Damon Gant

The gym doors slide open with a cool, quiet sound, and the chilled indoor air spills out onto the sidewalk. A pair of expensive brown dress shoes stride smartly inside.

"Good afternoon, Mr. Gant. Here for a swim?"

"Yes indeed, my boy! Just a few laps over lunch and then back to the old grindstone, ahaha!"

"Very good. I'll have fresh towels put in the warmer for you, sir."

"Good lad, thank you!"

The brown shoes pass through a door and clop over a tiled locker room floor. Many a wealthy pillar of society—young, white-smiled men pulling off their ties, old men with liver-spotted bellies sagging over their towels—hail the wearer of the shoes as they pass.

"Afternoon, Chief!"

"Hoy, Damon! Didn't see you yesterday!"

"Oh, busy, busy, busy! Never a dull day," he responds. "No rest for the wicked, you know! Ho ho!"

Tanned, perfectly manicured fingers spin the dial on his padlocks. It clicks. The fingers pull it from the door latch and open the locker.

A gold watch is removed from a wrist and placed on the shelf inside. A leather wallet comes out of a trouser pocket and goes next to the watch. A gold brooch, now, unpinned from a red silk cravat, and then the cravat itself, unwound from a strong neck. Now the bright orange blazer—but what…?

The hands lift up the jacket for inspection by cold blue eyes that peer over smoky spectacles. A few rust-colored spots freckle the lapel, as though some substance, now dry, has been spattered there. The owner of the eyes and the hands and the shiny brown shoes tut-tuts in his throat.

"And I was so careful, too!" he murmurs. Shaking his head, he pulls a hanger from the rod inside the locker and buttons the blazer onto it. Then he hangs it back up, next to the spare suit in its dry cleaning bag. "Ah, well."

When he has finished changing into his swimming trunks, he closes the locker door and replaces the padlock. He walks toward the pool, stretching a tricep across his chest, and whistling.