Crisp New Pages – Episode 4

Entry 43.1.35 – 10/31/2013


Oh Gerald today was such a good day. Of course it being a good day had nothing to do with work. Quite the opposite actually. Work today was as work is each day. Carol continues to monitor you. That consists of her asking you questions that have no bearing on your job and making demands that you can’t possibly meet thanks to Tom.

You say, “Carol, I’ve tried to explain that there is no way for me to compile, interpret, and report on our sales data until Tom gives me the data he’s collected.”

You want to say that but of course you don’t.

“Don’t make waves bigger than you can swim in”, Momma always used to say.

So what actually comes out is nothing. Your little tortoise head gets pulled inside your little tortoise shell and you weather the assault. You hunker down and endure the siege. The sharp staccato of her imprecise, insulting and often misused words. The the biological warfare that is her mix of coffee breath and perfume. That purple cloud of Shalimar. Important women used to wear Shalimar and she wants to be a grown up too. She is in her forties after all.

No. Today was a good day because you finished a project. Momma used to say you are a man of many talents. She also used to say, “A jack of all trades is a master of none”. Well you feel like you’ve at least mastered two or three of your hobbies. Today’s finished project is a masterpiece if you do say so yourself.

Your client came by at about eleven o’clock this evening. He of course was in a hurry and you made haste in showing him the finished products. A passport, drivers license, birth certificate, even a grocery store club card. Your client is now Stanley P. Sutton.

You went through all the bells and whistles. You showed him all of the difficult UV security features and watermarks. You explained that though you can’t do biometric passports, you set the issue date to early 2006 so that it would be valid for as long as possible. Finally you showed him the shredded files used to create his documents to ensure his total anonymity.

He seemed pleased and payed you in full. Ever since you “borrowed” your equipment from your previous employer, you have had quite the healthy income on the side. But really it’s about more than that. This equipment helped you so much, it just feels right to help those who are in similar predicaments.

The client didn’t stay long after he paid but you know you love that part. You get to show off but without all the awkward pats on the back and small talk. Its so much more clean that way.

Speaking of clean, you wish some of your other hobbies were as neat and tidy. You’ve been cleaning up the basement for two days now. It will be time for a trip to the dump soon. The chem supply store as well. Fixing one’s problems can be such demanding work.

* * *

Darren wanted Kenny to say something. To acknowledge how unsettling these journals were. To be smart and say that they needed to leave. That their club house was gone and it wasn’t safe to sneak back in there any more. He wanted Kenny to close the notebook, stand up and crawl back out through the loose floorboard with him. To come home with him so they could feel safe. Mainly he wanted Kenny to feel as scared he was feeling.

Instead Kenny smiled up at his friend with a freckled grin and an impish look in his eye. He asked,”I wonder if we could get this guy to make fake IDs for us?”