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Time Warp Again, The
|This story is the third segment in a series, it comes after "That Old Black Magic" and "What's In a name?".|
|Sunday night was not one of my finest moments. I was still very hung over from my excursion to the party at what was once Gabe and Genie's and is now Gabriel and David's. I had stacks of papers to go over for my classes on Monday and I was feeling pensive. To be blunt I was being a real bitch. I was sulking in the living room surrounded by a fortification of dusty library books.
I had my Lauren hill blasting to such ear piercing levels that the neighbors probably assumed she was in concert in our kitchen. The reason I had cranked the volume up was to drown out the tireless thumping emanating from Brian's room. He had come home earlier that evening with a girl and took her straight up the stairs without passing go. She was cute enough, with a blonde ponytail and Capri pants. I don't know why I had not been informed that the "Gidget" look had somehow come back in vogue. As she followed Brian up to his room you could see in her big doe eyes the zealotous adoration of a young peasant girl going to worship at the altar of her god. Brian on the other hand looked like he was trying to remember just exactly what her name was. Then again he always had a look of perpetual confusion, hell, he might be trying to remember which room was his.
It turns out that Brian was such a slave to convention and stereotype that he actually had his bedpost right up against the wall so it would slam whenever he was slamming. If you know what I mean. And boy was he slamming tonight. It sounded like we were drilling for oil on our second floor.
It was in the middle of Lauren's ballad "Dat thing" that Gino sauntered in with a big grin. He wore a pair of plastic green pants and a tight black T-shirt, oil stains smudged his smooth arms and face. His blonde hair was in disarray. And my only thought was he either just got off work or he's been blowing the guys at the gas station again. He had a nasty tendency to take the term full-service to the extremes.
He didn't even pause before he joined the chorus and began to coyly and painfully serenading me "That thing that thing�That thi-I-I-I-ing" His hips moved back and forth and he swayed powerfully to the beat.
I turned the stereo off almost immediately.
"Aww C'mon!" he complained.
I looked back at him in innocent curiosity "Oh do you like Lauren hill?"
"Then why are you trying to offend her by brutalizing her music like that?"
He gave me a dark look and then rolled his hulking shoulders in a deep laugh "Oh no you didn't!" Gino walked around my wall of work and sat down across from me, "Why are you so happy tonight?"
"Unlike some irresponsible party boys, I have class work to do. I can't just go to work and come home with all the time to listen to "I will survive" and work out I want." I replied acidly.
Gino looked at me and then shot his gaze down, "Well neither do I now�"
"I kinda quit my job at the garage." His deep Italian voice had the tone of a reluctant child.
"Why did you do that you big dumb Guido." I asked exasperated.
"The guys at the garage man, they keep ridin' me about how I dress and stuff. They started callin' me Ms. Salvatore. And I mean I can only beat the hell out of them so many times." His dark eyebrows furrowed in frustration and I suddenly had a twinge of guilt. Nothing big but just a twinge though, it's hard to get real upset when you don't have a conscience. Whatever I did to Gabriel and David in my drunken stupor it had some how managed to provide them both with new jobs to go with their new lives. Maybe I just wasn't as thorough with Gino.
I put down a tome and looked at his big green eyes, "Do you want me to do something about them? I could go over there and have a little talk with your�"
"No!" he answered vehemently waving his hands wildly making the bracelets he wore on his right hand clank loudly. "No you don't have to do anything Damien, I got a new job lined up anyway."
I eyed him suspiciously from behind my black bangs. Why in the world would he be so adamant about me not getting involved? Then a really shocking thought occurred to me. Perhaps Gino had some kind of inclination as to how I might plan to deal with them. I considered it for a moment and then quickly pushed it aside. If he realized what was really going on he'd have to be as smart as me maybe even smarter. And there just was no WAY that was the case.
"You got a new job?....Where?"
"Up on 64th. I'm going to interview to manage a gym." He said proudly flashing his big pearly grin.
