At Work: Entry 1

“Jay? Jay wake your ass up, sis! You gotta get the bag today.”

“Girl, and? Them people don’t need me at this very moment,” Jay snapped half asleep. She must have answered the phone by instinct because she definitely wasn’t trying to wake up to all this. “Why you hollering first thing in the morning?”

“Okay, first, it’s ten twenty in the morning. You said your interview was at eleven thirty. Or did your high ass forget?”

Jay pulled herself upright in bed, putting the phone on speaker. “Taylor, my ass be high, but I don’t forget ‘bout my money.”

“Good, now get outta bed cuz I know you still in there,” Taylor teased. “And I hope you not still in there with one of them little fast ass girls you love running around with.”

Jay checked the ash tray on the night stand hoping she’d left herself a morning treat, but found it empty.

“Friend,” Jay started, “we are approaching a quarter century of life. We have earned the right to move a little faster.”   

Jay put the phone on speaker. She swung her feet to the floor, threw on the closest T-shirt she could find, and carried the phone with her.

“Did you send the bitch home or not?” Taylor continued. “And I don’t care if I’m on speaker.”

Jay tugged at her thick, messy fro in the mirror.

“Yeah, I told her skedaddle. Like I’m ‘bout to tell you so I can get ready,” Jay answered.

“Whaaaat?” Taylor fake gasped, “Here I am trynna shine some light on your morning, unlike these cloudy-brained girls you spend your time with, and you gon cast me out!”

“You are so extra!” Jay laughed. “I can’t have a little company in my own apartment.”

“Whatever, Jay. You better get this job because, even if you don’t, rent due.”

“Rent due!” Jay exclaimed.

“Thank you for that heavy dose of Sandtown-Winchester accent that I did not order on this fine Tuesday morning,” Taylor replied.

“Whatever, Pikesville,” Jay snickered.

“Jay!”

“Girl it’s over the phone, relax,” Jay scoffed. “Plus you know I got more than enough cash on hand.”

“Yeah yeah girl, we know you wanna be the plug so bad. But we can’t have happy hour in jail. So get it together!” said Taylor.

“Ard yo. I’m bout to roll up beforehand though.” Jay grabbed her rolling papers and took a final glance in the mirror before heading out to the kitchen.

“You ‘bout to interview high?” Taylor asked only half surprised. “Is that how we doing corporate life?”

“Relax, it’s a sativa,” Jay assured her. “Which is the only way to survive corporate life.”

“You rey be the youngest, Blackest copywriter at this company. You really want to be known as the nigga moving all slow in the corner?” Taylor asked.

“If I do my job right, nobody will notice I’m high,” Jay replied.

“Shaking my head! Don’t tell nobody else I recommended you. You know Trust don’t play them games with their slaves– I mean employees.”

“We still meeting at the bar tonight?” asked Jay.

“Yes, so bring the details,” Taylor replied.

“Bring some shorties!” Jay said grinning.

 “Bye, yo!” Taylor said before hanging up.

Now the time was ten thirty-nine. Jay had about forty minutes to roll, smoke, and get comfortable for the last job interview she was willing to apply for in this city. Her phone call with Taylor almost made her forget to check her notifications. Jay popped a Hot Pocket in the microwave and scrolled through a full day of emails. There wasn’t a single one with the word “Offer” in the subject. She tossed the phone on the island next to the growing pile of bills and opened the top cabinet in search of today’s flavor.

Soon as the doors opened, that sweet, pungent odor spilled out. The cabinet held at least a half dozen very large mason jars of the best homegrown bud in Baltimore. All different strains for different moods and occasions. White Widow would be perfect for lightening the mood and sparking up conversation. As Jay reached for the jar, she heard the phone ring again.

“Why y’all don’t want me to live today?” she sighed out loud. She looked at the screen and threw her head back in irritation.

Reluctantly, she answered “Wassup, Black?”

“Yo! I hope you free right now cuz we trynna make a play,” said an excited, raspy male voice.

The microwave beeped, and Jay hit the button to check the clock. Ten forty-eight. Plenty of time.

“How much you need?”