What Dreams May Never Leave

“In her wake, the devil drops roses. Herald cry, Caesar of the Living Hell is here.”

Sarah Tompkins from human resources was not amused. This performance review was starting poorly. She sat down on a fabric office chair across a table from a water cooler legend and a flagrant liability. He was remarkably casual and inconspicuously dressed.

“Mr. Norton please refrain from allying me with Lucifer. It’s uncouth and definitely uncalled for.”

“All in good fun, Ms. Tompkins.”

“No I don’t think it is and I think you know that.”

Sam Norton fixated on  Ms. Tompkins left breast. Their was something perplexing and impossible in the way the dull yellow blouse seemed to enhance the nipple underneath. Soon, the nipple was burning through the blouse. It began to speak Latin in the lowest of registers with a new found that cleft the nipple. Sam waved it off like so much smoke. Sarah was annoyed at the dismissive gesture but said nothing.

“Yeah but it use to be.”

“So, things have changed?”

“I’m a cog Ms. Tompkins. I exist in a large, well engineered machine and if I break, if I give, there are redundancies. I will not be missed.”

“So you act out.”

“Again, I use to.”

The salmon paint began to melt off the walls and Sam realized that some fool had painted the room with orange sherbet. This one he couldn’t wave away. Sarah was reading the empty manila folder desperately not looking at Mr. Norton.

“I think you know we can’t keep you on board.”

“That was my whole aspiration when this started.”

“You mean this was a con?”

“Yes, was. Then my imagination sort of took over and I can’t seem to turn it off. I’m…”

Sarah looked up into the wandering eyes of a truly lost man. “broken.”

“I might be able to swing a paid vacation before we take you off the books but you have to leave now.”

“Don’t worry, I don’t have anything I want in my office. I’ll just leave.”

There was a finality in the last sentence that worried her but he was a passing emergency like an ambulance and forgotten easily. Sam left via the elevator and took the road not taken. From time to time Sarah and Sam pass each other, though neither are very aware.

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