The Procrastinator

   Brian Bowman would put off the sunrise if he had that kind of power, which he obviously didn’t. Men with that kind of power don’t wipe other people’s literal shit off toilet seats, which was what he sometimes had to do as a maintenance man for Feingold Business Tower, which was mostly full of lawyers and shrinks and accountants. Maybe it was their clients who made the messes.
   Maintenance Man. What a joke. He hadn’t maintained much of anything after Daphne left. Or while she was still married to him, for that matter.
   They were only two, maybe three weeks into using ice chests to store everything, after the refrigerator died, when she fell apart.
   “I can’t live like this, Brian,” she said. “Nobody should have to live like this.”
   The next day he came home from work to find his neighbor, James “Jimbo” McMann, using a hand-truck to strongarm a shiny chrome Kitchen Aid into place.
   “Don’t you dare say anything,” Daphne had said. “Thank god Jimbo helped me figure out what to do and thank god for credit cards.” He wondered what else Jimbo had helped her figure out.

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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.

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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.