A few of you may remember the story I started titled Frog Leg Friday on my previous blog. I've been keeping a little notebook in my purse and writing while I'm waiting for things...like getting the oil changed, a doctor's appointment, picking my husband up from work...
I decided I'd share the latest little bit. I'm trying to learn how to develop characters- something I've never had to do in blogs or poetry! It's good exercise- and now I just need a sounding board...
Harold Posey straightened his tie and stood taller, noticing his reflection in the heavy revolving door of the Nugget. His white shirt was stiff and itchy- no doubt a result of Martha Baldwin down at the Dry and Press using too much starch.
Of course, everything was going to seem uncomfortable after after wearing tee shirts and jeans to work for the past ten years. But he had finally gotten the chance to hang up the shovel of a laborer and move into the position of a floor supervisor at Rebel's new casino.
It didn't hurt one single bit that his sister Dottie was dating the personal director, Wilson Gray. And it also didn't hurt that Harold let Wilson win at poker on more than one occasion. Buying that expensive bottle of whiskey that the three of them shared during the last football game had apparently been the deciding factor that tipped the scales in Harold's favor.
It was nice to be someone. To not blend into a haze of dust and denim. No longer soaking up the noise of heavy machinery and crunching gravel and men who cussed as easily as they said hello. His fingernails were clean for the first time in months and his skin smelled soapy -and a nice kind of spicy-(thanks to his new underarm deodorant). His unruly brown hair was finally tamed into a stylish spike, and the full beard had been clipped away, revealing a goatee that even his sister Dottie approved of.
He had only been at his new job two weeks, but he sensed that the clientele of the Nugget respected him. He could tell by the way they smiled, or tossed him look of approval across the room, or tipped him with a fan of green bills that he tucked inside his fancy black suit. If they had ever noticed his calloused hands or stooped shoulders, they never let on.
Harold caught his reflection again. This time in the massive mirrors that flanked the bar. He looked like he belonged here- on the maroon print carpet beneath crystal chandeliers- wearing a black brocade vest and a plum colored tie- his shoes so shiny they looked like glass.
He had a nice golden key chain nestled into the watch pocket of his freshly pressed slacks, although the key was merely a small plastic card with a mag strip that allowed him access to a variety of stations and floors and doors that smelled like new paint.
His favorite part of the uniform was the bronze name tag that he carefully pinned neatly below his left lapel every morning. His name had been abbreviated. H.F. Posey.
But it sounded so much better than Harold Fitzgerald Posey.
H.F. had a sense of adventure to it- like the name of guy that just might know a thing or two about safari hunting or world travel. H.F. had a distinguished ring to it, too- like a professor that wrote novels as thick as his arm- and knew how to suck on a pipe without choking.
It had gotten to where Harold even hated going back to his trailer every night. He'd pop some popcorn, swig a beer, and stare at the ancient TV that snowed more than a Siberian blizzard. The place was a dump, and Harold began seeing that fact more clearly every day.
Harold suddenly noticed a lady standing in the lobby fumbling with her purse and it occurred to him that maybe she had lost something. He ran his fingers through his hair, cleared his throat, tugged at his vest, and approached her.
"May I help you?" he asked, placing both hands behind his waist and bowing slightly.
"No. No thank you,"she replied, sniffing into a pink tissue and adjusting her sunglasses.
Below the rim of the tortoiseshell glasses, Harold noticed two black streaks of mascara. Her cheeks were a bit flushed and it was obvious she had been crying. She looked exhausted and tired, not like a woman who would show up in the middle of the day to gamble.
Her tight white leggings hugged blue suede stilettos and a silky blouse printed with nautical anchors barely covered her abundant cleavage. Her hair was unnaturally black, long- with delicate ringlets that bounced like feathers when she moved.
"I'm H. F. Posey," he introduced himself, pointing at his name tag, "I'd be glad to help you any way I can. Do you need a room? A taxi?...
"A drink," she said, grabbing his arm and leading him to the bar.
To be continued....