Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.
May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others and a love within recall that alters you.
It was one of the samples from work. The Earth Worth line of green products. For every one you bought they’d plant a tree or was it bring cleaner water to photogenically starving children.
He rinsed it out, filled it with water and tested the no spill lid. Not a drip. It fit perfecting into an outside pocket of his messenger bag. Finally something to put in there.
He stood at the door again. “Andy, I’m ready for the day because it’s worth it.”
On the subway he turned the mug around in the side pocket to hide the slogan. In public it seemed too naive. The humidity was lower so he wasn’t sweating bullets when he exited downtown. He had his mug filled at Tim’s and opted for one cream, one sweetener while resisting the call of their latest breakfast egg blaster with grilled cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato on his choice of an english muffin or cheddar cheese bagel. Today one breakfast would be enough. Without his usual double double the coffee did taste different. Could he get used to it?
When he stepped off the elevator at dE.Tail he could heard Lin blast away at his keyboard. Dusan fussed with a new coffee maker.
“They finally got rid of that piece of junk.”
The new machine looked like one of those old hard drive towers all in silver with a glass coffee pot. The pot was squared off.
“Space age sleek.” Harris ran his hand along the side. There was a set of buttons to program what one wanted. “Sample?”
“Fur sur.” Dusan’s accent returned. “the las’ one was a wee bit hard to manage.”
Coffee began to trickle from somewhere and into the pot.
“Sum’an new from Earth Worth you see. made from recycled parts.”
“That explains the old Intel tower.”
He went to his cubical. His first ‘exciting new project’ was to edit an endless catalogue for the Mint Emporium – a stamp and coin retailer. All the ‘s’s on their web site had been capitalized. He tried change all but nothing happened. He spent the morning going through it to change each of them back to lower case, one by one.
At first he was reading about the stamps and coins but after a few he merely scanned for capital ‘S’s. He didn’t feel the need to know anything about perforations, or learn to he difference between RuSSian rouge and Salmon ruSt. Each time after he saved he had to look back to make sure that the ‘s’s hadn’t jumped back to capitals.
Lunch he headed down to the smoked meat deli and stuck to his resolve. Less is good, less is worth it. The medium was filling, the fries were okay without the chili. The owner was puzzled though. Was Harris not feeling well. Eating less he took less time and had time to spare before he had to be back at work.
He wasn’t sure what to do. Except for comfortable shoes, shopping had never appealed to him. Yes, he could check out Shoeville and see if there was anything there. Get a peak before he had to start working on their Christmas e.catalogue.
He was checking out Breather’s slip-on running shoes. His sweaty feet could use them now. They had a weird orange musk smell.
“Can’t I help you?” A clerk appeared beside him, the aggressive musk perfume was her, not the shoe. It irritated his nose. She looked to be in her mid-twenties, pink and black streaks in her colorless hair. If she weren’t wearing her ‘Shoeville associate – Mari Lincoln’ name tag he wouldn’t have taken her for a clerk. “This are very hot this week. Very hot.” Her voice dropped. “But not as hot as you.”
Harris turned slightly to face her, felt her breasts press against his chest. Her tongue ran across her lower pink-frosted lip.
“There’s a new shipment we haven’t put out. In the back.” She tugged at his belt to pull him in that direction.
Yes, he thought, the perfect dessert. He’d been watching his food all morning and now the universe was rewarding him. His erection strained for release.
He followed her through the rows and into a badly lit back room. It smelled of leather and musty damp.
This is the curse. Fuck.
“Look I can’t do this.” He pushed her away.
“What you don’t want these.” she pulled up her tank top to show her breasts. “That is if you’re not a faggot or something.”
“No but I … have to get back to work.”
“But I’m on my break, so give me a break.” she put his hands on her breasts, then grabbed at his fly. “That hard on is saying yes.”
“But I’m saying no.” His heart raced.
“Don’t be such a puss.”
He stepped back and knocked over a stack of shoe boxes that in turn knocked over another stack of shoe boxes.
