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2oo2o919 - c'est la vie part 1

Vincent Falzone cruised slowly down Oakton Ave. as he'd done a thousand times before, "feels more like a million" he thought to himself. Glancing over the Mahogany centre console trim of his BMW his eyes rested on the clock for a moment, 7:14, "it was 6:17 when i left the office" he muttered to himself. After passing countless neighborhood houses Vincent finally arrived at his own. He turned slowly into his driveway waiting for his garage door to open, the living room light was on, in the fading autumn evening it projected past the lawn like a television set, inside danced shadows cast by the members of his family. After pulling into the garage he checked his watch, 7:24, he smiled briefly as his eyes passed over the elegant writing adorning the face, "Patek Phillipe." "This watch belonged to my father, 3 minutes ahead of the BMW time" he thought before gathering his leather brief case, coffee cup, Wallstreet Journal, and Mobile phone - which had been recharging on the trip home after a heavy day of use. When Vincent opened the door to his house he was inundated with screaming, as was often the case Vincent's wife, Loretta and his 15 year old son, Lucas were having an argument. Of instant notice to Vincent was the slightly warm and humid air that waifed of basil and garlic cooked over a merciless flame, the entry-way light blared a harsh utilitarian crudeness, an atmosphere in stark contrast to the velvety voluptuousness of his climate-controlled German Touring Machine. The atmosphere was hostile, conflict could be felt as a tension, felt by every wall and every molecule of air floating about the house, it oozed and eminated from everything his eyes descried, his ears heard - the yelling, and in the silence, it could be felt through his upstanding neck-hairs, it stifled him, tightening his chest, he could feel his heartbeat, it dared him to even set foot in the house. "What the fuck do you care what my friends do?-it's not like I'm doing the same things." He could hear Lucas yell. It sounded like he was halfway up the stairs. Much nearer to him Loretta's voice screamed back: "it sets a bad precedent, why would you want to spend your time with people who act like that?" "Because they're my friends Ma, i can choose my own goddamn friends-not like your Thursday-night pinochle club is a buncha'ol ladies that spend all their time cooking and knitting." Lucas screamed back, the last few words lost to a bit of a rasp as he caught his breath. "That's different, they're not out vandalizing peoples' cars and houses..." Loretta retorted firmly. "Yea, they're too busy cheating on their husbands instead so don't tell me who my friends are, I'll hang out with whoever the hell i damn-well please!" Vincent could hear Lucas turn and storm up the stairs: "click, clack, clack, clickity-clack" chirped the footsteps. Vincent sighed and thought to himself: "I really wish he wouldn't wear his soccer cleats on the hardwood many times must i to ask him?" As he edged further into the house he could hear Loretta sigh, that all too familiar exhalation intermittently interrupted by the tightening of her chest as she held back tears, before being able to shut the door leading to the garage completely Vincent stumbled on part of the vast mountain of pair-less shoes strewn about the entryway "Damn," he thought "Kali's, Kali's, Loretta's, that one's mine, Lucas, Loretta, Kali, Kali, Loretta, never seen that one before, how many shoes does Kali need?-Kali, Kali, Kali, he counted" Loretta interrupted his thoughts: "hi honey, you're home early tonight, i didn't hear you come in" she said as she stepped around the corner. She looked tired, as if today had succeeded in sapping her usual vigorous & determined energy. Her sandy hair was partly put into an unkept ponytail, and countless frizzy locks fell about her face and tickled her shoulders-left bare by some kind of silk tank-top shirt-looking thing Vincent hadn't ever seen before. "I know, I left early today" he said as he struggled to untie the Italian leather shoes clinging to his feet, "how has your day been?" he asked as he gently kissed her forehead. "'ve had better days" she sighed again, "but it's about the same as always i want something to eat?" "No, I think I'm going to just sit down and relax with the paper for a bit, if that's alright." Vincent replied, after a whole day of sitting down he was dead tired and just wanted to sit in his own living room without thinking about phone calls, or projects, or budgets being over, or weighing proposals with razor margins and no upside. "That's fine hun, it's probably ruined now anyway, this was supposed to simmer for 2-3 minutes, look at it-it's probably been boiling for at least 15..." she replied with a half-hearted chuckle. Vincent left his coffee cup and mobile phone on the kitchen counter and retreated to the living room as he did so he could hear Loretta perturbedly dumping food down the garbage disposal and slamming utensils, pots and pans into the dishwasher. He grabbed the topmost paper of an enormous pile of unread newsprint and periodicals on the cherry coffee table and sat down. No sooner had he done this than Lucas turned on some kind of loud and violent-sounding music filling the living room with rattles and garbled lyrics from Lucas' room just above. "So much for quiet" he thought as he made his way to the basement with his newspaper, still carrying his briefcase. "7:33 Patek Phillipe" his watch stared back at him, setting down his paper on the basement coffee table in front of an enormous blank Mitsubishi television screen, turning to go back upstairs he muttered to himself: "suppose I should change out of the suit and tie before I wrinkle them." On the way up the stairs Kali passed him on her way down, phone pressed up against her ear: "yea, I dunno' what her problem is anyway, what a bitch, she's still just pissed about all that shit that happened with Sarah and John..." her conversation trailed off as she sped out of earshot, with hardly a glance at her father. "She's 16 now and spends about 6 hours a day on the phone..." Vincent thought to himself "if she keeps it up it'll be 8000 hours from now until the time she's 20, i don't even sleep that many hours..." Whatever obnoxious music Lucas was playing consumed the upstairs hall as a muffled rumble made its way from his room, through the walls, down the hall, and flowed into the first level of the house. Making his way to the master suite Vincent: stripped off his executive-wear, showered, and shaved-so he wouldn't have to the following morning, all the while with Lucas' dreadful music pummeling his ears. "Now, about that newspaper..." Vincent thought before turning to go back down the stairs, he glanced briefly at the bedside clock before quite making it out of the room: 7:52. As he passed the main-floor on his way to the basement he caught a glimpse of Loretta trying to read in the living room, which happened to still be awash with Lucas' music. As he ambled down the basement stairs he could hear the enormous Mitsubishi's voice from the basement depths below: "we're here live on Polumay Beach and lemme' tell you: IT IS A PARTY!!!" followed by several inebriated cheers of broadcast beach patrons. Vincent could hear Kali's voice above the din of the television, "so then i went over there last Wednesday after the game, what?-yea, oh yea that's right, so you remember the ..." she nonchalantly blabbed into the phone as she half-lay, half-sat, sprawled across half the couch and absently resting one of her feet on Vincent's newspaper, while the other she used to flip through TV channels with the remote control. In her right hand was her tightly-clutched mobile phone pressed like some kind of illicit drug to her right ear, her left hand wandered back and forth lazily between fiddling with her bellybutton ring and her bra. Kali scarcely looked up, nor adjusted her lithe body to a more professional or presentable position as Vincent gently pulled his newspaper from between the coffee table and her foot and headed back upstairs. "Well Tom, the fundamental aspect of this endeavor is that it is for the long term, if we keep that in mind-SO STOP ON DOWN TO MIDWAY CHEVROLET, WE'VE GOT HUNDREDS OF MODELS TO CHOOSE FR- this program was brought to you by the makers of Yak Plus, the official drink of the...." the TV droned on out of earshot as Kali's absent-minded foot flipped through the channels. Thinking perhaps the most solace could be found in the kitchen Vincent made his way down the main-floor hallway. 7:56 the grandfather clock read as he passed it. Lucas' music echoed faintly in the distance, Vincent thought he could also hear Loretta yelling and pounding on his door upstairs as well, but it was faint. Vincent set his paper on the counter and glazed quickly over it: "Kashmir Peace Process Slow, 2 Missing Girls Found - Third Thought Dead, DUI Crackdown Only Modest Success, Wall Street's Woes." Vincent, stood, leaning over the counter, and got but half-way through a curious article about insulating homes against bats when his phone, covered by the newspaper, rang.


