Sunday, January 08, 2012

Sunday Morning Breakfast Serial

Who in the @#$% is Boone Carter?

I arrived at work fifteen minutes late, and caught hell from the foreman for it.  He was standing toe to toe with me, pointing his index finger into the middle of my chest and shouting when Mr. Carmichael came up.

"That's enough Joe.  He gets the message."

Joe turned, mouth open to argue, until he realized just who it was talking to him.  His eyes got dark, and narrowed, but he didn't argue.  He just stepped back a couple of paces, giving me a look that said as clearly as words that this isn't over.  I didn't doubt that.  Not for a minute.  Joe Sanchez hates me.  Pure and simple.  Don't know why.  Don't particularly care, either.  I show up every day, on time, do a good job, I keep my nose clean, don't argue or mouth off.  So he doesn't have any ammo to fire me.  But he would if he could. 

"Boone, come with me to the office.  We need to talk."  Mr. Carmichael smiled, nice and friendly.   It just pissed Joe off more.  Carmichael cared even less than I did.  Old Mrs. C might not think he was tough, but everybody on the site sure did.  If Joe crossed him, Carmichael would fire his ass faster than you can say jackrabbit, despite the fact that Joe's worked for the company twenty years and has a passel of young kids to raise. 

I followed Carmichael to the corner of the site where one of those classic silver Airstream travel trailers was parked.  For small jobs it stays on the company lot.  But we'd won the bid to re-roof all of the dorm buildings for the local college, so we were going to be here a while, and the old man wanted to be on site making there were no grounds for complaint about how we behaved around the co-eds.  Thus far, everybody'd been behaving pretty well.  A couple of guys got injured because they were distracted by some sunbathers, but that had been bound to happen. 

Carmichael climbed the trio of metal steps and opened the door "Darlene," he called.  "Go buy yourself some breakfast or something."

"Yessir."   Darlene hustled up from the back, where the bedroom area had been converted into an office.  She took the twenty he pulled from his wallet with a big smile.  "Can I get you anything?" 

"Naw.  I'm good.  And Boone here won't be staying long." 

"All righty then."  She squeezed through the doorway past the boss with a little extra wiggle and teetered off toward the parking lot where the "BurritoMan" truck was waiting.  We both watched her go.  Today she was dressed in jeans that were practically painted on, and that had been bedazzled as heavily as one of Elvis'  jumpsuits.  Big hair, big boobs, high heels: she was flashy, a little trashy, and hard as nails.  But somehow the whole thing worked for her---at least as far as Carmichael was concerned.  I pretended not to see his hand twitch as he fought not to patt her on the ass as she passed.

"Come in.  Sit down."  He gestured through the door at the built-in dining area across from the miniscule kitchenette.

When I was comfortably seated he pulled a pair of cups from the cabinet, pouring us each a cup of coffee.  He set mine in front of me and took a seat.

"So, tell me Boone.  What did my mother want you to do that she doesn't want me to know about?"

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