Potzandpan Tax & Financial

Potzandpan Tax & Financial was an odd fit in many ways for the straight laced Tony Violette. Blinky’s office was buried in the back corner of a wraithy Edison New Jersey shopping center/office complex consisting mostly of empty pizzerias, massage parlors, check cashing businesses and Indian and Pakistani owned offices whose business purposes weren’t completely clear. Behind Blinky’s windows ran the New Jersey Transit lines between the Metro Park and Metuchen train stations. The sound of each passing train was an endless distraction one never got used to. The locomotion would rattle Blinky’s windows, which were usually open in spite of the train noise due to the building’s unreliable air conditioning. In the winter, Blinky’s windows were also opened to due to the building’s too reliable heating system and the insistence of the building’s predominantly Indian and Pakistani tenants that the building thermostat be kept at eighty degrees. With only screens between the office and passing trains, Blinky’s office was an extraordinary magnet for dust. The squeaky floors were covered with old, stained Berber carpeting containing more pulls than carpet and the vinyl waiting room furniture was covered with duct tape to cover the rips. Storms with even modest winds caused door frames and latches to become misaligned making half of the building’s doors almost impossible to open and the other half almost impossible to close. Blinky’s old file cabinets barely opened, too. The suspended ceiling tiles were all water stained and the wallpapered hall walls all curled at the sanitest seams and were covered with tacky pictures. The parking lot outside of Blinky’s office was littered with paper plates and empty cat food cans. Dozens of feral cats filled the broken black top, sustained by a dozen or so of round-faced, depressed, middle-aged women who fed the cats. After dusk, the cat population was replaced by a half-dozen raccoon that fattened up on the left-over cat food and hid under Tony’s car.  

Bourbon Billy a Novel by Ted Fiolek