BLINGERMAN— K. Uffelman
“I can’t believe Blingerman resigned like that. It just doesn’t make any
“Spending more time with his family. Hah! I didn’t even know he had a
family! Did you?”
“And not a clue what his plans are. What’s Blingerman up to?”
James was not normally a garrulous person, but if he heard the name
Blingerman one more time, he would have to spill the beans. The gossip was
just too juicy.
In truth, James had never met Blingerman. Not in person, anyway. Few
people had. Blingerman’s image was all over city hall, though, so if you
worked there (as James did, administrative assistant III), his likeness
was burned into your subconscious. Most people, and James was no
exception, felt a kind of intimacy with Blingerman because of those
pictures. Maybe due to the smoothness of his shaved scalp, or the dimple
in his chin (which somehow made him look both respectable and sexy), or
the way his eyes seemed to follow you down the hallway. And then, of
course, there was that photo on the interwebs of Blingerman with
sunglasses on and his shirt unbuttoned quite low, and no one ever
mentioned it but everyone had seen it. Where did that picture come from?
It was a thrilling question.
Although some of the city hall occupants doubted Blingerman’s actual
existence, and others thought the internal marketing of Blingerman
oppressive, for many more he was a secret, inescapable crush.
“I heard he didn’t even clean out his desk.”
“Someone found his gym bag in his filing cabinet. With gym clothes still
“I hope he’s okay.”
The city press release had been dry, so dry. Blingerman resigns on short
notice. Wishes to spend more time with his family. No immediate plans.
Leaves on good terms, and his department is ship shape. No successor yet
selected. The citizens of the city so grateful for his many contributions.
At first everyone assumed Blingerman was running for such-and-such elected
office or had been recruited for some C-suite job at some big corporation.
But there was no farewell party, no sheet cake, no outgoing public radio
Then, with the mention of his family of whom no one had previously heard,
the rumors turned more scandalous. Women and men both claimed to have been
romanced or ravished by Blingerman. There were tales of extravagant tabs
at local bars and hotels. A tailor down the street who claimed Blingerman
owed him for thousands of dollars worth of bespoke shirts and suits. A
massage therapist, part of the mayor’s staff, no less, who let slip that
Blingerman was a regular and that, recently, he had been covered head to
toe in love bites. So many that she had recommended he see a doctor.
“Maybe a sign of a blood infection, or some other fatal disease,” someone
The massage therapist just rolled her eyes.
But James was the only person who seemed to actually know. Even though he
had never met Blingerman in person, even though he wasn’t even sure what
Blingerman did for the city (Chief of Intergovernmental Relations – what
the fuck is that?), he knew everything that was possible to know; he had
access to Blingerman’s email account.
James liked to think he was a hacker, but he was a hacker with no skills.
He was, however, extremely talented at wasting time, and right before
Blingerman resigned, James happened to be randomly trying passwords on
different city employees’ email accounts and hit the jackpot with
Apparently the claims of all of the romanced and ravished city employees
weren’t as unfounded as one might expect. Blingerman’s professional love
life was a marvel and his email told the tale. Messages from Juan from the
department of planning and development, Aiko from the police
accountability committee, Hermione from the arts council. Subjects lines
like Menage a trois, bondage, peanut butter, compost.
To be continued…