"Well you better get it. I'm not going to carry your rent because you're too damn sensitive to work."
Gino and I both looked up to see Eric's unannounced presence in the doorway. He stood there in a crisp new blue suit with his brief case slung over his shoulder. His neatly trimmed brown hair was slicked back away from his face and it gleamed with hair gel. He took off a pair of circular Donna Karen sunglasses and regarded the both of us with undisguised contempt. "I hope you plan to clean up this mess," he looked at me, " I don't want to have to stop inviting people over to my own house because I'm embarrassed of the way you people live." The tone in which he said "you people" was not flattering at all.
I looked him in the eye "Oh no My plan was to continue piling 300 year old priceless antique books around the house as if they were old TV Guides until me and Gino here had enough to recycle them and get a whole nickel."
Gino slapped his plastic covered knee and convulsed in a gale of laughter. Eric on the other hand was unamused, "Keep laughing' Gino. You're going to need that nickel while your down at the unemployment line."
"Christ man why don't you lay the hell off?" the Italian man stood up and faced his accuser. Eric's tight swimmers build paled in comparison to Gino's broad chest and granite arms. They stood there facing off for a few tense minutes, the tall Italian muscular bottle blonde and the fit 5'9 brown haired executive. Eric faced him down however with his cool uncaring stare and brushed passed him to the kitchen.
"I'm outta here, " Gino declared and grabbed a shiny leatherjacket from the hall closet.
I called after him, "Gino you left the closet door open�"
Eric broke into cruel barking laughter, "Yeah in more ways then one."
His only response was the violent slamming of the front door.
�All right the pretty boy now officially had it coming to him.
"What the hell is your problem?" I asked him as he took a swig from a bottle of Evion.
"I don't have any type of problem. Why?"
"Then what was all that bullshit about Gino being in the unemployment line just cause he's switching jobs."
He gave me a long suffering look, "Come on Damien," I think that was the first time the man had actually acknowledged that I had a name, "You know his kind, they're out of work and then suddenly they're collecting welfare and my hard earned money is going to support there whole family."
"His kind of people? And what exactly are his kind of people?"
"White trash." He said bluntly. "I mean the man was a mechanic."
By now I was already mentally thinking of all the interesting mind numbing migraines my west Indian voodoo doll would give the son of a bitch.
Eric looked at himself in the hall mirror making sure he had no tell tale five o'clock shadow on his perfectly angular jaw. "For as stupid as he is I guess I should be glad he's got a job at all, and isn't in some government assistance program for the mentally handicapped."
I sat back and just let the jerk dig his hole deeper and deeper. "You know Brian isn't exactly reciting the Iliad off the top of his head either."
Eric turned to me in agitation; the snot was pissed because I had the nerve to question him. "Brian at least serves some kind of purpose in the world. He goes out there and runs into some other big dumb jock so that the great unwashed masses can stay mindlessly entertained for another weekend of their dull little lives."
I focused intently on Eric's arrogant smile, "And what's your opinion of me?" My voice was a little darker and threatening then I had intended.
His smile broadened realizing he had pushed several of my very accessible buttons. "You seem to be somewhat intelligent, but you're a little too impressed with your own individuality."
"And what is your major anyway,� history?" he scoffed.
"Ancient Civilizations, with a focus on their beliefs and religious ceremonies."
He laughed right in my face, "And what are you going to do with that? Take all that wasted education and use it to what? Teach?" his laughter continued, "Do you know what teachers make? You might as well be a bagboy. Why would you want to strive for mediocrity?"
"Actually I've recently decided to use it for behavioral rehabilitation."
Eric was confused "I don't get it"
"Oh you will�believe me�you will."
He looked taken aback not knowing why the statement sounded so ominous. "I don't have time for this. I'm supposed to meet Claire Eddington for drinks at the MountDyne Club." He said the names "Claire Eddington" and "the MountDyne club" as if he excepted me to be impressed. When it was obvious I wasn't he sighed in disgust grabbed his Armani coat and left. "My time is too valuable to waste on you people." Was his parting remark.
