The words over at Three Word Wednesday are grip, prefer and thread.
“Jesus, Stafford, get a fucking grip.”
It came out like a plea, or maybe a prayer. High and tinny. And it echoed. Get a grip. Loud and clear.
The echo was caused by the now-floor-to-ceiling marble panels and solid, dark-wood stall doors, which also went to the floor and ended eight feet up. A little bathroom design detail ushered in when a senior partner went trolling for action next to an impressionable young intern, who was considerably unimpressed when the senior partner’s left shoe, a buttery brown loafer that retailed in the $500 range (per pair), came invading his personal space and the old man’s suave and deep baritone whispered, “Cock, honey?”
The intern, something of a homophobe and unabashedly well-connected, had reported the incident – and the closeted queen in hand-tailored wool suits – to the company president, his uncle.
The senior partner went on an extended vacation, claiming “undue stress due to market volatility,” the washroom was closed, remodeled and re-opened in three business days and the intern got an office, not a corner office, mind you, but it did have window.
The thread running though all of this, Stafford mused, was his new role in all this recent upheaval. Sure, Mr. Senior Partner had played grab-ass with him a few times, and twice in a crowded elevator the queen initiated his swashbuckler impersonation – his erection poking Stafford in the thigh for 64 uncomfortable floors. But it wasn’t like he’d been deflowered or anything.
Stafford put up with it because the senior partner once had pull, and Stafford had unwittingly hooked his wagon to the putz when he was first hired, a mistake he truly regretted, but lived with, just the same.
“I mean, have you seen the job market lately?” Stafford whispered. This time, just an echoed plea.
No, Stafford preferred his shitty job, and thus his now-stalled station in life, to an ever-rotating series of couches in the city, wearing out welcomes while trying to catch on somewhere else, even though he knew the rumors were already out there, all unfounded, but damaging none-the-less.
Better to have your ass grabbed than couch surf. It was a motto he lived by, but never once uttered aloud.
The intern, fresh off one serious victory, decided that Senior Queen and Stafford had been a bit too chummy and set about to get another queer ousted.
“Hey, fag,” the intern injected one day at the urinals, a sneering whisper. “Even try and look at my junk and I’ll get you fired, too.”
The attacks had escalated, and then the rumors started. Stafford could now clear out not only the executive washroom, but the men’s locker room at the company’s ground-floor fitness center.
Stafford, well, he had had enough.
He kept turning the plastic bottle in his hands, making sure the cap was screwed on tight, even though it was empty. He had his trousers pulled down to mid-thigh, even though the stalls were impervious to any sort of view. Stafford thought it best to keep up appearances.
He had been waiting there for 20 minutes now, and his thighs where asleep where his ass contacted the porcelain, but yet he waited. Patiently.
Soon, the washroom would be filled with the kind of chaos you can only dream up at 3 a.m., after a vodka bender with your best friend, who was something of an amateur chemical engineer and malcontent hippy anarchist.
Since, up until a half-hour ago, the plastic bottle had contained 6 ounces of liquid PCP and the pulverized remnants of 80, 100mg doses of Viagra, suspended in solution.
Stafford had dumped the whole lot into the water cooler in the main conference room, and just before everyone had gathered to celebrate the intern’s ascension to permanent employment, overseeing Senior Queen’s accounts – and his underlings, too.