The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Four – The Brewer 21
‘Jackson, I see your pain. Most importantly you carry your mistakes with honor not shame. You live in shackles but your mind is free. You have mastered life. You are most certainly one of the most interesting men I have ever encountered. This is my card, if there is anything I can be in your assistance with. I will seek to sending you a thank you gift.’
‘The pleasure was mine. No need for gifts. This is a wonderful break from my routine. The coffee alone is worth the trip. Have a nice life.’ Said Jackson walking out of the door escorted by the four police officers.
Just before he walked out he stopped in front of the Brewer and looked him straight in the eyes. He strained his stare and grinned at him like he was reading him inside out. The Brewer started feeling dizzy again. This man looked like he knew the Brewer was up to something.
‘Cracking a safe is the same like cracking yourself, you have to perfectly align all aspects to you best suiting.’ Said he without shifting his stare from the Brewer’s eyeballs. Then he disappeared into the good warm world.
The preparatory was quiet once again, for it took them-three left in there a few moments to shake off the spell of the ginger man. The Butcher was first to come out of idleness.
‘Rokas, right? Sorry to keep you so long.’
‘Not at all sir, it was rather interesting.’
‘Wasn’t it, that convict has absolutely baffled me.’ Said he so humbled like they’ve been drinking buddies for years. The ginger man was of some service to the Brewer as well, after all.
‘Rokas, the reason you are here is a change of schedule. By now you must be aware that we are changing the art in the three galleries on the main floor for a new show that opens Saturday.’
‘Yes sir, you are changing them Friday, as far as I know.’
‘We were originally going to close the main floor on Friday and install everything during the day with the artist present. But he has had an urgent family engagement and he is not going to make it. We have decided on an alternative arrangement. We will work at night on Thursday overlapping with the beginning of your shift. That will give us a chance to have a Friday soft opening. Nothing to worry about, I just want to request please that you start with the fourth floor and work your way down since we will be done by midnight or so. By the time you get down to the main we’ll clear out and you can do your work as usual. Do you follow?’
‘Yes sir, I understand perfectly. Thank you.’
‘No, thank you! That is all. We are about to leave the building. You can go ahead with your duties.’
‘Thank you, sir. Good night, sir.’
He managed to keep calm because the change did not interfere with his agenda. He was planning to deliver his works in a day. The very beginning of the week.
The delivery was the biggest gamble in his operation so far. A tangible assault on capitalism. He had covered everything that could be covered on the topic. Every detail that could be conditioned and controlled had been through his busy head many times. However! Fate had a sense of humor, irony, sarcasm and luck put together in an entity called accidents. Accidents as in a break of the routine of human beings or organizations. This was why only strong-minded villains with the art of improvisation in their pockets passed the most difficult of tasks. The Brewer was about to find out if he was one of those villains.
For the remainder of that particular evening he could do nothing better but hit the marble and do his best not to think about the fate’s caprices.
It was time to use the mustache. It was not just a mustache any more. There was an ego boosting experience attached to it. It told a sticky story every time it tickled the Brewer on the cheeks.
He walked slowly in the direction of the van, his cap on, busying his mind with the street signs and the storefronts on the way. (I enjoyed those moments in-between static points striding free of shapes and forms. Not confined to the bottle any more. Men are lucky creatures.) Reaching the van felt good, like reaching a checkpoint in a video game where he could save his progress and resume from the same spot if he got killed later. Unfortunately it did not work like that in life.
He hopped in and checked the inventory. Driving license, clip board with an invoice listing every single work. The invoice was a small detail that he put hours into making. Special invoice paper, the Baker’s address and telephone, the museum digits, precise inventory, all the little things that catch your eye when you see an invoice. Pack of cigarettes and few newspapers lying around the cabin he thought would make it look more realistic. A pack of chewing gum, to be used shortly.
Fortunately the storage facility was completely automated, he punched in a code, got in, get his stuff and got out. He was not worried about leaving traces here because they would have plenty on him in the museum. It would be clear that the missing janitor was the villain. He counted on it.
Stay tuned for next week’s installment of The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer – Tuesday, June 14th
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more by PETER ODEON
photograph by Emanuele Bresciani