"Your 3:30 is waiting in the conference room." Brad emptied the mini bottle into his coffee and tossed the way too small glass into the recycling bin.
"Very good." Brad nodded at the receptionist, removed the small paperback from the file folder marked Duces Tecum and walked out of his office, making a left and putting half the firms associates between him and the conference room.
Out on the balcony overlooking the Commons, Brad relaxed as the crisp February air cleared out the residual chaos of the last few hours. He banked on Ginsberg not waiting. Frank's email blustered about repercussions for the grafitti'd disparagement left on the ADA's wall sometime overnight - something about the shape of a daschund and his sister. Quintessential Shore.
The situation with the security guard in the lobby had occupied his first hour. Ms. Piper hadn't cared for Lenny's gruff assessment of the selection on her breakfast cart, so she felt the only proper retaliation was to call in a bomb threat to him. It was fortunate she used Garrett's phone. The ensuing negotiation hadn't cost the firm more than an all-inclusive Club Med trip for two.
Brad drank half his enhanced coffee and watched a dog race across the commons in pursuit of a squirrel. He wished it was Barry Manilow on the losing end, an unfair match considering the cat hadn't twitched a whisker in weeks. The jokes hadn't stopped. Alan'd made certain there was always a new can of Nine Lives mixed grill with Brad's name on it in the break room refrigerator. Today, there were three and a note that said Happy Anniversary.
On his way to the lounge at The Four Seasons down the block, Brad had donated the cat food to the building manager. "Spasiba, Nu vse, tebe pizda". "Not a problem," Brad replied. The lounge manager was equally gracious. "You keep your fucking Denny damn fucking Crane out of here from now on or I'll torch your firm. Don't test me. I will!". Brad surveyed the water damage in the coat room, trying not to breath, noting that mink was one fur you didn't want to get wet. "Calm down. This was a simple accident. Who knew the ash from a cigar could ignite burberry. You might want to look into cleaning this room, my friend. I'd wager spilled alcohol on your carpet was to blame." On his walk back to the firm, Brad mulled over the calmest way he could explain to Denny he had to consider using a bed like everyone else.
Brad rested his elbows on the railing, thinking about how he should be skiing at Whistler or even training troops back at West Point. All sounded more meaningful than running interference for the mobocracy that was Crane, Poole & Schmidt.
"Brad?" It was Denise, shivering by the balcony door. "Can I talk to you about the - " She cleared her throat and tucked a hand under her hair at the back of her neck. " - panties that were with my mail this morning? It seems someones been circling, uh, selections in a Fredericks of Hollywood catalog." Brad turned again to look out at the Boston skyline so she wouldn't see him rolling his eyes. "I'll talk to him, Denise."
He heard the balcony door close, then finished his coffee and reached into his pocket. Brad turned to page 43 of the dogeared "Without Feathers" and started chuckling. It was no longer in vogue to read Woody Allen, but it took Brad back to a time where he relied on this absurd humor to transport him out of the mind-numbing days in the Kuwaiti desert.
'Then Job fell to his knees and cried to the Lord, "Thine is the kingdom and the power and glory. Thou hast a good job. Don't blow it."' Woody's Job must have worked at the Babylonian version of Crane, Poole & Schmidt.
Brad grinned as he returned the book to his pocket and made his way back to Frank and the conference room.
[Cross posted to Theatrical Muse: "It was one of those days..."]