• Gabriel Groth
    - - CHAPTER TWO - -

    As I trotted down the stairs leading outside from our Manhattan loft, my nose struck a delightful aroma. I’m not used to smelling such a wonderful odor because my nose seems to have a radar for such fowl scents. See, with my kind of nose comes all kinds of trouble, sometimes it picks up things it’s not supposed to, like cheating wives, dirty underwear, greasy 40-year old dudes watching re-runs of bay-watch and gagging over Pamela Anderson. Ahh.. I think you get the idea. Regardless of all the trouble my olfaction detector has got me into, I think its gods gift to me, I mean at least I’ll know if my boxers needs to be changed. The further I walked, the more curious I got, “what in jumping jackalopes is that smell?” I hopped in the elevator and pushed the button for the 1st floor. “s**t, hurry up!” I yelled. * BING *, the doors started departing from each other and I looked downstairs to check if my fly was properly zipped. Yeah, I know, pretty weird thing to do when I’m now almost an hour late for the meeting, I assumed. But I’ve been gaining a couple of pounds thanks to Mrs.Haggs peach cobblers and double fudge brownies, which by the way, are to die for.

    Marilyn Haggs happens to be a five star chef in the upper east side of Manhattan and owns a restaurant that lives up to her popular status, Starlight. She has natural chestnut brown hair, up to her shoulders, and looks like a giant tanned marshmallow dressed in designer clothes. Once in a while she likes to switch it up and change her hair color, she has had some whacky ones, but the strangest, I would have to say, is when half of her hair was blue and the other green, with a little yellow stirred in. Looked like leftovers that haven’t been thrown out for six months. But overall, the Haggs are a happy bunch, very friendly couple, and that’s not including their daughter. Yeah, my nose is simply superb, but my eyes are built even better. I bet I could sketch out an exact replica of a rat on steroids scurrying desperately to catch a crumb of cheese. Anyways, back to the Starlight Restaurant, people say she named it after her daughter, Star Haggs. “ Star Haggs, an aspiring actress who instantly rose to fame with her lovable, comedic, personality as Jenny Low in the 2005, super-smash box office hit, Kyle’s Secret.. “ Bull crap”, I muttered to myself. I had read that statement once, - - scratch that, I read it almost lord knows how many times, on posters splattered on every inch of the building, advertising the disastrous flick. It didn’t shock me though; after all, Henry Haggs is the owner of this hotel and is married to Marilyn. “Lovable, comedic” my white porcelain a**! Have they seen her in reality? , Id say she’s a 1000 times a better actress in actual life than she is on the big screen. She’s great when it comes to being deceitful to her parents and than sneaking off to a college party with her other “25 year old college mates”. Speaking of which it was just last summer I caught her with Andy Jerkins, making out near the pool at the Starlight grand opening. Yet young lovers be, you say? Well Andy Jerkins, I later found out, was Stars very close cousin. “Very close indeed”, I said to myself while Haggs was talking about the duo, of course she had no clue, and as much as I would love to see Star in fireworks with her Mom, I decided not to tell her. Marilyn had introduced Andy and I, apparently he’s planning to go to University and become a world famous film director. And as for super-smash box office hit, the movie barely made a million and went straight to DVD after its first week in the theaters!

    I made my way past through the hotel alley, and out towards the waiting lounge. And what do you know?, to my lovely surprise, just as I was babbling on about Marilyn Haggs, there she is standing before the check-in desk. Now I know what that yummy smell was. Today is Monday, September 15, 2010, 11:07 am, and I am 26 years old, just to brush you up on the information. Back to the point, there was something quite unsettling about Marilyn today, as her teeth chittered and chattered while she struggled to hold the silver platter of what seemed to be about forty pounds of cookies. Her spouse, Henry, looks to me like a happy eater, meaning he comes with eyes so well put together; he could spot a famous Starlight meal from 4016 miles away. And if you don’t believe me, his belly sure proves it. That thing shakes like jello on drugs, and that, is not a pleasant sight to see. But lately, he’s been chatting with me and Rick about how he wants to diet to keep Marilyn content. Haggs comes to visit with a couple of treats for Henry, every Monday, and normally I catch her just in the nick of time, but today she seems to be late. I said a quick hello and how are you, as I power walked past her. I opened the doors to the main entrance, and as the door was shutting behind me I heard Mrs.Haggs talking to Sandra, the employee at the desk... “I would like to see my husband please, tell him I’ve got some treats!”, “real smooth Haggs”, I got to give it to her some credit, she definitely knows how to sugar coat her extreme spending sprees with her five-star cooking skills. Henry and Marilyn have gotten into numerous numbers of turmoil’s involving her addiction to shopping, it even led to thoughts about divorce once, but they got that all settled down with hours of therapy. I wonder what she bought today, resulting in a finger-licking batch of cookies.

