The Errand is not The End

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A brief moment inside the mind of a spoiled adult.

Submitted: March 30, 2016

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Submitted: March 30, 2016



The Errand is Not The End

By J.C. Black


Hunter Fischer-Farmar, 24, pre-med student at the local commuter college, at least pre-med for now because he got a decent grade in Intro to Human Anatomy and also because he likes the way it sounds and the serious reaction he gets when he tells one of his father’s colleagues, doctors themselves, that he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, a father who chose his name because when Howard Oswald Farmar was in medical school and courting Gloria Ann Fischer, and they dreamed about one day having kids, and then realized how jokey yet distinguished it would sound (“like English Nobility” said Gloria), it seemed too good to pass up, but they ended up naming his younger  brother Seth and his younger sister Sarah, nothing funny there,  the pre-med(?) student who was the salutatorian of his prep school graduating class, got near-perfect board scores, and also an all-State selection in singles tennis, who had been to Nick Baloteri summer camps, but who then snorted his way through most of his Bar Mitzvah money and  into residential treatment not once but three times since he turned 19 (the last at Whispering Pines West, presumably the sister site to Whispering Pines East, but actually it is just Whispering Pines, no “East” in the name), the third time just four months ago as terms of his probation, and thus blowing his ride to a large state university with an accomplished tennis program, which was revoked by the outraged head coach, by whom the recruitment of Hunter Fischer-Farmar had been made a personal mission, a 24-year old who now has to live with his parents and go to the shittiest college in the state aside from the community colleges – at least it’s a university, says Howard –  sits in the worn Recaro driver’s seat of the 12-year old Audi S4 he bought with the last $14,000 of his Bar Mitzvah money,  money that had been handed to him in envelopes, some with no markings, others with his full name on them, some containing store-bought cards, like the one handed to him by Mr. Murray Simon, one of his father’s patients in his endocrinology practice, a diabetic  who, resplendent in a midnight blue velvet dinner jacket and astride his electric wheelchair that was controlled by a joystick, a chair he’d been confined to ever since he lost his left foot to gangrene, a complication of the poor circulation to his feet from the diabetes, a complication Dr. Farmar had warned Mr. Simon about and told him how to avoid (mostly by being active), who, while handing Hunter Fischer-Farmar the envelope and leaning in confidentially, thus causing the Bar Mitzvah boy to have to bend slightly at the waist, and whispering in his moth-ball breath, “I’m closing in on my second Bar Mitzvah you know”, an envelope that, later, as he opened it, he realized contained a check for $5000(!), the largest check but not by much that he got that day, now more than 11 years ago, money which had earned interest every year until he started to draw it down to pay for drugs in the spring of his freshman year in college,  a car that is equipped with a 2.7 liter V-6 engine, twin intercoolers, dual-overhead cams, five valves per cylinder, variable valve timing for the intake camshafts, and optimized combustion chambers, resulting in an engine that once generated 250 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque, but had lost some compression due to age and nearly 123,000 miles, and now had more like 190 horses, but was still pretty torquey and fun to drive, but also had a fucked up radiator or something so that it always ran hot, a car that was a magnet for a certain type of girl, the type he sometimes wanted to be with, because of its street rod paint job and ground effects lighting, like something from a Hollywood movie about illegal street racing, except the driver couldn’t afford to put in a nitrous booster since he’d had to drain his bank account just to pay for the car itself, something both Howard and Gloria flat out forbade, but fuck them, he’s an adult, right?  Now the former high school tennis star adjusts the air con to angle more directly onto the lower half of his face since his eyes are starting to dry out, and, out of the corner of his eye catches the annoying red glow on the instrument panel indicating that the engine is overheating, then looks back over his right shoulder as he changes lanes, having to raise himself up by leaning on the steering wheel to see past the blind spot created by the stack of flat-packed furniture boxes from the Swedish furniture warehouse he’d just picked up, part of the errand Gloria sent him on with the promise that she would give him some cash for the gas and to get some of the delicious meatballs from the warehouse cafeteria, which he washed down with several free glasses of Lingonberry soda, free because he’d only asked the cashier for a water cup but took the soda anyway.  An under used berry, the Lingonberry.  As he turns, he has to use his chin to nudge down the extra-stiff collar of his red and white striped Super Dry polo, a shirt he recently acquired from the closet of some random dude’s apartment he was at for a party, a dude who was a bit of a tool and who deserved to have his shit stolen, if you asked Hunter.  As Hunter reflected on this act of petty larceny, not his first by any means, the shirt probably costing upwards of seventy five bucks, retail, he developed the opinion that one shouldn’t have a party with that many people without locking one’s bedroom door, at least that is what he would have done, but probably he wouldn’t have ever had that many people over, especially not if he lived in a sweet loft in that part of town.  No, Hunter’s style was to have day-time barbecues by his parent’s pool but with the main house off limits.  Anyone needing it could use the bathroom in the pool house or the guys could piss in the shrubbery off the pool deck.  Either that or to have them at his buddy Rex’s house, Rex who never went to college but started working as a night shift manager for a custodial company 18 months ago and now was running five crews across the city and really starting to make bank.  Rex who rented a suburban split level with three bedrooms and two baths and a two car garage and a giant back yard where the landlord let him dig up the sod and put in a sand pit for volleyball and/or beach soccer and/or bocce and/or horseshoes, and/or whatever other fucking game they got up to, and who now was making plans to start his own custodial services company, at which, if he gets it going, he would give Hunter a job, or better yet, bring him on as a partner if he could come up with ten grand to invest, it’s an easy business but the hours suck, but Rex would show him what to do and in no time they could become kings, like Rex’s name,  in fact that was what he was going to name it, King Custodial & Janitorial, he’d use the ampersand instead of spelling out “and”, even had a logo already designed by a service he found online.  Because “Rex” means “king” and Hunter Fischer-Farmar’s name sounded like English Nobility.  Safely changing lanes, the pre-med(?)-student-cum-janitor-king stamped down on the accelerator and pushed the RPMs above 5000 to put some space between him and the Volvo wagon behind him, a car just like the one his mother drove, which he himself sometimes had to drive if he didn’t have gas money or the S4 was acting up, an act that he resented both for the emasculation of driving such a feminine car and because it evidenced his reliance on his parents largesse that made him their fucking errand boy, an errand boy who they didn’t know for sure but probably suspected was stealing some of their old shit and pawning for cash around town, old shit like three random crystal champagne flutes with angels on the stems and a solid brass Tiffany desk clock, this family pirate who even now had four silver tea spoons he had lifted from Grandmother Farmar’s house just yesterday in a plastic shopping bag under his seat, spoons he planned to sell at one of the antiques stalls on that stretch that douchebags called “antiques row”, for which he would likely receive four hundred bucks if he played it cool and said that they were his share of a tea set left by his great aunt that he had to divide with his five siblings, and what was a guy like him going to do with four silver spoons, know what I mean?And he’d need that four hundred bucks to fix whatever was wrong with the shitty S4 he’d blown his Bar Mitzvah money on in the first place, especially if Walter and Gloria ever wanted him to do another one of their fucking errands for them.

© Copyright 2018 J.C. Black. All rights reserved.

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