Chapter 4



Hoyt had two ways of dealing with things. The first was to face them head-on. Accept them, adjust to your new reality. Don’t question. Move on. Be happy.

That actually worked with things like “I dropped my Oreo” or “Ow! Who moved the chair?” It did not work in all cases. Hoyt’s other way to deal with things was to completely ignore them. This was his most frequently used option. Something in his genetic code or the way his brain was wires up kicked into that mode now.

“Okay, fine. Wildest dreams. Sure.” Hoyt felt like he was treading water in a whirlpool. And losing ground at the same time. Or losing water. Whatever. He looked at … what was his name? … Lipton? No, that was tea. Tipton. That was it. Hoyt looked at him and asked the logical question. “What’s next?”

Tipton blinked. A couple of times. He clearly was trying to deal with Hoyt’s reaction and having a difficult time of it.

“There are papers we need to sign.” he said. His expression looked like he was running a mental triathlon to keep up with Hoyt’s direction. “Some of the papers may need to be notarized. At least two of them we should check with a local lawyer and see if we need to involve an officer of the court.”

He looked up at Hoyt. “We could get started right away if you like.”

“Nope,” Hoyt said, “I got a house to finish.” He stood up and waved to the crew.

“You do realize you don’t need to work, don’t you?”

“You’re wrong there. I may not depend upon my salary to live, but I have a commitment to my crew, my bosses and myself. I’ll think about quitting some other day, some other month. I’m busy with my life at the moment.” He stood up, realizing that someone, Manny, perhaps, had brought his lunch and left it sitting on the table beside them. He hadn’t noticed. Food was the furthest thing from his mind right now. He wan’t hungry any more. In fact he felt more like he was about to be seasick. Time to stand up and walk around. He looked at Tipton. “Being rich is just going to have to wait.”

Tipton was lost. He picked up the manila folder, holding it out as if he expected Hoyt to take it, but Hoyt was already walking away. “When can we talk?” Tipton called after him.

“I’ll call you on Saturday,” Hoyt said over his shoulder, “That okay? You can hang out a couple of days, right?”

When Hoyt looked back, Tipton had closed his briefcase and was leaning his head on his hand, rubbing his forehead. His elbow was resting smack in the middle of Hoyt’s basket of fries. Gonna leave a mark, Hoyt thought.

Tipton didn’t answer until Hoyt had the door open to VW.

“Okay, Saturday. How can I reach you?”

“I’ve got your number,” Hoyt hollered over his shoulder. “I’ll call you.”

With that, the world’s most recent multibillionaire drove his 11-year-old car back to his day job.

Chapter 5

Fiction Imitating Art