Today I’m not going to blog. I’m going to post the first chapter of my book I’m now adding to. (Apparently it’s too short so I have to add 25k more words. That is what I’ve been working on all week and why I haven’t been posting as much. I’m also in search of someone who is willing to create or let me use an image for my book cover. I can make the book cover…just not the picture on it. If you’re talented in that area….CONTACT ME!!!!
So…enjoy. Or not…
I closed my eyes and let my forehead fall against the cold glass. Snowy days always seemed to make the sides of the PAT busses colder than what they normally were. I tried turning the volume on my phone up, but it was useless, I had it to the max level already. Today was one of those days where everyone else was making me irritable and I was stressed. Going to this interview stressed would not do me good. It was already by pure luck that Belinda Hexe even called me. I was sure being only eighteen and a college freshman would make her toss my application in the trash, but she called.
The black pumps smashed my toes together and I tugged at the hem of the skirt my mother let me borrow. Business suits weren’t really my thing. The bus lurched forward suddenly, and I managed to throw my hands out right before my head smacked into the metal pole in front of me. People shouted out in surprise and fell to the dirty floor. I watched from my seat, unable to squeeze past the obese woman next to me, as they struggled to get up, confused and somewhat angry.
“What the hell man!” A teenager shouted using a steel pole to hoist himself up.
“Sorry folks. Something ran out in front of the bus.”
“What did?” A skinny woman who was actually wearing shorts asked.
“It looked like a really big dog.” The driver said standing on his perch.
“Why didn’t you run it over?” Someone from the front of the bus asked angrily.
“I’m not running animals over. Is everyone okay?” He asked sitting down.
“Yeah.” A few people grumbled.
From the disgruntled mutterings, I felt bad for the driver. A few wanted his drivers I.D. number and his supervisors line, while one actually threatened a lawsuit.
Guess they’ve never heard of an accident.
I looked out the window and down the alley, searching for the animal. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, just the familiar downtown Pittsburgh lunch crowd, appearing unstartled by the bus’ screeching, halting brakes. Nobody seemed to have seen the dog either or at least they didn’t appear phased by it. I suppose it could have been some stray dog trying not to get smashed by the bus. As it rounded another corner, I stood and tried to squeeze between the large, protruding stomach of the woman seated next to me and the plastic seat it pushed against. The woman either did not care that I was fighting for my life against her fat, or did not feel me being squished. Once I was free of the seat, I finished shoving my way to the front. The horrendous mixture of body odor, dirty feet, swamp ass and coffee breath smacked me in the face like a sack full of week old shit.
I hate taking the bus. I should have sucked it up and parked in a damn garage down here. A Volvo is definitely more comfortable than this.
Stealthily, I slid my hand to my nose and choked down the vomit while trying to hold my breath. It was turning out to be a difficult task. My poor lungs were on fire by the time I stepped onto the sidewalk. I gulped down the fresher air, thankful to be away from the death chamber called bus. While the city has come a long way from its steel mill roots of a hundred years ago, somehow I think Pittsburgh never lost the slightly smoggy stench still lingering in the air. It was a certain and familiar smog I wouldn’t trade for the world. I blew out a puff of breath that floated toward the sky. As I followed my breathy puff of smoke up, I saw the looming PPG towers. One couldn’t help but notice them. They hovered over Market Square like a pride of lions protecting their cubs. A shiver ran down my spine, but I trudged on to One PPG Place.
Crossing the square, I couldn’t help but look up at the big spires that were perched atop of the gargantuan glass buildings. The snow seemed to dance in and out of them. Swirling around like the Black Swan. I popped the collar on my pea coat and burst through the front doors like nobody’s business. I stopped and looked around the expansive lobby. It was massive. Large orange, red columns stood on either side of a huge mahogany desk, which was manned by one guard. He was huddled behind it with his feet up and a newspaper in hand. The guard dropped his newspaper at the sound of the thick, glass doors slamming and stared at me. I tried to channel my inner diva.
I might as well start now. I suppose.
“I need,” pause for dramatic effect, “Belinda Hexe with Rosemarie Fashions.”
“Excuse me?” The pleasantly plump, balding man asked arching his eyebrows at me.
“I said that I need to see Belinda Hexe. She is expecting me!” I huffed in the most divaish voice I could muster.
“Um, okay. Thirty-ninth floor.” He kept looking at me with a mixture of confusion and pity.
I felt like a complete nut job.
“Oh, okay. Thanks.” My cheeks flushed and my nut job status was sealed with him at least.
I began to shuffle past the security guard, but paused. “Uh, so do I have to sign in or anything?”
He looked up at me and rolled his eyes.
“Guess not.” I muttered, “Is there an office or suite number?”
“Thirty-ninth floor.” He reiterated.
“The entire thirty-ninth floor?”
“Okay.” I said while shuffling on my way.
The row of elevators glared out, unwelcoming, at me. I tentatively pushed the up button and waited in silence. The lonely ding of the elevator resounded through the desolate waiting area. I watched as a few men in suits filed out. They were all busy on cell phones either talking or emailing. I pushed past them and stood in the tiny compartment. 39 was the first button on the top. The top floor.
I pushed it and waited as the awful elevator music started.