Jane goes to Frankie Bananaz
A year spent perfecting the art of Chief Secretary at Head Office dragged by and Jane decided it was time for her weary, emotionally run down, and stressed body to take a break from dreary office life. She felt as if her limbs had grown wooden. They were ever so slowly being transformed into one of the tables or chairs which dotted the office floor. She put in a request for leave which was promptly approved by Mr. Strange and his floozy; a whole glorious week starting the day after her birthday.
As a semi send off and coinciding with her birthday, Tracy the red head from the lab and the principal studio photographer Kerry, wanted to spoil Jane. Between them they decided that Jane was far too innocent and too plain; their common goal became to show her that life in general, was for the living, for grabbing the bull by the horns, carpe diem and all that stuff. Plain Jane would be turning 27 and still lived at number 99 Singletonville. Time was of the essence; she would finally be woken from her long and agonizing sleep; not by a fairytale prince but by two determined women.
They booked a table for three at Frankie Bananaz; a cocktail bar on the outskirts of town. Jane was flattered, yet apprehensive, when she heard about the upcoming event. She went down her “get out of everything” list, trying every which way to wriggle herself out of going. She blamed her grandma (deceased), her dog (he ate her shoes), her parents (annoying) and the world at large. However, a tiny shard of excitement grew into a whole window pane and her vivid imagination took flight. A tiny, hidden corner of her mind remained afraid, which made her heart thump wildly in her chest. She didn’t know what to expect and she hated expecting the unexpected.
Of course Jane knew what cocktail bars were; at least she thought she knew. They were places filled with alcohol, hazy smoke and loud, obnoxious, intoxicated people. Jane had never let her hair down; as a child she was encapsulated in a tiny, prismatic glass cage which only ever reflected her own image; immediate family and home. She was never allowed to go on school tours; extra-mural activities were a definite no and driving to and from school were simply too much for her mother to handle. Thus, whenever Jane was in a crowd, she felt uncomfortable, scared out of her wits and more than willing to climb back into her own skin, much like a turtle creeps into its shell, whenever it feels threatened.
Now is the time to tell you, dear reader that Jane carried a scarred heart within the confines of her body. She was born into a family where alcohol and nicotine reigned supreme. Some nights were so taxing on Jane, that she cried herself to sleep, her pillow wet with tears, wishing she had never been born. She took the burden upon herself, naively thinking that she was in fact the reason for the dark, ominous cloud that hovered over her family. She grew up to abhor the sight and smell of both liquor and nicotine and vowed never to allow either of them to pass her lips. She hid the deep, dark family secret from all who knew her. At times, Jane fought back, breaking every cigarette she could find in the house and by pouring a bottle of vodka down the drain whenever she could. The liquor-nicotine demon fought back harder and Jane retreated to her corner, broken and defeated.