Have you ever eavesdropped on a conversation you weren’t supposed to? Tell us about a time when it was impossible not to overhear a conversation between people who didn’t know you were there. What was the conversation about? How did it make you feel?
Milton Periwinkle was a large, unhealthy man, just retired. He left work today at 5:00 and he never has to go back. Forty-five years working in the Facilities Department for ACME Industries. Milton had worked his way up from cleaning the production room floor at night, to supervisor of Facilities in those forty-five years. Now he sat in his Lazy Boy Recliner, turned on the game, and balanced his I-Pad on his belly. He was done procrastinating. He was going to do it today. He was going to sign up on WordPress, and start blogging. No time like the present.
He reached to his side table for his cigarettes and beer. Ahh, Marlboro Menthol’s – like steak and potatoes, he thought as he lit one up, drew the smoke in deep and savored it. Damn, I need another Budweiser, “Marge?” he hollered. “Marge?”
“What is it Milt?” he heard from the kitchen.
“Marge, you need to bring me a Bud. I already got my butt set in the chair and I need another beer.” No response, Marge wasn’t much of a talker, but he knew she would bring him his Bud, she always did, she was working on dinner, he thought. He muted the game and watched the screen for a few seconds; this might be a good year for the Cubs.
“They were talkin’ about me again today at work,” he yelled towards the kitchen. “They thought I couldn’t hear them but I could. They were saying that since I was retiring all the loose ends would be tied up and no one would ever find out. Ha, they think they’re safe. Those bastards, I bet they never expected me to start blogging. It pisses me off – they think they can get away with all the things they’ve done. They got rich, I got nuthin’.” He sat for a moment then muttered under his breath, “Yeah, they’re gonna be real surprised.”
He took another draw on the Marlboro Green he was smoking and picked up the I-Pad, googled WordPress, and found the sign up page. When he got to the point where he had to name his blog he didn’t hesitate and typed in: MILTON THE MONSTER TELLS IT LIKE IT IS! in all caps.
He was feeling a little stiff and stretched his left arm up over his head, massaging his shoulder. Glancing at the TV he settled back in his chair and watched the Cubbies take the field. The cigarette dropped from his lips onto his tightly stretched three button Polo shirt, and the I-Pad slid slowly down between his leg and the arm of the chair.
Marge stepped into the parlor with his Budweiser in hand. She picked up Milton’s smoke and patted out the embers on his shirt. “Milt?” No response. Something was wrong, he didn’t look right. She touched his neck to feel for a pulse. Nothing.
She took a drag off the cigarette she held in her hand. She hadn’t smoked in over thirty years.
She popped open the beer and took a long drink. It was cold and it tasted good. “Shit Milton, now look what you’ve gone and done!” She turned back towards the kitchen, the phone was in there.
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