• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 07


“Okay, it’s done.”

A contract: Offer, acceptance, consideration. Sign papers. Look each other in the eye. Man-to-man. Shake hands. Agreement finalized. Collect payment.

“Should we discuss the fine points?”

“Not now. I’ve gotta go. By the way, you’ll be told when it’s time to leave.”

It was never like that. Merely assumptions, hopes, nesting doll dreams. “I want—” “If this happens, then—” “You will do—” “And, I will receive—”


Money stolen. Pennies at first. Literally pennies — three of them hidden under a divan cushion. Then quarters, followed by a learning period secreting cartons of cigarettes and cases beer out the back door. Then multiple items of clothing from an employer. Cash from the registers - surprisingly easy, keep the receipt, void the sale, extract the money, place in pockets.

On hiatus for three years. Years spent honing his alcoholism.

Then more cash. Make a sale. Save the receipt. Take the money. Void the sale. Place ticket in till. Keep the amount minimal. Do it every day at different times during the day. It accumulated. Worried about being discovered. Time to leave.

More schooling. Additional skills. Learn about kiting. Earn license. Gain experience. Study loopholes. Collect salary. Collect fees. Endorse on back. Deposit checks in an out-of-state account. Destroy client files and account cards. Cash on demand. His own printing press.



Automobiles: Porsche, Cadillac. Town houses. Circle of friends. Women. More cash. A second Cadillac. Then a third. More women. More alcohol. Neglect marriage. Even more women. Stay late. Stay out. Stay over. Stay away.

Lose license. Lose Porsche. Lose Cadillac. Lose townhouse. Lose wife. Lose child. Time to leave.

Run. Escape. Hide. Flee the state. Flee many states. Attempt to change name, Social Security number. Change life, change history. Then four different cells — tombs really — to be repeated twenty years later.

Revise resumé. Phony it up. Use remaining friends to serve as bogus references. New career. New persona. New location, new job. A position with credit card authorization, travel vouchers, payroll vouchers. Large company. Decentralized controls. “You approve mine; I’ll approve yours.” Easier than you think.

Repeat behaviors in many companies over many years. Larger checks from bigger companies. Create shell company. Deposit checks, watch account grow to six figures until time to leave.

Find stability in public service. Years later discover that CEO is doing what he used to do. She tried to con a con. Attempt to expose. Forgot number one rule, and the Queen was wounded, but not killed, though he was. Her vengeance. His termination. Told to leave.

Seek peace. Join church. Serve on council, serve as pall bearer in friend’s funeral. Moments before his burial looking down into an open grave.

“Not, mine.”

“But it is.”

Then, after a moment, “By the way, it’s time to leave.”