111 Take Me Down

It was Wednesday afternoon and Rod was reviewing Minosa’s report, working from what amounted to his penthouse office, as well as he’d bothered to set it up. He’d found plenty of distractions around town, in spite of his bad attitude, and had neglected his unpacking. Chapter 111 Take Me Down

He was surprised at the level of detail the report contained, some of it disheartening news but he appreciated that it was so complete, and worthy of including in his own follow-up report to his national office; that would save him a lot of work. Although Minosa’s name was all over it there was a small mention, in the line for it on the required form, of the field agent. Kathy Doyle. Hmm. That Kathy Doyle on stage at last Sunday services was the same woman he’d met downstairs, and whom he’d casually invited to visit him here. He checked his desk drawer for the card she’d handed him during their chance encounter. It wasn’t there. He cursed, then resolved to get his office set-up underway today. He ran through the mental checklist – the ‘what was I wearing that day’ review – and came up with a potential jacket pocket. And the card was there, creased but legible. At least his brain still worked, if not his daily organization.

Kitty Doyle, the card announced, not Kathy Doyle. If his eyesight was to be believed, or unless there was a clone or an identical twin or a trick involved, that Kathy Doyle was certainly this Kitty Doyle. Interesting. Rod considered which of them he preferred to know, the stunner at the elevator or the apparently capable field agent. He phoned the number on Kitty Doyle’s card. She did not answer but he left his call-back number, without a message. That would give him some room to maneuver between the ladies, or lady, in the case.

Instead of opening another unpacked box he procrastinated with an invigorating stint on his rowing machine, an opportunity to consider details about an event on the big lake, as he steered his make-believe craft out over its waters. According to Doyle, one of the main difficulties was this business of having to apply for a special permit at least ninety days prior for a downtown beach location in a public park, and the unpredictability of the lake conditions that far ahead. There would be no rain date granted, and no refund, if it didn’t work out. All the links to the various permit applications were included in the report. Very thorough, on short notice. Rod knew that she’d been given this particular assignment only two days ago because it was he who’d put the fire to Minosa’s feet to get the ball rolling. This kind of efficiency was extremely appealing to him. As he pulled, he began to speculate as to what else the Kathy/Kitty might be very good at doing.

An alternate location was offered, too, further up along the lake. They’d still have to take their chance on the weather and negotiate for a special permit, or throw a spontaneous session and ask for forgiveness after the fact – blaming their religious fervor, possibly – rather than seek permission beforehand, but it looked like a great opportunity and proved to Rod the benefit of having a local doing this job. The Pastor, for all his mingy ways and his diminutive wife, had got her, this Kathy, right. He was impressed by her sense of the theatrical nature of these outdoor events, combined with her apparent knowledge of the inherent message that had to be conveyed to the faithful in attendance, those whose wallets must be pried open in appreciation of the spectacle presented.

After a while, he heard himself humming the “Fount of Every Blessing” tune, rowing in rhythm to it. He wished he could come up with a catchy tune to sell, along with all the other merchandise that would come down the pike from national. It was all part of the package to deliver a consistent message with a salvation stories theme. He’d need a stage partner to perform it really well. Interviews were on tap for next week, a short list of suitable candidates Minosa provided. Rod would interview in this office; another reason to get the place in order soon. What he really needed now was an office manager.

A den/office is a separate room in the room count. Another room may offer a nook for use as a work space or sitting area and is included in the square footage.

A den/office is a separate room. Another room in the room count may offer a size-able nook for use as a work space or sitting area, and is included in the unit’s total square footage.

After a luxurious shower in his upgraded master bathroom spa, Rod emerged ready to re-tackle his office, or lack of office. Shifting over a pile of files on his desk, he noticed the pair of scissors Gervase had loaned him last week. The pile tilted ominously then tipped, spilling papers out in layers across the desk like an advancing, white-hot lava flow. This was impossible. He decided to take a break and return the scissors, keep the concierge on the home team. A trip down to the lobby couldn’t put him too far behind on the remainder of his to-do list. Before he went, he added scissors to his requisition list and so as not to lose that, too, tacked up the list on an exposed corner of his new cork board, where the encasing plastic wrap had split open.

Rod stepped out into the penthouse foyer, his fingers through the two scissor handle openings as if he were about to cut something, and pushed the down arrow. This was an odd building with just the one elevator but it was still before the evening rush hour, so he figured he wouldn’t wait long. He did though, a full five minutes. Another time, he’d take the stairs down – scissor-less – and time that, just to compare which were quicker. In the lobby he spotted Gervase, who was away from his desk and speaking with an older woman who was improbably making something with a bunch of white and black yarn tumbling out from a large bag all over a lobby couch, and resembling the clutter he’d just abandoned upstairs. This reminded him of scenes from old folks’ homes he’d visited by the scores in his younger, less exalted days. Rod brandished the scissors and called over to him.

“Ah, Gervase, thanks for the loan of the scissors. Time to return them, for sure.” Rod stood by the desk, willing Gervase to join him.

“Mr. Thuss, you should’ve called me up to get them.” Gervase returned to his desk. “It’s what I do for residents.”

“Is that woman over there a resident?” Rod lowered his voice to inquire. He hadn’t recognized Mrs. James as the bearer of cookies to his unit.

“Mrs. James, the association secretary. Would you like me to introduce you?”

“Oh, I didn’t recognize her. We’ve met. She brought me some cookies last weekend. I’ll just check my mailbox and wait for Little Susie to take me back up.”

“Little Susie?” Gervase scanned the lobby, alert for unknown visitors.

“It’s just a name I use for something that takes you up and down, Gervase. Like an elevator.”

“Oh, that Little Susie.” Gervase was left to ponder why he would use the term.