My plans for Eric began to coalesce the second the door shut. My mind was racing and I can tell you it sure, as hell wasn't sugarplums dancing in my head.
It took me three hours to find just the right passage in one of my books and by then Gino was walking through the front door, drunk and searching for balance. I looked up from the dusty pages with a smile of genuine pleasure, "Just the man I wanted to see!"
"What's happenin'?" he asked happily as he plopped down next to me.
I put my arms around his shoulders "how would you like to do me a big favor,"
"For you buddy anything." He slurred
"Go break into Eric's room and bring me his alarm clock." I have to admit I had an almost child like glee in my voice.
Gino was up and moving before he even considered asking why, "Why you want his clock?" he hiccuped.
"Because Gino my friend, Eric says his time is precious. I think we should help him savor every minute of the day."
"Whatever." He shrugged his massive shoulders and trudged up the stairs on his muscled calves.
I waited patiently and hummed happily "It's astounding �Time is fleeting �Madness takes it's toll�now listen closely�.Not for very much longer�I've got to keep control."
Eric Redman awoke promptly at six on Monday morning. He stepped out of his bed and slid off his pajamas and quickly put on a pair of jogging shorts and a sweatshirt. He left his home taking careful mental note that his roommates all still lay lazily in their beds. His jog lasted a half of an hour and carried him a good few miles.
He absolutely despised jogging but it kept him in shape and physical stamina and appearance were two very important factors in business.
When he got back to the house he got right into the shower. He let the refreshing steam roll over him and he meticulously planned his itinerary for the day. He washed his hair with expensive imported shampoo and conditioned it afterwards. He slowly shaved his face paying close attention so as to attain a perfect shave. He finished up by moisturizing and then cleaning the shower floor.
Eric wiped the steam away from the bathroom mirror and admired his reflection. It was not vain to admit he was a handsome man. He had had the kind of chiseled angular face one might find in an Abercrombie and Finch catalogue. His blue eyes shone brightly in the granite rock of his cheekbones and were accentuated by slim brown eyebrows. He put a dab of gel precisely the size of a dime in his hand and slicked his chestnut hair back against his forehead. He was a picture right out of GQ.
He stepped back and took in the appearance of his whole trim frame. His chest was compact without being to muscular, his arms were cut without being too bulky and the only hair he had was a sprinkling across his pecs and a bunny trail that lead to his dick. His embarrassing morning wood still lingered, His Penis lying half-hard against his smooth leg. He paid the need in his shaft no mind. Guys who let themselves be lead around by their dick, were thinking with the wrong head. They were the kind of men who judged their dick size like it meant something. Eric knew it was the size of your stock portfolio not your dick that mattered
Athletic but completely proportionate. Perfect�in his own mind.
He wrapped a towel around his waste and headed to his room to get dressed.
Once In his room he pulled out a pair of fresh silk Calvin Klein boxers and quickly put them on. Then he perused his closet for a good ten minutes indecisively until settling finally on a blue Brooks Brother's suit. He finished off his attire with his gold Rolex and a red tie that cost him a small fortune. He grabbed his briefcase and headed down stairs for breakfast.
He was irritated to find his Roommates all huddled around the table eating like pigs at slop. Brian mindlessly chewed on a piece of toast in a pair of his jogging shorts. Gino was furiously shoving fruit loops into his mouth and was wearing nothing but a small and very revealing flannel bathrobe. And Damien, dressed in baggy sweats, eyed him strangely from over the morning paper.
Instead of engaging in useless small talk he made himself a bagel and sliced a grapefruit. He finished his breakfast and quickly rushed to his car without so much as a "good morning".
He slid into the driver's side of his Jaguar and sped off to the offices were he was completing his Marketing internship. Sure the Jag was expensive but he had to maintain a certain appearance.
His father had pulled some strings and Eric's "internship" was more or less an executive level position. He had his own office, responsibilities and best of all: secretary.
