His office was filled with pictures of Golem. “I guess you really like Lord of the Rings,” I said.

“Yeah,” he said.

There was a chess set on his side table, featuring Golem and other characters from the saga. “Do you play that in here?” I asked.

“Not that often,” he said. “Do you play? We should play some time.”

But I don’t play much chess. He would have beaten me badly and I wouldn’t have enjoyed that, and would have felt about as foolish as I ever had sitting in his office playing chess with him.

Among the reproductions of old illustrations and copies of movie stills were several hand-drawn Golem sketches. “Did you draw those?”

“Yeah.”

“They’re pretty good.”

He thanked me and we discussed our joint project. He wanted the interesting parts, as did I. He was older but I had been on the case longer and won the graces of two partners, and the ire of one. We divided it fairly. Later I asked if he wanted to share a cab, but he was renting a small apartment directly across the street, so it was unnecessary. A month later this employee had surgery to repair a deviated septum and, when he told me about it, the partner cocked his eyebrow in a comical expression and I looked down at my notepad for a long time.

UPDATE:  I know that it’s actually spelled GOLLUM.  But Golems are also interesting creatures, I have found.

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