he didn’t treat you right. I couldn’t wait for you to move on from that guy.”
Thomas cursed Rebecca under his breath. He never liked her anyway. She was often the victim of a barrage of his insults. Thomas loved the rise he always got out of the preacher’s daughter. Whenever he angered her to the level of cursing at him he would always try to make her feel guilty for using that language as a Christian girl. Rebecca ignored the foolish boy understanding her faith and also that he was her trigger. She rarely cursed except when speaking to or about Thomas. Rebecca prayed for him but couldn’t wait to have him removed from her and Julie’s lives.
Twenty minutes later the two happy couples left the residence to go out and play pool. Thomas finally exited his hot smelly room when he heard them leave. He still had half a bottle left and he was drunk to the point of stumbling around. He looked through the refrigerator, pantry and cabinets to find that not much was there. When they were still a couple Julie always bought groceries, cleaning products and toiletries for their home. Now that they were split up, Thomas had to fend for himself. He mostly ate take out or fast food. She on the other hand bought small single meals and prepared just what she could consume.
He found a lone bag of Ramen Noodles and some out of date turkey bacon. The brokenhearted fool nuked the noodles and bacon, grabbed a big cup of ice and orange juice then trudged back to his bedroom. There he sipped and slurped as he awaited the return of his heart’s tormentor. Thomas felt so sorry for himself; ironically he could never muster sympathy, empathy or compassion for others. The poor boy passed out before Julie arrived back home.
Thomas awoke at two in the morning with noodles, turkey bacon and dried broth covering his abdomen and comforter. He was nauseous and dizzy. Stumbling and staggering, he made it to the bathroom almost in time. Onto the white bathroom towels and tile spewed Thomas’ lunch and dinner. He turned, dropped to his knees and plunged his head into the toilet just short of the water. His face was dry at the moment but he received plenty of splash back from the puke hitting the toilet water with such force. Projectile vomiting, moaning and thriving in pain was Thomas over the next seven minutes. Fortunately the waves of barf slowed, then eventually came to a stop.
As he paused he could hear moaning and soft words being spoken. The moaning was evoked from pleasure and passion not pain like his. There wasn’t a lot of headboard banging, yelling or sounds of flesh slapping together be he knew what was going on in Julie’s room. Now Thomas had heard his former love having loud drunken sex with some football stud and now soft passionate lovemaking with the guy of her dreams. He thought it wasn’t possible but he felt just a little bit lower as he dragged himself back to his bedroom. Now suffering from a splitting headache he stripped his bed and lay on the bare mattress covered by a dry sheet he picked up off the floor. Unfortunately for him slumber didn’t come easy. He tossed and turned thinking about all of the problems he now had. Never once did he think about curbing his behavior so that he may enjoy a better quality of life.
“Thomas, why don’t you just come home for a while so that you can regroup. It’s tough going through a breakup Sweetheart and for her to throw her romances in your face. That’s just cruel.”
Thomas always called on his mommy to solve his major problems. He would go through her to get to his father. She was his liaison, coddler and shield. He loved her for it. Thomas loved his mother for all that she provided him. That morning he ate breakfast at his mother’s table after his father left the home. He explained to her how he lost his job, minimizing his culpability in getting himself fired. His mother decided that she and her husband would pay his half of the rent and utilities until he found gainful employment. She also offered for him to come home to live whenever he felt it necessary. Thomas didn’t want to go back home just yet, especially if he could get his parents to pay his rent.
The boy had more partying to do; living with his parents might prevent that. Thomas indulged in recreational drugs and he even sold them from time to time. He wasn’t really a steady dealer, more of an opportunist. His drug dealing netted him no money, only free drugs. In front of his friends he played tough, never letting on just how hurt he was by his girlfriend breaking up with him and losing his job. In between partying and acting foolish to impress his peers, Thomas was applying for jobs.
He interviewed well and understood how to make a great first impression. Thomas knew what they wanted to hear so he was sure to say it. Present himself as a respectful, dedicated and industrious young man did Thomas to secure employment at an upscale seafood restaurant. His mother was overjoyed when he told her the good news. She still insisted on helping him through the last two months of his lease.
It wasn’t long before Thomas started acting like his old self again. He was rude and crude towards his coworkers, argumentative with management and lax in his duties. Thomas was good with his guests but the friction he caused in the restaurant eventually came to a head.
“Thomas! How many times do I have to tell you about your language? I don’t want to hear that in the workplace.”
Thomas smiled wide, proud of himself.
“What? I just told him to close his cock holster.”
He laughed. His manager was incensed that once again Thomas was not taking him seriously. He could take no more.
“Thomas clock out and go home!”
“What? Are you serious Bro? You’re gonna send me home just…”
“Just clock out and go home now!”
Thomas grudgingly did as he was told while mumbling under his breath. His manager Jim went to his office to document the incident while it was fresh on his mind. When he opened Thomas’ file he saw many write ups from other managers for insubordination, tardiness and unprofessional behavior. Jim realized that he now had the grounds to fire his problem employee. He put all of the paperwork in order and made his management team aware. He would deliver the news, with pleasure, to Thomas before his next scheduled shift.
Surprisingly Thomas took the news well. It was almost as if he was expecting it. He knew that he had been pushing his luck for a long time. He never liked Jim very much but he did respect him and he knew that the man was well within his rights to terminate him. Thomas stopped by a local watering hole on his way home to his parents’ house. He wanted to tie one on because he knew that eventually he would have to go to his mother with his tail between his legs offering her yet another sob story about how he was wrongfully terminated. He was now in his late twenties and getting fired wasn’t acceptable anymore. He needed to be able to hold down a job.
Thomas was adequate at his job but he just couldn’t get a grip on those lips. There he sat on a bar stool calling everyone and anyone he could to come join him to no avail. So there he sat, slowly getting drunk trying to strike up conversations with strangers. He was ignored. It was as if he just wreaked of desperate disdain. The boy was a downer. Sadly he still didn’t recognize that the disrespect he showed people was directly related to his dire situation. The love of his life was gone, he had lost two jobs in two years and he was unemployed, back living with his parents.
Today was another sad day but tomorrow he would be back at it. Talking down to people in an attempt to make them the butt of his jokes. Saying inappropriate, insulting and sometimes boarder line racist comments to anyone he came in contact with. Thomas was an equal opportunity verbal abuser. He offended and affronted many different types of people and in return his life sucked. What he put out in the world he got in return. Thomas didn’t like to endure hardships but he just couldn’t curb his behavior for loved being a jerk so much. So there he was, sitting sad and sloppy on a bar stool without a friend in the world and no one to talk nasty to… except himself.