Bob (Not a Sequel)

Bob's mother called him Sunshine because he was the light in her life.

Ineffectual from an early age, Bob spent all his time with his mother. With her raspy voice, leathery hands and ample belly, Mom equaled life to Bob. He loved her more than he could ever love another woman, he knew this. But when social security cut back on prescription coverage, someone had to work to pay for her insulin, which meant Bob had to leave the apartment.

Offered a job as the second assistant to the third vice president at Lockhart and Luntz, this meant Bob had to spend eight hours a day away from his mother. Actually, it was more like ten or eleven hours a day when you added his commute from the Bronx. Mom adjusted her sleeping schedule though, staying up most the night reading to Bob while he dodged in and out of dreams on the couch.

On the first day of work, Bob wore his bright yellow suit, a pale yellow shirt and tie decked with lifelike sunflowers. Everyone at the office complemented his style. Next day he went to Montgomery Ward and bought several more suits just like it, in a variety of distinct shades of yellow, ranging from a warm almost cream to a fiery almost orange. Fridays, casual day, he wore his bright yellow polo shirt with pale yellow slacks, banana colored Converse All Stars.

"If I wear yellow everyday, everyone at the office will call me Sunshine like Mom does," thought Bob, hoping that if others called him by him mother's pet name while he was away from her, he would be reminded of her constantly and miss her less.

But no one ever called Bob Sunshine, rather they stopped calling him anything at all. His co-workers hardly spoke to him, except when absolutely necessary.

Although Bob didn't know it, behind his back his co-workers referred to him as Sunny Boy with a snicker. But I think Bob would have been pleased by this nickname, if only they'd had the courage to say it to his face.

No one knew it, but the receptionist at Lockhart and Luntz was a junkie. With a sharp piece of glass she hid behind the Band-Aid box in the bathroom medicine cabinet, she snorted thin lines of heroin off the back of the toilet.

About the author:

Sarah M. Balcomb is someone you just don't want to eff with.