In this second vignette, Monk meets his handler at Aeschylus and Associates, the LA law firm with whom he contracts his services.
Buttman and Boyer
Boyer was on his office phone, his feet propped on the desk. He didn’t notice as Marsyas Durant and I came in. His attention was directed to the iPhone in his other hand and whatever was on it.
“It’s perfect. I’ve been…”
“Mr. Boyer,” Durant’s patience had run out.
Boyer looked up. Flustered, he dropped the iPhone and missed the receiver with the one that was attached to his ear only moments before.
“Mr. Durant…sorry,” Boyer fumbled with the office phone, finally placing it on the desk. “Yes sir.”
“This is Mr. Monk Buttman. In reference to what we discussed at our meeting on Friday, he will be acting as the firm’s contact. Mr. Buttman, this is Todd Boyer, he handles some of our more sensitive and challenging clients, you will be reporting to him. Mr. Boyer will fill you in on our expectations and answer any questions you might have. Good day, gentlemen.” Durant glanced at the phone on the floor as he left.
Todd Boyer, now relieved of Durant’s presence, returned to the florid character he was when I entered his office.
“Have a seat, Monkman.” Cute.
I sat down.
Boyer picked his phone up from the floor and gave it his full attention.
The office was approximately twelve feet by twelve. Along with his desk and the chairs, there were bookshelves, a filing cabinet, pictures and diplomas, and a window looking out at the brick building next door.
“Don’t get used to my office, we won’t be meeting here,” he responded to my looking around.
“Then it might make sense to show me where our meetings will take place,” was my response to his.
He put his phone on the desk. “And what makes you so special, Buttman?”
“Not a thing.”
Boyer smirked at that. “What did Mr. Durant tell you about this job?”
“The same thing he told you; that there were clients that had particular needs and he thought I had the right stuff,” Durant didn’t actually phrase it that way but I liked how that sounded.
“And how did you come to Marsyas Durant’s attention?”
“His car broke down so I gave him a lift.”
“Really” Apparently, he didn’t believe me. He took the phone from the desk and put it in his pocket. “Alright, let’s get this dog and pony show going.”
We left the office and took the elevator to the basement. The elevator emptied out into a nondescript room manned by a woman at a desk.
“Desiree, this is Mr. Buttman,” Boyer informed her.
Desiree did not look up.
“Don’t worry about her,” he informed me. We left the affable Desiree, passed through a metal door, wandered down a hallway and entered a small room with nothing more than two chairs.
We sat down.
“This job requires discretion,” he began. “I assume you can memorize short phrases…”
“These phrases will seem nonsensical to you, but that is none of your business. Your business is to state them and report back to me any concerns or comments. Got that?”
“Sure. Are you curious as to why we would do this?”
“Not particularly, but if I had to guess, one, it keeps me out of the loop, and two, if someone is listening they won’t understand.”
Boyer grinned, “Very good, Buttman; maybe you’re brighter than you look.”
“And a man of few words…”
Boyer’s phone began chiming.
©2019 David William Pearce