“Today’s gonna be one hell of a ride,” I mumbled before my supervisor unlocked and opened the door. “Hey, Carl.”
Carl looked at me with an ear-to-ear smile and said, “Mornin, Luke.”
I glared at Carl and sighed, “Luka. L-U-K-A. Please stop calling me ‘Luke.’”
Trying to be funny, Carl snapped his fingers and pointed finger guns at me, “Sorry, it just Luke’d like you had a sad expression on your face.”
I’m normally one that can appreciate some terrible word-play, but this was just horrendous beyond belief. Plus, it came from Carl, and I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me laugh. Having my morning practically ruined at the front door, I pushed my scooter forward and walked down the main aisle of the wine store, parking it in the back office. All of the chairs in the back office were tucked under their respective desks, including the seats of the store owners.
“The Dads aren’t in today?” I shouted at Carl as I walks out of the back office.
“One’s on vacation until the end of the month, and the other has meetings all week at the sister location,” he shouted back.
At least I got some good news today, I thought, as I turned the corner and went downstairs into the cellar storage area. I hooked left at the last step and went into the break room area, clocking myself in and dropping my bag on the back windowsill. Deep breaths in and out, a couple of arm stretches, and clearing my mind of all negatives thoughts helped me prepare for the possible bullshit that I’ll be dealing with today. I walked over and grabbed onto the edge of a nearby table, pulling back to help stretch out my arms and such. Morning stretches do wonder for the body much more than people imagine. Unfortunately, my mind was still a bit hazy with some negative thoughts; I wanted to try and bounce back from hearing the terrible joke my supervisor made.
I looked down at the table I was grabbing onto and dropped my hand on it, the hardwood, sturdy top making my knuckles crack when my hand it.
Without the slightest hesitation, I hold onto the edge of the table and slam my head into it with as much force as possible. An explosive boom sounded when my face crashed against the table, strong enough to make even some of the nearby stacks of boxes tremble from the vibration. If a normal person had did this, they would have immediately picked their face back up and rub their forehead, easily crying in pain from how much force was put into them wanting to hurt themselves. But for me, it felt like a small pebble hit me in the head; I shrugged off the pain.
I kept my head planted on the table, groaning, “I don’t know why I thought that would knock me out…”
“Is everything okay down there?” Carl called out.
I brought my head up and closed my eyes, hoping that I would magically pass out from any sudden pain, but it was useless. “Yeah. I’m all good. My bag fell over and hit the ground.”
“If you need help, just call out.”
Coming to the sad acceptance of me having to work another shift, I started my daily routine of preparing to get to work. I grabbed my tools—a box cutter, a black pen and red marker— restarted the downstairs computer, and walked around the cellar to unlock the other doors to the store. Walking around through the cellar always had the low hum of the central cooling unit going on. Most of the vents for the store were down here, allowing the cold air to keep all of the wine at a steady and chilled fifty-five degrees, perfect for both short-term and long-term storage. One minute you’re outside in the blazing sun, your skin feeling like it’s burning, but come down here and you’ll suddenly be in a polar ice cap.