The Half Eaten Brioche
Sitting at the breakfast table, I took off my glasses thinking about what had happened yesterday.
Everything had seemed so normal, nothing outstanding that could have been a harbinger of future events. Just morning coffee and a brioche as usual. I finished breakfast then walked downtown to work off some of my winter fat. Then to the bank to make some payments I didn’t want to do on-line. It was whilst I was sitting reading the paper waiting my turn, that the man came in.
He looked quite distinguished. Perhaps in his early fifties with a well kept beard and salt and pepper hair. He wore an expensive suit and his hands were well manicured. I have a weakness for hands and they’re often the first thing I spot in a man, after noting if he wears a beard or not.
He looked nervous, in fact, vaguely panicky. It wasn’t anything really up front, just an undercurrent.
The bank manager came out of his office and greeted the gentleman, solemnly. They hadn’t closed the door properly and we could all hear the rumble of their voices growing steadily louder. It seems that the gentleman couldn’t keep up the payments with his loan. He remonstrated, then cajoled the finally began to shout. Everyone looked somewhere else, embarrassed for the man who was obviously about to be financially ruined. Then, we heard a loud explosion followed by another.
We all ran towards the door, someone pulled out their iPhone and started taking pictures. There in the office lie the manager, blood on his white silk shirt. The gentleman now had a gaping wound for a face.
I sat here this morning with my brioche and coffee, reading the article of what was behind the tragedy in morning paper. The crisis … he had a construction firm and his clients, a public administration, weren’t paying the work he’d done for them. He still had to pay his workers, his suppliers and the bank though. Just another story of the economical crunch. I lost my appetite.
Note: In Italy over the past few years something similar has happened and not just once or twice. The only difference is that the person who’s being financially ruined doesn’t take the bank manager with him. So this is based on a reality with a little fiction thrown in.