I’ve decided to keep a diary now that my life is “open.” It’s been two months since I arrived in New England to start over as a private eye. Things are rather quiet here, but it’s the kind of quiet that has skeletons waiting to fall out of closets or jump out of shadows. I’m not hunting cases yet, but once I’m settled in, I expect it won’t be long before action starts walking through the door.
It would be easier to put everything in order if I had my money. I should’ve received my first pension check by now; I put in a call this morning to check on it. Whatever nameless paper pusher answered told me he couldn’t find any reference to Harris Dueller in the system. I tried to explain that I was an x-employee, but he didn’t seem to get it. I can expect a call from a supervisor sometime tomorrow. Their human resources department is every bit as efficient as Congress.
“Ugh!” Well, that’s the last of what’s going in the attic. Who knew I had so many boxes of junk? I hate these flimsy collapsing stairs. For all the money I put into that bookcase in the living room, I should’ve thought to have some real stairs built up here.
I guess that’s about all I can do for now; everything that can go somewhere is where it belongs. There won’t be any more renovations until I get paid.
That better be my pension calling, “this is Harris Dueller.”
“Hello Mr.Dueller,” oh no, it can’t be, please not him, “I understand you’re expecting some pension payments that haven’t come; how unfortunate.”
Chyort voz'mi, “Hefling Balduque, it’s been a long time. Merry Christmas.”
“You have me at a disadvantage, sir. I don’t believe I know a ‘Harris Dueller.’ In fact, I can’t seem to find a record of anyone by that name ever working here. Are you sure this is the right place? Perhaps you should try the Ace Tomato Company.”
“Ha ha, very funny. You know my company nom de guerre. Now, quit messing around, I’ve got bills to pay and more on the way.”
“I’m afraid I haven’t the foggiest idea what you mean, Mr.Dueller. There simply is no payment scheduled for you in our system.”
I don’t have time for this, “Hefling, if you’re not going to take this seriously than at least have the decency to put me through to the department head.”
“I AM the department head, and you will address me as Commissioner Balduque. You’re just as arrogant now as ever, aren’t you?”
Wait a minute, “you’re doing this on purpose, aren’t you? Why? Oh, you can’t possibly still be blaming me for how things turned out. It’s been twenty years!”
“WHY NOT‽ It’s your fault! If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be sitting here sorting through other people’s careers all day; I’d HAVE one!”
He’s a nut! “They were competitive placement exams. It’s not my fault I scored higher than you. I wasn’t grading them! I was just trying to do my best; same as anybody.”
“NO! You CHEATED! You cheated me in the exams, you cheated me out of field duty, and you cheated me out the career I should’ve had. You stole my life, Karson!”
“I think you’re confusing me with someone else. My name is Dueller, and I didn’t cheat. I thought outside the box. That’s probably why they chose me! You were always a rules lawyer. Well guess what, you think inside the box and they put you in a cubicle. You got exactly what you earned!” Oh, I shouldn’t have said that.
“There it is. You do think you’re better than me. Well guess what, now you’re gonna get what you deserve: nothing. Go think your way outta that box.”
“Fine, I do think I’m better than you, because it’s true. If you think you’re gonna get away with this, just wait ‘till I—“ ::click::
Yeah, I definitely shouldn’t have said that. Well that’s just great. Now what do I do? I’ve got bills going past due, no work lined up, and no pension coming any time soon. I’m gonna have to go looking for trouble, and I’ll need somewhere to bring it. Maybe I should turn that back room into an office, just for the time being.
It’s coffee time. I need to relax. I need to think. I wonder how the local police feel about sharing. Maybe there’re some missing persons or something in the paper. May as well sit down, enjoy some hot black caffeine and mosey through the late edition.
“Yeah, you and me both. Merry Christmas to you too, ‘ol Gorby.”