By Jamal Johnson
A clerk at Beaumont Beaumont & Beaumont, R attended The Seminar For Synergistic Leveraging Of Adaptive Modalities in a fiduciary capacity. It concerned no one–least of all, J. D. Beaumont–R hadn’t a clue what fiduciary meant (or, for that matter, most any other words). “Not important,” intoned Beaumont. “You must simply go and fiduce. It is the bedrock upon which Beaumont Beaumont & Beaumont was founded so many hours ago.”
Of course, there was not then, nor was there now, more than one Beaumont. No, loneliness led J.D. Beaumont to declare himself, as The Trinity, to be three persons: A Captain of Industry, A Man About Town, and A Holy Spirit. In that third capacity, Beaumont divined R was uniquely qualified to complete this vitally unimportant task. Thus, he informed R personally, through several intermediaries, “I have a job anyone can do, and you alone can do it.”
Of all of Beaumont’s minions–living, deceased, or otherwise–R was least likely to succeed at even the simplest of tasks, let alone fiducing. But Beaumont, like Moses before him, had decreed. “Go, man, fiduce!” he bellowed softly. “I trust you’ll make me proud!” In truth, Beaumont trusted none of his employees; hence, he watched them like a hawk–sometimes from his office, and sometimes from his perch above the water cooler.
R arrived promptly at The Seminar For Synergistic Leveraging Of Adaptive Modalities three days after it began. “My name is -” “Yes,” the clerk agreed, “from Beaumont Beaumont & Beaumont. Will you be attending yesterday’s sessions?” “That,” R confirmed,”is on my schedule for tomorrow. I plan to attend only tomorrow’s sessions today.” “Excellent!” the clerk beamed.”You are right on time. Take this packet, and these meal tickets, and go right through that locked door.”
R loathed attention, so he took a seat in the rear of the room, and dragged it up to the front. “Welcome, welcome,” said the speaker, a mute from Poughkeepsie. “We will now closely examine fiducing and other topics of equal insignificance. If your pen is ready, write down everything that I do not say.” Confident the speaker would comment briefly on the topic, if at all, R penned his own life story–from his conception, to his weeks as an awkward embryo, to his first journey down the birth canal. Oh, how he missed those days!
Lunch was a welcome respite from the relaxing morning, though not as hearty as R anticipated. He remained ravenously hungry, even after eating all of his meal tickets. “Are they always so unsatisfying?” he asked his waifish neighbor, who scarcely nibbled on hers. “It‘s the recession,” she explained. “Last year, they served a 60-weight card stock.” R heard none of this, as he was transfixed by her beautiful green eye. She was, without question, one of the most alluring cyclops he had ever seen. “I think I love you,” R thought aloud to himself. “I feel drawn to you too,” she said silently. “You must tell me absolutely nothing about you.”
“What isn’t your name?” she asked.
“Hemingway,” he said earnestly.
“Where aren’t you from?” she demanded.
“Ontario and Stockholm, by way of Des Moines,” he admitted.
“When won’t I see you again?” she implored.
“Everyday!” he promised.
And so it began, a romance for the ages. It was that authentic and enduring love one finds very rarely–and then only in great literature and online dating advertisements. But, Gentle Reader, like death and taxes, it was not meant to last. Soon, he became too possessive; she, too alliterative. Thus, after lunch, they agreed to end the affair and, together, go their separate ways. Slowly, with a doleful spring in his step, R returned his chair to the rear of the room.
The afternoon session plodded along swiftly. R strained to attend to the speaker, but he could hear only Beaumont’s voice in his ear. Finally, R turned to Beaumont, and demanded he desist. “I shall not at once!” screeched Beaumont, and descended from his travel perch. “Every good businessman speaks only when others are speaking.” Beaumont said this to the air above R, as, “Every good businessman makes eye contact with no one save himself.” Beaumont prepared to reveal a third maxim, when something grabbed his attention, and absconded with it. “I have seen that eye before,” he exclaimed. “Do you know that woman?” “I did once,” R confessed. “We were madly in love ten minutes ago.”“I must speak with her this instant!” shouted Beaumont discreetly. He had no wish to disturb the session, so Beaumont hoisted R on his shoulders, and raced down the center aisle yodeling Beethoven‘s Fifth.
“I beg your pardon, Miss. Have me met?”
“No. But you are familiar. Do you have six toes on your left hand?”
“No. Four. On my right. Were you raised by Chinchillas?”
“No. Meer Kats. Did you once eat just one Lay’s Potato Chip?”
“No. No one can. Was your mother Greek or Cuban or Asian?”
“I knew it! It is you! Daughter!”
“I knew it! It is you! Father!”
R could not believe his ears–as they were known to be inveterate liars. Of his own origins, he knew very little, save that he was raised by Chinchillas and that his mother was Greek or Cuban or Asian. If there were only some way to examine his own hands. Alas, there was not.
O Reader, was this the family R deserted as a baby? We shall never know. Forlorn, R bade them well, and waved godspeed with his four-toed right hand.
“That hand!” Beaumont shouted. “I knew it! Son! It is you!” “I knew it too!” she lied. “Brother! It is you!” “Father! Sister!” R exclaimed, and leapt into their arms.
Thus, they embraced, the quintessential American family–a CEO, a clerk, and a cyclops. “My dear children!” Beaumont beamed. “I knew this day would come. Beaumont, Beaumont, and Beaumont, fiducing together at last!”
Jamal is a freelance writer and award-winning procrastinator from Vallejo, California. He is currently working on several pieces of short fiction, a four-panel comic strip, and a wonderful stage-play: a horror-comedy-musical-thriller, with a heart, and also kind of science-fictiony. Email him at email@example.com, and he will tell you how awesome you are.