Scoop Pt 1

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a newspaper reporter gets the scoop of the year on the way to work.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

9:29 am

I am fascinated by numbers. I can’t stop looking at them. They’re everywhere. Sitting on the train, I look up at the advertisements and add the phone numbers together. They always coincide with something else I am doing. Like today. It’s the sixth day of the week. The eleventh month. Year 2006. Six plus one plus one plus two plus six. 6 2 2 6. The last four digits of that phone number up there?

Yeah. It’s weird. And even weirder? It’s 6:26 in the morning. Which, I know, leaves out a 2, which is how many minutes late this train is from leaving Lincoln Station. I spent $6.21 on my coffee and biscotti, this morning, too. I left a quarter in the tip jar – I know, I’m a prude. But again, two sixes, two twos.

The weirdest part of this whole thing is that there was a…problem…with the train. We were 62 minutes and 26 seconds delayed. Some poor bastard decided it was time to go, which made us stop. But I finally got to work, and I’m not happy about that, either.

“You’re late because someone what?” Bobby, my boss, hasn’t a warm blood cell in his body, and he dresses no different. I swear the old man has nothing but brown in his closet. Fifty shades of brown, with no greater sex appeal. It’s why he hates me. I’m 20 years younger, been in Denver’s Top Ten Best Dressed list for the last four years, and trust me, I don’t put any effort into it. It’s peculiar what bed head and a 24 hour shadow does to girls in this city. Plus, I’m under him, and I still get called to cover the good stuff. “Well did you at least get the story?” He asked me, as he smashed his cigarette butt in the green glass ashtray under the NO SMOKING sign. That’s Bobby Barton. “Buck the Rules Bobby Barton.”

I glanced at him for a moment while tossing my messenger bag into the chair at my desk. “No, Bobby. No I did not get the story.” Forget the fact that the guy thought life wasn’t worth living anymore, but oh so sad that I didn’t get the story. I hung my trench coat on the rack by the door, poured another cup of black coffee and returned to my desk as Bobby stood in the open entrance to his corner office with an expression on his face that would make you think he’d been stabbed.

“Well why not? That could have been front page news!” Seriously?!

“In your, paper, Bobby. But the Observer is not your paper.” I chugged from the cooling caramel latte and followed it up with a sip of the black. “We’ve gone corporate, remember.” Whatever I’d be working on, today, I really hoped I wouldn’t have to sit in the cesspool of butt-hurt that this side of the Observer had become.

“Corporate, my ass. They’re just paying for everything. I’m still the editor. I’ll get your scoop for ya.” His sarcastic chuckle faded as he retired to his office.

I switched places with the bag and set it on my lap, pulling out my iPhone and steno. I always liked stenos at my desk. Anywhere else, it was Moleskine all the way, but not at the desk. That line in the middle is a note taker’s dream. I always started my entries the same, with numbers instead of written out days, and I wrote the time in 24-hour format. Today, I decided to write out “November” rather than the number. I will admit I was still spooked, even though I didn’t see or hear anything. I think just knowing does that to a person.

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