He walks into reception, just as I'm about to start packing my things away at the end of the day. He's a fair bit older than most of the other couriers who drop packages off at my reception and almost limps out the lift to prove it. He looks kind of grubby, his luminous jacket covered in all that soot dusting about London, and his hair looks like a mass of wire wool that continues around his chin to form a Santa-like beard.
"Hello!" I sing, making a point of smiling at him.
I think I've seen him before. I vaguely remember that unusual heavy-duty luminous jacket with the big pockets.
"Hello, again." He says in a low, gruff voice, (confirming my wondering). His accent is heavy, although I'm not quite sure where in the world I'd place him.
He hands me the parcel over my desk, with a friendly, "And 'ow are you?"
"Oh, I'm fine, having a nice afternoon. How are you doing?" I reply automatically, and so was quite surprised when I heard him answer;
My eyes widen. I look at his face. Wrinkles piling up on top of each other, his mouth has slipped into a sad thin line. Come to think of it, he looks a little like an Arabic version of my Grandad. As he sighs a long sigh, I notice a slight twinkle in his eye.
"Oh, no! That really is terrible." I say, happy to play along. "What's making you feel so bad?"
He shrugs and raises one hairy eyebrow.
The tone of his voice lowers into to a whisper as he hands me his tablet to sign. "Aaah... It's my job." He says sadly.
"Your job?" I take the pen from him and quickly scribble my signature. He nods as I hand it back to him.
"Oh no! You know, you really shouldn't be doing a job that makes you feel terrible... Surely you can find one that makes you feel happy on a Friday afternoon!?" I say smiling at him.
Always a fixer, I pause from my work for a minute to give him my complete attention. After all, he seems such a sweet old man. "Okay." I say, tilting my head to the side and looking pointedly at him. "So, if you could do anything, anything in the world, what would you really love to do?
And quick as a flash, he looks me straight in the eye and says;
"Have lots of sex."