Master of Disguise

You’re up next in line at FYE when an older gentleman cuts in front of you. Where did he come from? He wasn’t there a second ago. 

He’s balding, with oval shaped glasses. What little hair is left flows out from his scalp in curly, gray clumps. His red collared shirt and suspenders look familiar to you, but it’s tough to place him. 

“Excuse me,” Suspenders says to the cashier, a youngish dude in his twenties who looks old for his age. Mid-twenties maybe? 

The cashier stares at Suspenders. 

“Can I help you sir? This customer’s next in line.”

“The label says the movie’s here, but it’s not,” says Suspenders. He points an index finger back towards the shelves full of used Blu-rays and DVDs.

The cashier rubs his left eye. Another 30 minutes to closing.

“Sorry? What are you talking about?”

“I’m looking for ‘Master of Disguise,’ with Dana Carvey,” he says. “Remember that movie?”

“Sir, I don’t understand what you’re asking,” the cashier says.

Suspenders tries again. “The label has the title on it, but there’s no movie. Can you check in the back to see if you’ve got another one?”

“Okay, you mean the plastic filing dividers. They’re labeled with the movie titles.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I can special order that title if you like,” says the cashier.

“Can’t you check the back?”

The cashier tilts his head sideways and mouthes the word ‘sorry’ to me.

He turns his attention back to Suspenders. 

“It doesn’t work that way, sir. If someone sells us a copy of the movie, then it will be on the shelf. Otherwise, we can special order it for you at full price.”

Suspenders looks around the store and grits his nicotine stained teeth.

“Nah, I’ll just come back next week and see if you’ve got one then.”

You watch him waddle out of the store and into the food court. Then you remember where you’ve seen him before. He’s part of the custodial crew working at the mall. You whisper a silent prayer and hope he finds his movie soon.

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