Two Gold Bars

I hate reading newspapers. The physical kind, I mean. With computers, who even needs them anymore? I’d just gotten off work, and this morning’s newspaper was already ancient history.

But there was just something about this kid selling papers on the corner of Main and Mangum. Maybe it was his youthful, perhaps naive, sense of entrepreneurship. Maybe it was the nostalgic sense that I wouldn’t get too many opportunities to buy newspapers in the future. I don’t know.

What I did know was that it was a rare day that I had spare change in my pocket, and why not make an enterprising young boy smile? I grabbed two quarters out of my pocket and handed them to the kid. No words were exchanged, just understanding. Continue reading

Duly Noted

Mary lost the promotion again. This time she lost to Jessica, who won the promotion by sleeping with their boss Jerry, and with Jerry’s boss Rob just for good measure. Last time, she lost the promotion to John, not a year out of college but whose dad was Vice President of Operations. The time before that, she had lost it to Zach, who had spread rumors around the fourth floor and gonorrhea around the fifth.

Mary had always done things the right way, and that’s how she approached her career. She wanted a promotion based on skill and loyalty. When Jessica’s promotion was announced, she walked briskly to the bathroom because that’s where she goes when she has a panic attack. She locked the stall door behind her before noticing the unflushed tampon floating in the toilet.

“No one gives a shit!” Continue reading

The Unseens

Most people think of them as coincidences, miracles, fate, or good luck. It’s none of those. Every single one of those situations is fixed by a group of heroes called The Unseens.

We helped you swerve around that car that slowed down suddenly because the driver just got a text message she just has to read right now. We helped your kid know the answer to a multiple choice question, so he gets a a instead of an B, the difference between a full and partial college scholarship. Continue reading

Jigsaw

“I got nothing.”

The words were damning, but the admission was a relief.

Things never work out as you plan. Your brain comes up with a ton of ideas until it’s time for a brainstorming meeting at work, when all of a sudden you draw a blank. You have money in your bank account when things are steady but you’re broke when there’s an emergency.

The puzzle pieces never fit together.

A week ago, my bus was hijacked. The two dozen passengers, including myself, were driven to some compound out here in the middle of nowhere. We might still be in Colorado. We might have made it to Utah. I’m really not sure, but there are mountains. Continue reading