My Cousin Malachi

The Family

My father never liked his older brother,
Benny.

He used the term 'dominating' and
'overbearing', 'cold' 'two faced.'
Of course, this was behind his back,
because my father worked for his brother.

We weren't a close family, in fact, my
father wasn't close to any of his
siblings but was most distant from Benny

So it seemed very odd to me that when
I had left High School and didn't know
what I was going to do with my life I'd be
offered a job working for Uncle Benny.

I don't know Why...

I came to work in a different section than my father with different hours.
Benny's son, Malachi, worked in my office.

He said hello, then went back to the computer.
As I hadn't know he'd be there when I entered and we were almost strangers, I didn't feel let down by his coldness. I went to my cubicle and the day passed.
No communication. Nothing.

When I was dropped home by the same Malachi he said nothing on the drive. I tried to open a topic but he didn't answer and I was a bit too tired to do more than let it go.

Now I Get It

I'd been there two weeks. Here's how the day went. Work would be dropped on my desk and I would do it. On the computer.

The first time I'd finished I had gone to tell Uncle Benny who raised a hand;
"Can't talk to you now.."
so I went back to my cubicle and played Scrabble, wrote in my Blog, checked my E-Mail, went to lunch.

It was 4:40 when Uncle Benny came to me wanting to see what I'd done. I brought up the files on the Computer. He went over them word by word, and found heaps to critique. He had me trapped at that computer until past 6:00 then dropped me home. I was so annoyed that I couldn't even talk.

So I understood why Malachi didn't talk.
At least in part.

A Month later

Although the work was interesting, the environment was something like Gitmo. Uncle Benny was the most horrible boss. He never commended, only attacked. And when he'd come up with some protocol and one would try to disagree."Too Much Talking!!!" he'd bark as if his next action would be a punch in the face.

Since I lived in a 'normal' environment I would escape. I'd reach home and after a shower shake off the Office and be myself. But Malachi didn't. He left the office to go home under the same regime.

So Malachi was silent.

What I found fascinating about him is that he almost always had his cell phone in his hand, texting and receiving texts. He was always focused on that cell, actually drove a car holding it.

The Cherry on the Whipped Cream on the...

Aunt Grace's son was getting married. The clan was assembled. Grace was the most popular sister in my father's family.

Benny and his wife and kids, including Malachi arrived. Benny was beaming like the sun, exuberant, nothing like the horrible ogre I worked for. He greeted me as if I were his most prized employee and wrapping an arm about me bragged about how brilliant I was.

My folks, especially my father, almost smirked. He, more than anyone, (except me) knew how two faced Benny is. When Benny let go of me I wanted to bathe in disinfectant.

In a short time, however, with Uncle Benny gone to 'impress' others, conversation resumed normalcy. Everyone was soon chattering and laughing and way over there I saw Malachi texting on his phone. At a family gathering, with people around him, he was texting to whomever wasn't there, oblivious.

"If you keep working for Benny," my father said with his deceptive smile, "that's who you'll become."

I made a late application to enter University, and quit working for Uncle Benny.

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