The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 20
The Two Shadowy Figures Episode
“Nine o’clock!” Frank bellowed and everyone meandered to the locker room and then out to their cars.
Rich walked up to Frank and asked, “Do you mind if I put up my tent in the back or your lot?”
“I got a couch in my office,” Frank said. “Why not sleep there?”
“Sure,” Rich said. “Are you sure it’s ok?”
“Hey. I’m the boss, remember,” Frank said. “And I got a shower in the employees locker room.”
“Thanks,” Rich said. “Do ya mind if I finish the load I’m working on now?”
“How bout if I stay and help ya?” Frank said.
Butch overheard us and interrupted, “Hey boss you get home and get some rest. I’ll stay and help this guy finish.”
Frank removed his overhauls and tossed them toward the door to the locker room. He trudged away and waved with his back to Butch and Rich. “See ya in the morning.”
“If he stayed he would have found one more truck to unload,” Butch said. “Those guys walking out put him in a squeeze. Everybody was working ten hours a day before.”
Butch and Rich talked as they unloaded box after box from the truck.
“How long you worked here?” Rich asked.
“Ten years,” Butch said. “He’s got a couple of drivers that have been with him since the start, but I’m the oldest guy on the docks. Frank’s good to his people. He put his two brothers through college by the sweat of his brow and gave them jobs. One takes care of the books and the other takes care of the sales. Frank quit school when he was sixteen. He’s got more sense than both of his brothers put together and they know it. They’re good men, though. They just ain’t Frank. They’d work their tails off for Frank. I ran around with Frank in school. We weren’t exactly friends. I got fired every place I worked and knew what the floor of every bar looked like on the east side of Albany. He sees me coming out of a bar and ask me if I want a job. He fired me three times the first week I worked for him. Then he got me in his office and told me the reason why he hired me is because he thought that I could run the terminal. He remembered something from when we were kids. I was always the quarterback in school yard games. Nobody knew what to do and I was the only one who took time to explain it. Isn’t that amazing, he remembered that and put me to work based on what I did as a kid?”
“It sure is,” Rich said.
“I can guarantee that you did something or said something that made him offer you a job,” Butch said.
“Two years ago he went to a meeting to pitch a shipping contract with a tire manufacturer. He drives one of his semis to the meeting, before the ink is dry on the paper, he slips his overhauls over the top of his hundred dollar suit, goes out to the docks, and starts loading the semi himself. It’s not a show, it’s who he is.”
After they completed unloading the truck Butch gave Rich few instructions.
“We will have a few trucks come in and drop a load off and pick some up. The drivers have combinations to the gate. They’ll be in and out all night long.”
He walked Rich up to Frank’s office. “Here’s a list of numbers to call if something happens,” Butch said and tossed an index card next to the phone.
Rich showered and removed his sleeping bag from his bike and used it to cover myself on the couch in Frank’s office.
He slept solid for a couple of hours and got up to use the toilet. He looked at the dock area from a widow in the upstairs hallway. It was dark, but two shadowy figures moved stealthily among the boxes. Rich dashed for the office. He held the index card up to the light from an outside light. He dialed Frank’s number.