Sweet Spot- Doug Bond

Bob Stuckey’s rosacea was lit up like a Christmas tree. It went in cycles, these flares. One of the girls poured from the pitcher, slid the glass to him. Empty packs of Marlboro Red Box lay soaked in small pools of beer slopped onto the table. It was hour three going on four. Bob was in the Zone.

Earlier, around a quarter to five, Bob had left his small office in Admissions at Barenhurst Hall behind the faculty lot, and as he always did on Fridays, came in the side door. A couple fraternity kids passed him coming out, said, “Stuckey Chuckey!”

Stage Two of the Zone was the Pose. Glasses pulled down, hanging on the bridge of his nose. Right leg over left. Suit jacked folded behind on his seat, a Pall Mall filterless wedged between his two outstretched fingers.

Bob offered the girl beside him a light. “Seriously, the applicant pool is way down this year for Law.”

She was right in his sweet spot, probably from one of the little towns upstate. He’d asked about her plans, her dreams, pulled the glasses down when he saw she was one of the ones that takes a big breath before answering.

“Oh, Bob, I’ve barely got a 3 point. I was thinking B-School.”

“Your dreams, your dreams, Sweetheart! I’m telling you it’s a numbers game. You never know, you might get lucky.”

Bob clinked his glass against hers and took a long drink. A bit of beer foam clung to his chin and dripped onto his lap. A smile broke across his face watching her eyes light up.

Doug Bond is a man. Doug Bond lives in San Francisco.