On the way to his sixth floor office he shared an elevator with one of the guys in his intern program. Daniel Prescot was another Prep school alumnist with a Daddy who could toe the line. He was the golden boy in every sense of the world. Too tan skin, too blonde hair, and too white teeth. He was Eric's kind of people.
They talked casually about recent stock rises and falls, the best new restaurants, which VP's were in which exec's were out. Just basic shop talk.
"Where have you been hiding yourself lately?" He asked politely.
"Now that you mention it, I just got back from the Bahamas," the blonde answered.
"I can tell by all that tan skin," Eric replied staring straight ahead at the elevator doors.
Daniel began to laugh lightly, "what?" Eric asked turning to look at him.
His fellow Executive gave him a weird little wink, "Yeah, ALL this skin is tan man," And then the other man actually pulled his pants down a little on the side to expose the deep brown skin on his hip. "No tan lines."
Who knew Prescot was a fruit?
After Daniel's ridiculous display Eric refused to make conversation. He retreated from the confining space and with relief slyly said "Good morning Patty," his blonde haired assistant as he entered his office.
"Mr. Redman I've asked you before to call me Ms. Emery or if you must Patricia." She had her blonde mane piled up on her head in a braid showcasing her long neck. Patricia Emery almost had a model's good looks. Her smart red pants-suit jacket plunged deep into her neckline revealing the large cleft of her cleavage. And Eric took every opportunity to glare evidently at it. She became uncomfortable under his intense gaze and resituated her blazer.
"Whatever you say Patty. Now what's on the agenda for today?"
She sighed and resigned herself to another day of Eric Redman's special brand of personality warfare. "Your morning is booked until 12 for federal regulations reports, then your scheduled for lunch with Mr. Jarvis the VP of marketing, after which you have to go down to shipping for a brief meeting with the foreman of the second shift loaders." She paused looking up from her electric planner, "Oh and Ms. Eddington called she wants you to meet her for dinner."
Eric gave her a leering stare, "Thank you patty." He turned toward the paperwork on his desk, Patricia was almost out of the door before he suddenly realized what she had said and stopped her short. "What do you mean I have to meet with someone in shipping?"
"Company policy Mr. Redman all interns are to get a thorough overview of the company from top to bottom. You're to discuss quality control with one Mr. Hank Thomas." She told him patiently.
"Why would any executive have to know how the Neanderthals down in grunt labor do their job. It's not that difficult. We could get Mexican pack mules to do the same work." He complained.
"That being said," she replied in cold distaste, "Your appointment with him is for 2."
"That will be all patty." Eric said dismissing her angrily. He watched in undisguised interest the way her ass moved under the soft fabric of her pants as she quickly left his office.
Eric breezed through the Fed reports in almost 2 hours. The math was simple calculations he could easily estimate in his head and the ridiculous legal jargon that the government constantly tried to trip you up with was easy for someone of his intelligence to understand.
At 12 he walked across the street from his offices and met Mr. Jarvis at a classic Venetian restaurant for lunch. Jarvis was easy to charm with urbane stories about company gossip and new policies. They discussed recent events in the market and talked extensively about Eric's plans for the future.
Eric ordered a cob salad and mushroom anti-pasta with raspberry vinaigrette. Speaking to the waiter exclusively in Italian, and although the entr�e's in the menu were all presented with their Italian names the poor young girl who took their order was very confused. After she asked if he needed a translator Eric rolled his eyes and condescendingly replaced his order not only in English but in a slow almost baby talk.
Eric oozed charm and class from every poor of his body "�and so you see Mr. Jarvis I simply told her if all she had was an 82 I was willing to take something else of a better vintage, Kool-Aid perhaps."
Jarvis laughed tightly, his wrinkled cheeks shaking in polite mirth. "Eric you are very much you father's son. And if your as ambitious as he is I'm sure your going to go far with the company."
Eric smiled absolutely pleased with himself.
