Twenty-One

The office door opened, and he sauntered in.  This boy.  This kid who, up until today, I had only communicated with via text.  He had been described as “super-young”, so I was prepared for a teenager.

He began working for us 9 months ago.  I rarely show up at my office before 10 am, and this new kid was an early bird.  I had managed to miss meeting him in person for nearly a year.

On this rare occasion, I was in the office early, so I was happy to finally meet him.  I smiled and stuck out my hand.  He literally swaggered toward me, and with a lopsided grin, said, “Hi!  My birthday was yesterday!”  I wished him a happy birthday, and he followed up with, “I turned 21!”.   I had to ask him… had he gone out the night before?

“Oh yeah!”, he answered, “My buddies took me to (insert name of local watering hole that houses all 21-year olds and sad old lonely guys, and SHOULD be named “The Get Drunk”) for shots!”

I needed details.  “What was your alcohol of choice?”

He looked confused.  “Uhm, it was The Four Horsemen.”  It was my turn to look confused.  So he continued, “It’s a shot with bourbon, scotch, whiskey and tequila…”.

I wrinkled my nose.  A shooter, not a shot.  And…ew.  A suicide.  But, I wasn’t going to rain on his 21-year old parade.  “Sounds like fun.  And how are you feeling today?”

He turned and made his way to the coffee machine.  “Oh, I feel fine.  No hangover at all!  How does this thing work?”

I crossed the room to demonstrate how to use a Keurig, and he fumbled his way through the condiments until he had what I can only assume was his first cup of “grown up” coffee.

He eyed the upholstered chair in front of my desk and asked, “Is this for sitting?”.  Every part of me wanted to giggle.  I nodded, and he plopped down, leaned back and crossed his legs.  He reeked of 21-plus-a-day and bad coffee, and he might as well have been wearing a velvet bathrobe, slippers, and smoking a pipe.  I resisted the urge to call him “Hef”.

The conversation turned to the job at hand, and he got up and headed toward the door.  He held the door with one hand, the coffee with the other, and nodded in my direction and said, “See you around.”

I love when my morning starts as a sitcom.