A photograph of the ally behind San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid.

The Executive

The alarm rang and the radio spat news.

Bonwit Teller opened his eyes to a foggy San Francisco morning.

He threw off the comforter, angrily pulled down the shades, and
crawled back into bed.

The phone rang

“Hi Bonwit, it’s Jerry. This is your wake-up call per your request.”
“Hi Jerry”
“Are you up?”
“That was a helluva rant you gave last night”
“Which one? I was drunk.”
“About Old Man Lazaro.”

Bonwit sat up.

Jerry continued: “You made Old Man Lazaro look like a jackass.”

Bonwit sighed: “I guess I owe him an apology. I say wicked things
when I’m drunk. Thanks for the wake-up Jerry.”

Market Street looked like an Exodus scene.

“Let my people go,” Bonwit heard a beggar say.

He dropped some cash into the beggars’ cup and hurried into
the underground.

He saw another beggar sitting cross-legged in front of the
ticket machine.

His sign read: “Dying from AIDS. Please help.”

Bonwit dropped some cash into his cup and hurried onto
the platform.

Bonwit was desperate for the train to arrive.

He thought of Old Man Lazaro: his face boyish, yet old, kind, yet cruel.

Bonwit spat on that face and remembered his rage at last night’s dinner.

Lazaro compared Bonwit to a General in a noble army:

“That’s what you are.” Lazaro said. “The sales force is your army. They depend on you for supplies and protection. Your people need you Bonwit.”

“I’m just a fucking travel agent and you’re just an old queen!” Bonwit drunkenly snarled.

Bonwit rose from the station and entered the Pyramid.

Bonwit thought; I am truly a pain in the ass.

As if I don’t know why I’m here

He smiled benevolently at the housekeeper. “Good morning Violet.”

’’Morning Mister Teller.”

“Have I met my obligations to you this week?”

“I got a paycheck if that’s what you mean?”

“I’m so pleased.” Bonwit replied.

He entered his office and rang his secretary: “Mary, will you call the Whiskey Shop and have a bottle of Macallan 1939 delivered to Mr. Lazaro?

“Yes Mr. Teller. Mr. Lazaro is in his office. He wants to meet with you.”

Bonwit entered Lazaro’s office and took a seat.

Lazaro glared at him. “Bonwit, darling! You’re late.”

“I walked this morning.”

Lazaro laughed.  “I’m removing you from the Booth Account. Shirley
complained this morning.”

“About what.”

“She said Baxter’s tickets were late.”

“I had those tickets printed and sent before Shirley ordered them.”

Lazaro shrugged and smiled. “Maybe she has it in for you. Maybe she doesn’t
like old queens.”

Bonwit returned to his office and crossed to the picture window
behind his desk.

He studied the expanse of the Bridge and the shimmering blue
waters below.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2015-2019
‘Behind the Pyramid’ (c) Rob Goldstein

First posted May, 2017-Revised and re-posted January 2019.






34 thoughts on “The Executive

  1. Rob, this is marvelous. You really drew me into the story. I even had an “Akk!” moment when it stopped. 😀
    “Bonwit Teller” is a terrific character name. I like that for a moment it made me do a double-take. That made it stand out in memory. I really do like it.
    Your comments on handwriting were interesting. I had not considered it relating to PTSD, but I can see that in my own. Definitely interesting.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Diana. When I first started writing again and I didn’t know how rusty I was. Now I’m revising earlier posts as I review the material I want for the book of poems. I can tell the writing has improved.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That was great. A comment from above – that is a great thing about blogging – being able to write and develop a style – or styles – and that there is a place for everyone who wants to put their mind on paper, er…on a hardrive?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was written my hand in 1992 although the title is new. It didn’t have a title.

      I still find writing that I didn’t know I had and handwriting in different styles. Some of the handwriting has a bit of overlap…but it mostly looks like different people, I’ve considered scanning and posting it.

      Thank you for reading the story and commenting..and I agree..the blog is writer’s heaven…:)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Handwriting tells a lot. Most people usually have one or maybe too if they are writing fast. When Jamie writes to me he has many completely different handwritings. I can tell immediately what his mood is. It can be heavily slanted to the right or big and loopy, sometimes flourishes, sometimes hard to read. Words he knows how to spell but misspells. I could probably separate a dozen. it might be interesting to do a post about that.


      2. That’s a dissociative symptom…it can also be a symptom of different degrees of traumatic stress in the environment…such as fear with can cause tremulousness. Of all of the silly myths that attend DID one of the more damaging is that the alternates of “completely” different, which is not so. There is overlap because there is only one person. “Experts” say we’re malingering because the evaluate us by criteria based on ignorance…even if Jamie
        had DID he might have different styles of writing with similarities.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t think he has DID. But I do know stress plays a huge part. And emotions. Anger, upset, depression, loneliness, determination. I can tell before I read by his handwriting. When he’s calm it’s very even and spaced and has better spelling. I’ve wondered though why emotions would make you spell words very wrong that you know how to spell because either you know it or you don’t. Some words he just sounds out, like the word “anuff”.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s the conclusion came to as well. I don’t underestimate the psychological trauma that comes from being in our nations for profit prison system which is trap designed to groom people for recidivism.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. There is so much more in the news now about different politicians jumping on the bandwagon about needing to change things and a few token things are in the mill. But I take it with a grain of salt. How much change can they actually do? How many people will be let go who have life sentences they shouldn’t have that cost the taxpayers billions of dollars when they have contracts with the prison corporations to keep the prisons full? These are 20 year contracts. Some states require 100% capacity – others 90%. If they aren’t full the govt has to pay them money per head because of the financial loss. I see some changes maybe in the use of solitary confinement but will it be enough to make difference when anything over 15 days makes actual chemical changes to the brain? This past year at a UN summit meeting American insisted they don’t used solitary confinement in the manner they do. Someone rolled an actual cell into the meeting. I think they will make token changes so they can say, “See…see how good we are doing because we love our citizens!” Time will tell. The entire system is rotten from the ground up.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Meaningful change takes dedicated sacrifice on the part of people who are more safe if they stay silent.

        In my time Gays went from universal contempt to the a general recognition that regardless of what people think we are citizens who live in a secular state.

        That’s because the founding members were so passionate in their commitment that they sacrificed job security and risked incarceration.

        By the time the AIDS epidemic happened enouhj social changfe had occurred to create a Gay middle class.

        Had it not been for this population that had money the movement would have died.

        Democracy is hard work.

        As long as people prefer to get their opinions from “experts” who completely hate them and are using them as weapons of their own destruction we won’t have change.

        Poor whites and poor blacks have more in common than poor blacks and rich blacks.

        As we’ve seen, some of the wealthy members of every ethnic and sexual minority is perfectly happy to toss their own aside to secure a place at the master’s table.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading it and leaving a comment. I enjoyed the process of writing and illustrating it. Thanks to blogging I can finally learn to write the way I’ve always wanted to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I already enjoy your writing and it’s interesting to read different styles. Blogging is great that way, isn’t it? You can try any number of different approaches and see what you like best. Your illustrations always add wonderful dimensions.

        Liked by 1 person

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