THE RESTROOM, by Joseph Simmons
“Man, I never see you anymore, Sam.”
Carl started speaking as the two entered the bathroom hall from opposite ends. The short man with the thick black hair and those wide-rimmed expensive glasses smiled and held his arms out in an exaggerated gesture.
“Well, gets busy over there,” Sam said. “I don’t get over to your side of the building much.” There’s no way I can get out of going in there, he thought. I’m not going to be able to do a damned thing with that guy in there.
Carl clapped Sam on the shoulder as he entered the restroom first. “Hey, no worries, my man. That’s how it works around here. I’m gone about one week a month. I’m sure you’ve heard.”
“Who hasn’t?” Sam said. I have no idea what you’re talking about.
“Sometimes two,” Carl said. “Since they promoted me, I’m nothing but busy. But they know they need me. Got to go out and trains the salespeople, and last month I did that retreat with all the VP’s. That was a sweet deal for me, let me tell you.”
Please, Carl, please don’t tell me. Just get the hell out of here so I can sit in quiet peace.
Carl swung himself up to the first urinal. The way he continued talking, he expected Sam to ease in beside him. Sam continued past the three urinals, the two regular stalls and closed the door behind him in the handicapped stall. Carl’s speaking paused and Sam hoped he’d put enough distance between the two of them.
OK, Sam thought. He finally shut up. He’ll take a piss and get out. I can do what I have to do before anyone else comes in and get out fast. The perfect crime.
“Those VP’s man,” Carl continued, “You should see how they operate their machines. I had some beers with the IT guys and they hate the way the executives treat their laptops. They’re like cavemen.”
You can’t shut up, can you Carl? Sam flashed back to the day he and Carl. They had been cubicle neighbors and Sam hated every minute of it. He remembered it took him less than a day to realize he didn’t like the man and his incessant talking. Most of it was talking about himself. Sam was happy when the guy got a promotion to a different division because it happened to be on the opposite side of the building and Carl made sure he told everyone that there would be some
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