Meeting No. 29 (Part II): I am the Frederick Taylor of Pain and Suffering

            I leaned against the desk and leafed through the folder.  “So, I have a lot of information about you here, David.  I think we’ll have to talk about it.  I have some concerns.”  I kept my voice friendly, but when I looked up at him, I saw that his smile suddenly looked fake and his eyes were wider.  That was good.
           
           I took a sharpie marker off the desk and held it open over the top of the folder.  “I still need to assign you a number, David.”  I tried to write on the folder.  The marker wouldn’t write.  I sighed and shook it and tried to write again.  No ink. 
             
        “This sharpie doesn’t work!” I announced.  I made it sound like I was irritated.  “Go get me a new one.” 
           
          “What..?”  he stood there and blinked, confused and startled, like a mole thrust suddenly into sunlight.
          
          “Go get me a sharpie.  I need a new sharpie.”  I waved the pen in front of him.  “Like this one!” 
           
           After a pause, he asked, “Where…?” as if I’d asked him to fetch me something totally bizarre and arcane, like an autographed photo of Vladimir Putin.  I could practically see his brain emptying out in panic and confusion, which was exactly what I wanted.  
           
          “Well, Mr. Engineering Degree, this is Manhattan, so there is a Duane Reade every other city block.  I’m sure you’ll be able to figure something out.” 
         
          He paused and for a moment I thought that I was going to have to bark at him, but finally he turned to go.  When he opened the door, I called his name and he looked back at me over his shoulder.  I removed a silver-plated pocket watch from my front trousers and opened it in front of him.  The face was big and there were two chronographs on the dial. It made a faint clicking noise, although I doubted that he could hear it from where he stood.  I’d discovered that if I held it in my hand in a perfectly still room, I could feel it vibrate in my hand, as if it was a living creature. 
           
           I set the watch and pressed the button.  “I’m timing you, David.”
            
           His mouth dropped open and then he ran out the door.  I shouted at him not to kill himself on the stairs. I heard him running quickly down two flights of stairs, and then it was silent again.

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