"Tee, this is Vincent... Johnson's Tokyo account?... shit *sigh* ... call a meeting I'll be at the office by 9:30." *Beep* the phone sounded as Vincent ended the call, "20:07" it said. Vincent then headed out of the kitchen and down the hallway from whence he'd just come.

Loretta was sitting in their make-shift office just off the master bedroom catching up on some of her clients' investment strategy, but having trouble collecting her thoughts over the relentless blare of Lucas' angry stereo. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Vincent in the bedroom putting his suit and tie back on, "You're going back to work!" she exclaimed. "Yes, something's come up, I'll see you late tonight if the problem doesn't take too long to resolve." Vincent replied wearily. "This is the third time this week Vincent, and you know I'll be long asleep before you ever get home, if at all, aren't you tired of this shit after all the years you've been doing it?" Loretta responded with a concerned, although well-rehearsed question. "The price we pay for doing that which must be done, it's the weekend soon." Vincent also rehearsed verbatim this statement more times than either he, nor Loretta could recall, he said it with a slight smile and that unquantifiable subtle charm she'd fallen in love with 30 years before. "Drive safely, and sleep at the office if you're too tired to drive don't forget you've been up since 5 this morning" she said softly as she stood up, graced over the room and gently kissed his cheek, the tenderness of the moment perservering in spite of Lucas' intruding music. "I'll see you later dear" Vincent responded as he hugged her briefly as he ran his fingers through her tangled hair. And with that last gesture Vincent walked out of the bedroom destined for his top-floor office complex in one of the many skyscrapers downtown. 8:18 the bedside clock said.

// optional next step //

Loretta was right, she was fast asleep when Vincent finally laid down beside her in bed, 4:19 the bedside clock said. "40 minutes of sleep until tomorrow, this can't really be my life..." he thought to himself as he drifted quickly into sleep... "this can't really be my life..."

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