She was pulling at his shirt, pinching his nipples.
He twisted away from her and got to the door at the back of the room. He pushed it open. It lead to the alley. He dashed out.
“Oh yeah! Let’s do it out there. Public’ll be so hot.”
He shut the heavy metal door behind him before she could follow. He leaned against it. He could hear her fists on the door while he tucked his shirt back in. Why was ‘no’ difficult. Yet, he had stopped it when it had started for both of them. Was this the start of his Spiderman learning curve? Could he train himself to swing from boob to boob like Spidey did from skyscraper to skyscraper?
The alley was one long wet puddle with a narrow dry strip close to the wall. Wet cardboard, bags of restaurant garbage spilled at intervals. The smell of the rotting food made him gag. The ground underfoot was slick and slippery. The stuccoed wall that he relied on to keep his footing, was slimy as he negotiated his way back to the sidewalk.
Back at dE.tail he washed his hands thoroughly in the washroom. At his desk there were two more Oatex boxes by his keyboard. One with fiber+ and the other with banana and mango added. Jodis’s head briefly bobbed up from her cubical. He got a text.
“Harris. I am so glad you enjoyed the cereal. Here are two new varieties.”
“Thnx.” he texted back wishing she could learn text speak.
In the afternoon he was back to work on one of his regular clients. Danby Cosmetics. Making sure the moisturized model’s looked radiant. It felt good to be back in this routine. The sound of clicking keyboards around him was broken by the occasional mating call of the horned lark. He tried the coffee machine and couldn’t tell the difference from the old one. He hoped this one was easier to clean.
Around three he got a text from his dad.
“Drop by the office at five.”
“See you then.” he replied. The paternity test had slipped his mind.
He was done at four. He took one of the amazing expanding shopping bags from the samples shelf. The cereal boxes fit handily.
Outside he noticed that Shoeville was having yet another drastic reduction sale. He’d bought decent things there in the past. Better to waste time there than at the deli. No harm in looking.
dE.tail took care of Shoeville’s online platforms which allowed him a deeper discount. Instead of samples dE.tail was given a special discount card.
He stood inside the store for a few minutes to get oriented. With so many clerks he never could spot one to help him. Men’s shoes had moved from one side to the back of the other. He dodged display piles and wormed his way down the narrow aisles. They had Breathers’ new line of slip-ons running shoes. He liked them. They had a pair in his size, in electric blue and black – colors he liked, right on the rack.
He went to the cash. Saw no one.
“Excuse me,” He called to a clerk. She pushed back her ash hair with pink and black streaks as she turned around. He read her name tag. “Mari, I’d like to get these.”
“Be right with ya.” She shuffled over. She scanned the price tag and took his Shoeville card and scanned it too. “Oh, a Corporate Card!” she was impressed. “Haven’t ever seen one of those.” she read the screen of his register. “So, you don’t get the advertised discount.”
“Such is life.” Harris wanted to get out of there.
“You get two for the price of one. You’d like another pair of these?” she tapped at the screen. “Sorry, these were the last pair of size ten’s. How about half-a-size up in red. These are the last of the blue.”
She turned her back and buzzed on a phone by the register. “Colin – can you grab a Breathers size ten and-a-half in cherry….. okay ….” She looked back to Harris. “They’ll be a few minutes. Someone broke into the side storage room and ransacked it earlier today.” She handed him back his card.
Colin brought the shoes. Harris was able to fit them in the amazing expanding bag with his two boxes of cereal.
If the ten and a half didn’t fit him he could give them to Clive. Clive was always after him for any of the samples that came into dE.tail. If Clive didn’t want them Alex might. What the fuck! Why was he even considering Alex. How could part of him accept Alex as a possible friend let alone for a sex. Being seen in matching, all be it different colored, runners, was going too far. Way too far.
Can’t wait to read the whole thing? order the PDF for $5.00 – paypal.me/TOpoet – say you want Kiss
Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr
This work is licensed under a