La Jerga Mexico La Jerga Mexico
La Jerga Mexico
"I have known more men destroyed by the desire to have wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink and harlots."
~William Butler Yates

The news came a week prior to the annual office holiday party. The head of the group was leaving the firm and taking his top two senior officers with him. A sense of abandonment was permeating throughout the office. It seemed as if their departure was extremely well timed with the guarantee of their enormous bonuses. When one ran the most prestigious trading desk on Wall Street for over a decade, one’s compensation could be considered extremely generous. Even by the Street’s standards.

The afternoon leading up to the holiday party, one of the traders decided to pump some tunes out of his computer to lighten up the mood. The tracks shuffled at random through the computer’s mp3 player, as music boomed through the extra speakers and subwoofer.

“Hey Bill, why don’t you lower the bass a little bit. I’m trying to work on tonight’s skit,” Tony said, referring to the annual holiday party tradition where various employees would perform skits that would usually make fun of the various personalities within the department. In past years, the upper management were popular targets for these skits.
“You know what,” added Tony, “on second thought, let’s raise the volume on this song.” It was the Steve Miller Band’s Take the Money and Run. This year’s skits would have a certain zing to them.
“Hey Ron, I heard it’s your birthday today,” Mark said as he passed by Ron’s desk.
“Yeah that’s right,” replied Ron.
“How old are you? 25? 26?”
“Ha, I wish. I’m 28 today.” Ron wondered to himself if he was going to be answering the same question when he was in his thirties, still sitting behind his desk, stuck in some sort of middle management circle of the office Inferno. Mark interrupted Ron’s train of thought by saying, “Hey man, I’ll buy you a drink tonight.”
“That’s a good one bud, you know it’s open bar tonight,” replied Ron.
“So what time are you heading over to the party?”
“I got lots to do bud. Go on ahead and I’ll meet you over there.”
“C’mon, it’s your birthday man. Go shorty, it’s your berf-day. We gonna party like it’s your berf-day,” Mark said as he bobbed his head up and down. Here was Mark, a waspy, straight-laced kid who spent his summers in Newport and winters in Aspen, all made possible due to his access to his family’s private jet, now imitating a gangster rapper from Queens in front Ron, whom originally grew up in Queens.
“That should be your skit for tonight Mark. You could be the ascot rapper.”

The holiday party was held in a plush ballroom in an old New York hotel. As Ron walked in, he was handed a glass a champagne by one of the servers. He took it down in one gulp and proceeded straight to the bar. He just spent his 28th birthday sitting for eleven and half-hours on the trading desk and felt it was now time to unwind.

He recognized most of the people in the ballroom and made a beeline for his three female co-workers who were chatting it up amongst themselves. These were the “untouchables” of the leverage finance group. The three youngest, most attractive girls on the floor. And for that cocktail hour, Ron was holding court before being ushered into an even larger ballroom for some dinner, some music and the infamous skits.

The skits were particularly brutal this year, Ron thought. But everyone in the grand ballroom was anticipating Tony’s skit, which was saved for last. Ever since joining the firm several years ago, Tony was dubbed the unofficial master of ceremonies of the holiday soirée. With his flare for great comedic timing and clever wit, his skits would make the whole room laugh out load and wonder how much he can get away with. Tony basked in his moment and when he was finished, he worked the room like the top-notch salesman that he was. Bouncing from table to table, making sure to greet everyone and exchange pleasantries.

When he reached Ron’s table, Tony quickly whipped out his credit card.
“Ron, enjoy your birthday and have a fun evening.”
“You bet!” replied Ron, as his eyes lit up with all the possibilities the night had in store. After several hours of open bar, Ron was ready to ditch his coworkers. He was ready to leave the party when Jose, a junior on the trading floor, walked up to him.
“I heard Tony gave you his credit card” Jose said, right before finishing up his Amstel Light bottle.
“Yeah, this party is beat. Do you want to see what’s up with the after-party?”
“Why not,” replied Jose, “it’s right in the bar across the street.”
So the two of them stumbled across the street to find the after-party was in full swing.

“I don’t know man,” sighed Ron. “I work with these people for over 60 hours a week. Besides, this place already smells like someone puked in here.”
“What did you have in mind?” inquired Jose.

Scores West was one of the newest mega strip clubs to open on the west side of Manhattan. Inside was a mammary Mecca, a temple of decadence. Ron and Jose gathered themselves as they stepped out of the taxi and made a dash to the large doors, which were held open by the doorman. The heavens had opened up and by the time they got inside, their jackets were completely drenched.

“Enjoy yourselves gentlemen,” said the doorman as he opened the door. “It’s a slow night because of the rain, so you’re bound to get specialized attention.”
“Well, that’s why we’re here”, replied Jose.

