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News and Events
by Brian Weilert

I wouldn’t have spoken to him


Another nameless, faceless minion

            Clad in a generic blue work shirt

            Probably a closet full of the same

He was sweeping the floor at my feet and

Asked if I could move them aside as there was,

            “Some bits of paper down there by your shoes.”

I moved them without really listening

            Without looking

                        I was busy working…

Well, I was on Facebook, but I had just finished…

I was on Facebook

Stealing WIFI

To soothe the wounds of no longer working

Blindsided by a cooperate layoff

I should have seen coming

Had I not been so focused on hating my job


If he hadn’t spent so much time

Mingling the broom bristles amongst my toes

The encounter would have come and went

            Another in long line of lifeless passing of souls


Billions on the planet

And I only know

I mean really know

about five people


But he was still standing there

Apparently a bit of static had forced the paper

To grip the carpet with strength

Each sweep literally super-charging the renegade

Embolding it to hold fast


I glanced up to see the face of a man in his seventies

Furrowed brow as his efforts at the end of a long shift were in vain

            A whispered,“Son of bitch.”

And he leaned down to pluck it from its temporary haven

I heard bones pop as he leaned in

I looked down

To his destination and saw a speck

            A torn bit from a spiral notebook

I looked back up

around the large room

a college library

 thousands of square feet

The paper was a freckle on a whale

No one

 I mean no one would have noticed

As a looked back

He was upright

Rubbing his back


Then I saw it

Subconsciously I knew right where to look

Above the left pocket


I found it odd

Not Tony


The name his mother probably called

Him to supper with

A name fit for a person with a future ahead

“What are you going to be when you grow up Anthony?”

He hovered

I felt he wanted something from


a recognition of his pride?


My father was a blue collar man

A closet full of named shirts


A proud worker who labored

until his early death

just last year

only 56

A ghost who blended in

Wisped by unnoticed

A man of few words

An extra in a movie


I reached up to my collar

Pulled at the silver chain

            around my neck

Until my fingers grasped the cross

Curling into a tight fist

A unique cross

Cut from a 1937


buffalo nickel

The only jewelry ever worn

By dad

He wore it since he was a kid

Couldn’t remember even

Where he got it

But dying

He handed it to me as if

It meant more to him than anything

Making sure I slipped it around my neck

Before closing his eyes and taking his last breath


Sometimes I’d get angry at him

Dad could have been so much more

A genius inventor

A brilliant mind

Someone who mattered


I felt compelled to recognize this man

To recognize his efforts

To let him know that I could see him

Not background music to life but

A person standing before me


“Long night?”


Anthony turned to look behind

Clearly, he had been fooled before

Perhaps a return wave

To an overly friendly group

Thinking to himself, “Do I know them?”

Only to see their gazes drift beyond him

turning to see they had

real friends behind

            the intended targets

Embarrassed as they giggle at his folly

He had been burned

Wasn’t going to make that mistake again


When he realized I was speaking to him…


I expected a haggared ‘humph’

An embittered man drug down by life

Ready to spew forth his disdain for what God had to offer.


I felt as if I were doing a good deed

            including him

As if I was connecting Anthony to the real world

I felt as if I were doing him a favor

An homage to my own father.


Anthony turned to me with a smile,

“Nah, not too bad…just finishin’ up.”

He continued smiling

Gazing about

“Beautiful room isn’t it?”

It was

“Been cleaning here for…

 Goin’ on 40 years now.”


40 years

10 years longer than I had been alive


Small back and forth chit-chat


I began talking

Really talking

He listened

I found myself telling him things

Things one would only tell a professional

My problems with my wife over-charging on the credit card

My youngest boy’s weird habit of touching his peter to the furniture

My inadequacies in the bedroom when I realized I was losing my hair

My depression after Dad’s death

My desire to leave a mark in this world

My want to be someone who mattered

My fear of being menial just like my…..


My, My, My…Me, Me, Me


Lost in my own self-loathing

I forgot my therapist was really


A man who pushed a broom

And I abruptly stopped



There was an awkward pause

To read the rest you must purchase the script