I was going through my files when I ran across this story fragment. I’m not sure where I was going with this, but it surely sounds interesting. I wish I could remember.
Anyway, enjoy and let me know what you think.
Never let it be said that I hadn’t anything to say. Take last week, for instance. I was just leaving work for a long-planned weekend with Trisha, my girlfriend, when Thomas, my boss, handed me a stack of folders all containing client files that needed to be sorted and the account reports, whether they’ve paid us or not, needed to be double checked and filed. These had to be done before I left, of course.
Thomas is like that. He singles out people he doesn’t like and assigns extra work to them, usually just as they are about to leave for the day. He particularly likes to do this on Friday’s. Today was my turn to be the victim.
It’s not like he’s anything special, either. Thomas is one of those guys who thinks he is good-looking. He dresses nice, I suppose, usually wearing slacks, loafers, and a brightly primary colored shirt (today was canary yellow) with a brightly colored, usually clashing, tie. (Today was bright red).
As usual, his glasses, rather thick, were sliding down his nose and his hair was still slightly unkempt. Somehow, he was allowed to wear his bed hair to work. No one was entirely sure why, though a slew of theories were bandied about in the break room or at lunch. Some of these theories were more probable than others, of course, but that’s the thing about rumors and theories; you only need a modicum of truth to carry the weight of the lie.
The most widely believed theory was that Thomas was sleeping with one of the higher up bosses. Daniel Washington was the odds on favorite for this duty, though why was still a mystery to me. Neither Daniel nor Thomas were admitted homosexuals. And Daniel had pictures of what I assumed anyway, to be his wife and children on his desk.
Daniel was slight of build, though, and not very tall. An accident as a child left his upper lip scarred and it resulted in a slight lisp. This is probably where the rumor of his homosexuality came from; the myth that all gay men have a lisp.
Like all good bosses, Daniel never talked about himself or his personal history, except once. He let it slip that he had served in Iraq during the 2003 invasion. He never talked about it, but he didn’t have to. It was in his eyes. A passing comment or a name would trigger this look on his face. His eyes got this far away look in them, like he was staring off into the distance. I’ve heard veterans call it the ‘thousand yard stare.’ It didn’t happen often, but he got real quiet when it did, and I knew to stay away and not bother him.