    I was on the opposite side of the hotel, crossing to the other end of the sidewalk, making me stare right at the large-scale Macy’s store in front of me, my god, the letters are so big I would need a ladder to read them. I wiggled and wobbled my way around the busy traffic, not exactly an facile thing to do if your living in New York. The cars honked and the drivers fingered, but I had finally made it to the sidewalk. I took a deep breath, walked to the curb and waited for a taxi to come. Vehicles roared by as working individuals were determined to make it to their occupation destination. “ Hmm.. sounds like a two out of five rated cheesy action motion picture, perfect for miss Star Haggs ”. I chuckled at the horrid notion. Soon realizing that the taxi I had been waiting for a minute and a half was not going to show up, and I would have to look for one myself. So I began to jogg forward with no time to lose, turned the corner located near a beer and found a taxi.. with no driver. “DAMN!!” , just as I had finished having that thought, my blackberry started vibrating in my coat pocket. I was too terrified to pick up as I knew what was coming next but my fingers seem so have a brain of their own, and my thumb was the leader as it reached into my coat, took out my phone and hit the green button. And the next thing I knew the screen of my cell read, Connected to Nina Boosh.

    “ How fantastic.. ” My ear was no where close to the phone, and I could already hear Nina's high-pitched squealing. “ Her volume is definitely on full blast today ”.. but I guess I had called for it, I have never been this late for work. Her voice is always like this, so I spend at least ten hours a day, most of which I have to spend over time, with a mouse as a boss. She sounds like she just inhaled 200 balloons of helium for heavens sake, and on top of all that, shes a devil disguised as a human. - - “ WHERE THE **** ARE YOU?, YOU KNOW HOW CRITICAL THIS MEETING WAS AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR ALL STAFF TO BE PRESENT, ESPECIALLY THE EDITOR OF THE MAGAZINE!! ”, “ I-I-I'm on my way ” I replied back. I don't know the reason but whenever I'm around Nina I stutter, and I'm certainly not afraid of her so this puzzles me a lot. “ Listen Nina, I apologize for me being absent during the meeting, but I had a lon - - .. she cut me off. “ NO YOU LISTEN, YOU IRRESPONSIBLE GOOD-FOR-NOTHING SLOUCH, I DON'T GIVE A RATS a** WHAT HAPPENED, WHEN THERE IS A MEETING I WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY EXCUSES AND I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT TOLERATE TARDINESS...AND DONT TH - - ”. “ Shut up already ” I thought while my mind went asleep for a few seconds. God.. words can not express how much this woman irritates me, and I dont think I have enough patience anymore. I promised myself that when I had accomplished my goal, my current goal that is, I would never treat my employees with such disrespect, no matter how late they are. I mean the woman wont even allow me to tell her the explanation without budging in the middle of my sentences. - - “ ..OW WOULD YOU LIKE THAT?, DOES THAT FLOAT YOUR BOAT, DOES THAT SPREAD THE JAM ON YOUR TOAST?, DOES THAT POUR THE KETCHUP OVER YOUR FRIES HARVEY?, DOES TH - - ” “ Some one shoot me now”.. I took the phone off the ear for a minute, it was now 11:16, I put the phone back on my ear. She was still bickering on but I stopped her and said “ Im coming right now ”. “ OH YEAH, RIGHT, BECAUSE I LOVE TO HEAR THAT, BECAUSE I KNOW THAT WHEN YOU SAY THAT YOU ME - - ”. “ Here we go again..” I sighed deeply. Then far in the distance, I saw something bright that caught my attention, when I at last noted the color, I ran right to get closer, It was a taxi! - - “ OU KNOW WHAT?, DONT EVEN BOTHER COMI - - ”, this time I cut her off. I hung up the phone and bolted towards the cab.

    I followed the driver until they turned and drove into a dead-end alley. The taxi-driver was handling the cab pretty harshly, but its the only source of transportation that was closeby. Amongst the craziness of the morning, I heard the breaks screech so loud Im sure that the sound almost split my ear drums in half. I became more proximate, and I was now in the alley. I jogged to the vehicle, and knocked on the passenger side window. The cab-driver gasped and jumped in his seat. He was decked out in all black, with grudge-like oily hair that was up to his chin, it looked like he hadnt bathed in a year.. doesnt really mesh well with the yellow cab. He seemed fearful when he saw me, but after a few moments he rolled down the window. “ WHAT DO YOU WANT?? ” he wailed. “ I NEED A RIDE DOWN T - - .. the sound of sirens cut me off. “ s**t!! ” he screamed. “ LOOK MAN, IM ALREADY AN HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES LATE FO - - ”. He started the car. “ I WOULD BE VERY GRATEFUL IF Y - - ” .. the sirens came closer. Before I could say utter another word he opened the passenger door in a flash. “ THAN - - ”.. “ SHUT UP AND GET IN THE ******* CAR!!! ” I did as he said. The tires squealed, the engine bellowed, and seconds before I had my hand on the seat belt, we were already on the road.