After entering the club, they realized that it was pretty desolate, except for the curvaceous platinum blond dancing on stage with body glitter. They plopped themselves down on a table and within seconds, there was a beautiful girl at their side, requesting their drink order.

“Two Amstel lights please,” said Ron.
“Would you like to pay cash or start a tab?” asked the waitress.
“I’ll start a tab”
“We’ll need a credit card and an ID.”

Ron handed over the platinum credit card and his driver’s license.
While waiting for the drinks, several girls approached the table for some dances. The guys declined the first wave of girls, but were soon mesmerized by an extremely busty brunette that grabbed a seat from an adjoining table and situated herself right in between them.

“Hi, I’m Vanessa”
The two guys were speechless.
“Would either of you two guys like a dance?”
Jose quickly exclaimed, “Hell yeah!”

As Vanessa gave Jose his dance, Ron looked around and signaled for one of the girls who were gathered by the bar to come over. As she approached Ron, he tried to figure out her ethnicity. Partly Black, partly Asian, it was hard to tell. Ron looked down and noticed that hadn’t even touched his beer. The open bar had treated him well.
Ron asserted himself, “Excuse me, I was wondering if you want to sit down with us for a while?”

“I’m Reena, nice to meet you”
“I’m Ron and that’s my boy Jose with Vanessa.” “Would you like a dance?”
“No, not right away. Wouldn’t you like a drink first?”
While waiting for the drinks to come, Ron struck up some small talk with Reena.
“So, what kind of name is Reena?”
“It’s Indian. My dad is Indian and my mom was half black and half Malaysian. So how about that dance?”
Ron looked over to Jose and saw that he had a permanent grin on his face.
“Actually, I was wondering if we can hang out somewhere a little more private,” inquired Ron.
“Sure, we can head towards the back.”

Ron tapped Jose on the shoulder, “C’mon bud, we’re going VIP style tonight. Bring your friend.”
They were led through a short hallway and through large, heavy black velour curtains. Inside there were several couches and tables with dim lighting. It was much cozier than the main room. The girls led the two guys to separate couches and proceeded to grind their bodies as the guys laid down.

“Would anybody like anything else to drink”?
“No, no not for me” Ron slurred, “whatever the girls want.” Ron was still nursing the first beer he had ordered.
“Actually, I’m pretty hungry,’ said Reena. “Are you guys hungry?”
“No, not really. But order whatever you want.”

After several dances, various plates of food appeared in the VIP room and Ron began to wonder exactly how much this bill was going top be. But the tremendous amount of alcohol he consumed at the office party and the natural 38C’s he was gently kissing and sucking made it difficult for him to stay focused. He knew he had stopped drinking, but Jose and the girls were still going strong with their attempt to try practically every top shelf liquor.

While the girls were eating, Jose suggested they should switch up. Ron didn’t disagree, so he played along. He was about to look at his watch to check the time when Vanessa crawled over to him, parted his legs and rose up in between them, breathing heavily into his ear.

“Are you ready for me?” she whispered into his ear.
Ron began cupping her breasts. They were extremely firm and seemed to defy gravity.
“Do you like them?” asked Vanessa.
“Your surgeon did a great job.”
“They were a gift from my last boyfriend.”
“What a lucky guy.”
“Actually he was dick. What about you? Any girlfriends?”
“Nah, my heart gets broken too easily.”
Vanessa chuckled.
“You’re so cute. And relaxed. And quiet. Unlike your friend.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know. You’re just different. Very chill.”
“Probably because it’s late and I’m a bit tired.”
“Are you saying you’re not having a good time?”
“No, no, no. This is great. You’re absolutely amazing. This is probably one of my best birthdays ever.”
“It’s your birthday? Why didn’t you tell me? C’mon and follow me.”
She led Ron by the hand through the curtains and down another hallway.
“Where are we going?” asked Ron.

They entered an even smaller, more intimate room, which contained just a leather loveseat and side table. Vanessa locked the door behind them.
“Wow, this is pretty cool” Ron said.
“Sit down honey.”

As Ron sat down, she began to untie his belt and unzip his pants. Ron was thinking that this was easily the best birthday he ever had. After several minutes, the door burst open and a humungous bouncer pushed Vanessa aside and grabbed Ron by the collar.

“C’mon pal, party’s over. Pull your pants up and come with me,” quipped the gorilla.

After getting himself together, Ron was led to the management’s office. He saw his co-worker Jose was already there, arguing with several large men in black suits.

