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By Way of Today


A Time and a Place

Summary for Monday, May 1: Stormy's hoping to turn business around with a new hire but when he throws a drink Doug's face, Doug may be the one to make the turn.

A delivery man arrives at GCC with a big package for Stormy. Stormy says he didn’t order anything, and the delivery man says that’s not his problem. He doesn’t organize orders, he just delivers them. Stormy reluctantly agrees and signs for the package. They look at each other awkwardly for a second, then the delivery man says he’s supposed to open the package and an unpack it now. It’s part of the job. Stormy shrugs, steps aside so the man can pass, and sits to watch the man unpack and arrange the cans of bubbly water. The delivery man finishes and quietly shows himself out. Stormy grabs a can and holds it at arm’s length, trying to figure out how to pronounce the name. He pops the top and sits down at his desk. Not bad.

In his cubicle, Stormy sits with a candidate for receptionist. The candidate asks about getting personal time off. Stormy says that shouldn't be a problem. He’s pretty flexible with time as long as what needs to get done is getting done. Stormy thanks the candidate for coming and shakes his hand. Stormy looks at his watch then over to another candidate reading a People magazine in the waiting area. He wears what appears to be an ill-fitting toupé. Stormy approaches, offers his hand and says he's Stormy Sales. The candidate says he’s the new Receptionist. They chuckle awkwardly. They take seats in Stormy’s cubicle and start in on the perfunctory questions. Stormy says it's not really necessary for the job but wonders if the candidate has any background in chemistry. The Candidate delivers a slightly jumbled, slightly poetic, half thoughtful, half joking statement on the essence and aspirations of what it is to be human. Stormy says that was a very thoughtful and considered statement and informs the Candidate that he would be hiring on a twelve day probation period. Full time employment would be offered only after the probation period. At that time, and only if all goes well up to that point, would he become the Receptionist. Candidate nods, seemingly satisfied with the terms. Stormy asks if the Candidate has any questions. The Candidate asks what his duties would be. Story says that initially his main task is to ready the office for the lecture by renowned Dr. H. Sterling Burnett. The lecture is in four days. And secondarily he would help Stormy with his research which is multi-faceted and concerns cooling systems, velocity, and-- Stormy stops saying that he’s getting ahead of himself. He explains that many of the details can be discussed once terms of employment are agreed upon but that much of his business is proprietary and there will be legal documents to sign before he can go into all of it. The Candidate asks if any childcare will be involved. Stormy wonders about the motivation behind the question. The Candidate offers that he has younger siblings and is good with kids should that become something the office might need. Stormy is still skeptical and says he'll keep that in mind. Stormy says he has a lunch appointment and rises and thanks the Candidate for coming. They shake hands and on the way to the door the Candidate asks when he'll hear if he has the job. Stormy says “Soon, soon.” The candidate exits and Stormy returns to his desk and sits. He looks at the door as another candidate enters. Stormy offers the candidate a bubbly water and excuses himself. In the back he pulls his lunch from the refrigerator and takes a huge bite. He replaces the lunch and chews quickly on his way to the front office.

In Berkeley Plaza, Doris sips a latte and grimaces. She knows Doug is trying to bring in new revenue, but he really should have worked out the kinks before launching. This is the worst latte she’s ever had. Maybe with some PR help Doug could turn the club around, focus solely on coffee, create some signature drinks even. This could be a lucrative investment. As Doris pours the drink into a nearby plant, she sees Julie storm through the plaza in a wig and sunglasses. Doris hides behind the plant and watches as Julie throws the wig into the garbage and runs off. Doris sneaks over and grabs the wig. She looks at it perplexed and then stashes it in her purse.

While sitting at his desk Stormy drums his fingers on his hard hat. He stares at the piece of paper with a phone number on it. Next to the phone number are copies of newspaper articles about the crystals. He continues to drum. Then he stops. He picks up the phone and calls the number…. a gruff voice answers and Stormy asks if this is Doctor - “Paulette,” she says, cutting him off. She asks who is calling and how he got this number. Stormy takes a gamble and says Bronsky recommended he call. Dr. Paulette sounds suspicious but says go on. Stormy attempts to explain his situation, the headaches, the dizziness, the visions. The Doctor says she’s booked through the year and that he should look elsewhere. Stormy suggests that they meet and talk more about it. The doctor says it is not possible. Stormy says he knows about the crystal. The line is silent then the doctor names the time and place.

Doug stops by GCC, and notices the colorful cans of water occupying the table. Stormy says he’s had two and recommends them to Doug. Doug seems interested so Stormy gets up and plays the role of bartender. “Welcome to The Pines sir. Today we have a selection of the finest bubbly water from Canada?” Doug pretends to be amused and agrees to try one. Stormy asks him how he’d like it. Doug thinks for a second and replies, "in my face." Stormy pops the top and fulfills Doug’s request. At first Doug is upset, but then he looks like he has an idea.

It’s late. Stormy is in the back office and makes a phone call. He gets an answering machine and informs the machine’s owner that they have the job. He says there’s a lot of work to do and he would like them to start their probationary term tomorrow morning. Back out front, Stormy revisits the cans of water on the table. He pops one open and wonders again who might have sent it. He thinks of Doris and calls her. He leaves a long message, hoping that she is okay, wondering again what is going on.

At the docks, a woman creeps among the shadows. She waits in the dark while a security guard passes. The coast clear, she steps into the light and pulls aside hair that looks just like wig Julie discarded. It’s Doris!

Tomorrow’s News:

The new Receptionist shows up to work.
Stormy takes a meeting at Minos Park.