His day was going absolutely perfect until promptly at a quarter of two patty buzzed in to tell him that he had better get down to the loading docks or he was going to be late for his meeting. He angrily put aside his files and put on his coat. He was fuming about the bother of having to dignify the rank and file with his precious time the whole way through the building.
The shipping docks were crowded with heavy loading machinery, forklifts and crates making it hard for Mr. Redman to find his way to the foreman's office. He was stepping carefully around the various puddles of water, motor oil, and strange unidentifiable liquids so as to not destroy his expensive Italian loafers. After ten minutes of hopeless wandering he decided to flag down one of the random Neanderthals milling around aimlessly. He reluctantly turned to a tall man walking passed him. The man looked to be only a little older then him but he outweighed him by about fifty pounds. Eric mentally noted that the man looked like the lumberjack on the bounty commercials with his short beard, and bulky frame. That is of course if the bounty lumberjack had shopped exclusively at K-mart.
"You," Eric said pointing to him, "Where is Mr. Thomas's office."
The man looked at him with a scowl "Who's askin'?"
That remark made him suddenly very impatient "Excuse me� but have you noticed that I have on a suit and tie?" he asked condescendingly. "..And that you would be wearing a pair of dirty overalls. Now I know your probably not used to seeing people in ties, unless your at a funeral�or a hearing� but in the business world a tie denotes some kind of importance. Overalls don't. Which makes me important �you not. So hurry up and tell me where the head unimportant person's office is."
The guy bit down on his lower lip and began squeezing his huge hands into balled up fists. Eric had the frightening thought that this brute might hit him. "You don't have to go to my office, I'm right here." Hank answered.
The young executive was slightly taken aback but quickly regained his arrogant edge. " Oh � I couldn't tell shouldn't you be wearing some sort of name tag. How do people tell you apart from your crew."
" I don't know how do they tell you apart from the rest of the kiss ass suits upstairs?" Hank answered gruffly.
Eric looked at the big man angrily. But Hank just regarded him blankly from under his heavy brown eyebrows. "Look I know you're down here to tour shipping, but I don't really want to lead another spoiled brat around by the hand so he can complain about the smell and how his little suit might get dirty. And my men don't like the disgusted way you pussy's look at them while they're doin real man's work. So why don't we just tell the brass up stairs that we went through with this bullshit and I can get back to work and you can get back to doing nothing alright?"
"Spectacular idea," Eric replied shortly, and turned in such a little tantrum that he stepped right in a puddle, splashing dark water al over his shoes. The men working around him all turned and laughed like a bunch of monkeys. The crew of manual labors all laughed raucously at him the whole way out. The only thing that kept him from causing a scene was the comforting thought that someday he would make more in a year then these farm animals would in there whole lives.
After the unpleasantness in shipping Eric was glad to relax with a simple dinner with Claire at the MountDyne club. Claire was not exactly his idea of a hot date, she didn't have patty's cleavage or legs or blonde hair�But she did thankfully have one thing patty did not, money. And lots of it. The Eddington's were Old money the kind of old money that came across the Atlantic not on the mayflower but on the Nina the Pinta and the Santa Maria. With her wealth and connections Eric was more then willing to put up with her vapid conversation, her less then beautiful face and emaciated little body.
He picked idly at his faux Gras while he listened to her prattle on about the latest gossip from the Hampton's and how a certain sorority sister of hers had gotten her nose done. He interspersed her insipid little conversation with "Really Claire?" and "Isn't that great." Meanwhile he was thinking almost exclusively of his assistant patty in and out of her pants suit.
He dropped Claire off with a parting kiss and a lustful glance�at her estate.
He arrived home to a darkened house. Brian was probably out at some licivious frat party; Gino was most likely at a club and Damien�God only knows where he was.
He poured himself a glass of brandy from his private stash, watched a little CSPAN and then went right to bed.
�Damien walked through the front door just in time to see the light from Eric's room wink out. "Now the real fun begins," He chuckled.
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