One of the men pointed at Ron.
“You guys are going to jail!”
“What are guys talking about?” asked Ron.
“The cops are coming in ten minutes and hauling your asses to the precinct.”
“What for?”
“For using a stolen credit card.”
“Sir, this is just a misunderstanding, you see—”
“Bullshit, tell it to the cops”

This time Jose decided to join the conversation.

“You guys don’t know who you’re dealing with! We work with Albany Capital Management. Do you even know how much business you’ll lose once we spread the word!”

One of the large goons responded, “I don’t give a fuck who you are. You better calm the fuck down!”

“Relax Jose,” said Ron, “let me handle this. Sir, like I was saying, this is just a big misunderstanding. If you look at my ID, you’ll see that today is my birthday. My boss gave me his credit card to have a night on the town. The card is not stolen. If you want to call him up and wake him, he can vouch for us.”
“This is what I’m going to do,” began the manager. “I’m going to keep this credit card and your ID’s. Have your boss come down tomorrow night to pick them up.”
“No way,” replied Jose, “you’re not keeping my ID.”
“Relax man,” said Ron, “let’s just do as they say and get out of here.”

One of the large men in suits approached them and said, “Take my business card and have your boss come down tomorrow night. Now get the fuck out of my club.”

The two co-workers were escorted out into the rain where they shared a cab back to their respective apartments. Ron checked his cellular phone and noticed he had several voicemail messages. More importantly, he noticed the time. It was 4:10 in the morning and he had to be back in the office in less than three and half hours. He checked his first voicemail message.

“Hola mijo, es tita, feliz cumpleaños.”
It was his grandmother, wishing him a happy birthday in Spanish. He sunk in the back of the cab as he tried to figure out his next move.

The alarm went off at 6:45AM and Ron shot straight up from his sleep. The previous evening’s events were fresh in his mind and he was still trying to figure out how to explain things. He arrived at the office and could hear the usual post-holiday party water cooler banter on the way to his desk.

“Did you see Mike at the bar, he threw up right in front of the bartender.”
“That’s nothing, I heard Vin hooked up with Karen.”

Ron was dreading having to explain the story to Tony.

The morning went by and everyone was recovering from his or her hangovers. All of sudden, Tony screamed out, “Ron, Jose, get the fuck in the conference room!”
Ron and Jose knew what was coming. Tony had a temper and it was going to get ugly.

“I just got a call from the manager of Scores. He told me you ran up a $5,700 tab on my credit card! And that you started mouthing off when they confronted you guys. I should call human resources right now and have you fired and scorted out of the building. We’re talking about grand larceny here!! Why did you fuck me?”

Ron bowed his head and said, “’I’m so sorry Tony. Things got out of control way too quickly.”
“How can the bill be $5,700?” added Jose.
Tony replied, “I don’t give a fuck what you guys say. I’m fucking furious. I’m livid. Get the fuck out of my face!”
The two dejected guys slumped back to their desks.

Around ten minutes later, various co-workers kept stopping by Ron’s desk.
They all asked the same question, all with smirks on their faces.
“So, did you have a good time last night?”
“What some guys do for some tits and ass” was another remark Ron heard throughout the day.

That afternoon, Ron’s telephone lines lit up like a Christmas tree. Various portfolio managers on Wall Street were calling him with the same question.
“Is it true? Were you the one?”

Ron, feeling like he had just lost his job, quietly affirmed their inquiries. To his dismay, they all seemed to get a great kick out of it. Even Ron’s old boss, who had relocated to Paris, gave him a call that afternoon.

“Hey, isn’t it like 9:30 at night over there?” asked Ron.
“I know everything. And I must tell you, that’s one of the most old school Wall Street stories I’ve heard in a long time. That’s so rock and roll.”

Ron was thinking if things were out of control last night, they were spinning even more out control from its after-effects. On a global scale. Ron had just become an instant legend, a part of the folklore in the closely-knit bond-trading world.

In the aftermath, Ron kept mostly to himself and distanced himself from his co-workers. He felt extremely terrible for betraying Tony’s confidence. Something he knew he could never regain. Even though he had paid Tony half the bill, while all the traders on the desk took up a collection amongst themselves to pay the other half, he knew things were not straight. He was well liked on the desk and that was the only reason why he hadn’t lost his job. Still, he brushed up his resume in case his worst fears were confirmed.

On Christmas Eve, Ron was the last to leave the office. He felt a hand on his shoulder. It was the head trader of the desk, Bill. He handed Ron two envelopes and wished him a merry Christmas. Ron looked inside the first envelope and it was a letter on company stationary stating that he earned a raise and higher title within the firm. The second envelope was a Christmas card, stuffed with cash equaling the amount of money Ron had paid Tony.

Inside the Christmas card was one single sentence:
“Merry Christmas you fucking dope, Bill”

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