Let Me Read Your Mind
By C.M. Marcum
Copyright 2011 C.M. Marcum
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He blew fifteen minutes driving in circles around the parking garage. First tier jammed to capacity, second tier over filled with a few delivery trucks illegally parked and a blistering rooftop that supported a few toasty losers baking in the late morning sun. Round again he went. Down this time, back into the shade, hoping in full defiance of logic for a last minute vacancy. Shiny, new compacts—stowed for an eight hour shift and tucked tightly together—buried their noses in space after space; their stylish bumpers, free of humorous faux pas stickers, came up two feet too short to fill their allotted berths. His clanking SUV, with its tarnished paint and its My Kid Beat Up Your Honor Student decal, would need every inch. If he did get the job at FAS Security, the Suburban’s overpriced girth and smoking tailpipe would stand out like a fat hooker at a family picnic in this collection of polished fiberglass and modern uniformity.
“I’m late. I’m late. I will be late,” Harry sang, slightly off key, as always. Sweat gathered under his arms and trickled down the seams of his carefully pressed linen shirt. Harry shoved the AC dial all the way to the right and lifted his elbows to let the cold air blow dry him, as he navigated farther and farther away from the double doors with E-L-E-V stenciled on one side and A-T-O-R on the other. The green numerals on his dashboard read 10:50. In ten minutes he would be officially late for his appointment with Human Resources. On the rooftop again, he parked the SUV in the sun, fingered the material under his armpits—finding the cloth icy cold but relatively dry—and sneezed. Reaching up he patted his meaty pate, wondering wryly if there was some obscure medical condition that explained a perpetually cold noggin and sweaty pits.