Father Knows Best

 
   William “Bix” Bixby, Jr., (not William “Bill” Bixby, Sr., that would be his father) loved his job selling electronics at Best Buy. His father hated it.
   Bix thought selling smart phones and computers and TVs and cameras was the perfect job. He loved the products – who wouldn’t? – he got a decent paycheck and his swing shift schedule didn’t interfere with his morning painting. If he got up at the right time, and had breakfast with Sarah before she went to work, most days the light was perfect in his spare-bedroom studio by time he settled in to work.
   Bill, Sr., thought his son was a thirty-five-year-old slacker-wannabe-artist who needed a real job at Bixby Development Corporation, which had built out half the town of Fremont, Arizona.
   Sarah Mae Lawson, Bix’ wife of two years, who kept her own last name, just wanted to put together a down-payment on one of BDC’s townhouses, maybe in The Owl’s Nest, BDC’s newest neighborhood just outside the city limits off I-40. Bill, Sr., told her clerk/artists don’t make as much as the lowest paid commission salesman at BDC, so she was of two minds about Bix’ Best Buy career.

   The rest of the story is HERE.

 

Duck, Duck, Goose

 
   “Max,” The Boss said, “we’ve noticed your efforts around here and it’s time we did something more than just notice. Starting the first of next month you’ll move into Jack Jeffries old office and you will be known as Media Services Director. You’ll also notice a modest bump on your next paycheck. I wish it could be more, but as it is, I’m going to have to slip this thing by the Board while they’re distracted by bigger numbers in the budget.”
   Max Tanner was quietly ecstatic. Almost everything about Max was quiet, except for his aloha shirts, which he wore year-round. He loved what he did: the website tinkering, the Facebook page, the Twitter feed, the Instagram account. it still took his breath away when a new Facebook post hit a thousand views.
   He took out his iPhone and texted Genevieve, his girlfriend of ten years. At thirty-eight and thirty-seven, most people assumed they were married, but they weren’t. Max didn’t know whether Gen preferred it that way or was silently perturbed that he hadn’t brought an offer to the table.
   Maxie, that’s terrific! I just forwarded your text to all my peeps. Let’s have a party! A big party!
   This made Max quietly distraught. The problem with big parties was they weighed on him like he imagined water weighed on a drowning man.

   The rest of the story is HERE.

 

Standoffish

 
   Alex was fifty-eight years old and he wanted to be a poet, not a bookkeeper. The thing is, he never actually wrote poems. It was much easier to google poetic forms and write down the format for a cinquain – five lines, with an ababb, abaab or abccb rhyme scheme – than to actually write one.
   But he may have finally stumbled onto something. He figured out that he could do a poem a week – which meant he could do fifty-two poems in a year, enough for a self-published volume of poems – if he worked on them during lunch. Except for Maria.
   “Alex,” she said, “why are you sitting over here by yourself? I got a table for everybody in the banquet room. Don’t be so standoffish.”
   Everybody was the entire staff of Waldron and Waldron, CPAs. He had made the mistake of telling Maria, the office manager, about Templeman’s, just two blocks from the office and, until now, usually overlooked by the downtown Seattle professional types. Now Maria had everybody showing up there for lunch.
   He closed his laptop and the old-school composition book where he kept his ideas. He stuffed them into his shoulder bag and followed her. When they got to the banquet room she announced, “Alex has agreed to stop being a dork and join us. Let’s hear it for Alex.” A couple of of his friends from bookkeeping started a slow clap. Everybody else glanced up for a second, then went back to gabbing.
   Maria had Alex sit next to her, then ignored him while she talked to Chuck, about how to deal with accelerated depreciation for software installations. He ate his PB&J sandwiches and bag of Fritos without saying anything to anybody.

   The rest of the story is HERE.