The clang from the pencils in the can signified Miles Dow displaying his mind. He made a beat with the can. He wore a sign showing that he was visually impaired. With all of the traffic of the Wilmington, Delaware streets in the business district, he could detect the difference between the sound of a penny and a nickel. The tinny sounds could be deciphered quickly and registered with his brain.
A bandit tried to rob him. When dropped into a worry stance the hood scrambled away. A businessman named Nolan Gross picked up his can and didn’t bother with collecting the coins.
“I’m not going to give you a dime. I’m not going to give you a dollar. I’m going to give you a chance,” Gross explained.
“Thank you, sir,” Tre Lockland replied. “I’m just another veteran who got a bad break.”
“I can see that. Alright, you come with me to my office. Let’s go there, now.”
Once the two men passed through the doors of SuperService, a robot greeted them.
“Thank you Simon,” Lockland crossed into his corner office.
“This isn’t a charity. What I have in mind is for you to be a senior vice president. First, you will be trained to be in the phone bay. State of the art Braille systems will accommodate you. You won’t have to be on that corner anymore. The pay will be considerably more than what you have been expecting. Did you get any pay from the government?”
“I did and then it ran out. It was only temporary and my paperwork got burned up in a fire so that dropped the case. I had a lawyer but he ran off with my money.”
“Yeah. So, will this position entail answering customer service calls?”
“That’s where you’ll start. And the best thing is that there’s no income tax federal, state, or city. This is a much bigger pencil can.”
“I thank you, again, Mr….”
“Just call me Tre.”
The two men walked to a frosted glass walnut and brushed steel bevy of men and women answering and addressing concerns of the tech startup.
“You’ll be working right here. I want to see you on Monday bright-eyed and bushy tailed,” Gross mentioned.
Painfully, Dow removed the stitches that sealed his eyes shut. He replaced his sunglasses and studied the handbook that accompanied the position. He studied the next position which was being a secretary’s secretary. It paid only twenty six hundred dollars a year, but with no tax he could pocket the cash. He kept running game.
That next morning, he went through the motions with his cane but no pencil this time. He could barely read Braille and had to find his way like an actor whenever he encountered someone. He arrived at Lockland’s office.
“Miles, you’re fifteen minutes early. Definitely a military man. You can get right to it. I know you’re excited to get started. The ladies will show you to your work station.”
Dow journeyed over to his desk and cracked his knuckles. The panel of the window shined a beam of sunlight onto his workspace. He dropped his pencil. He looked around and then just bent down to pick it up.
“Whoa, whoa! What the hell is this?!” Tre asked. “You lied to me. You’re not blind, you’re just another bum. You didn’t even get a start before I caught you as a fraud. Get the hell out of here!”
Dow picked up his pencil and put it in a can.
“Is it too late to interest you in a writing utensil?”
“Alright. Alright. I’m gone.”