A Very Nice Office

It was a very nice office, respectable, Carlo thought, shuffling envelopes in his hands. The new office in Boston was a little small but neat as a pin. His desk was sturdy and well-polished with only a few scars in the corners. Carlo leaned back in his chair the green leather welcoming his push. His thoughts ran home. His mother had been a diamond of the first water, still a fine lady even when the family fell on hard times. When Carlo went to university his top drawer tastes matches his wealthy school friends and left him with no money and no degree. But in American he knew things would be different.
Smiling up at the sunny ceiling, Carlo leaned back further and balanced his slicked head on his folded arms. He remembered how the cobblestone streets felt strange when he landed in Boston. Sure Carlo had gambled away the last of his family’s money onboard ship but he still had his quick mind and rock steady drive. He learnt good English bent over a hot restaurant sink. Adventure was around every corner.
Settling his tidy dress shoes on his shiny desk, Carlo stretched back to his chair’s limit. After a few misunderstanding over tips at the restaurant Carlo left the adventurous corners of Boston for Quebec. A jaunty tune he used to sing as a boy came to his mind and Carlo began to whistle. The problem was Carlo has too many ideas to be a waiter but his life as a banker fit his imagination. Sure there had been a forged check or two and a few years away, but Carlo had found himself in Canada. In the quiet of his jail cell Carlo realized he was the unsquashable dream of the new world.
In Italian, French, and his new good English Carlo could share his dream of big and better and never beaten with his fellow immigrants. Ventures rose and fell, but Carlo glittered under pressure. He was a good guy. The kind of man who would give the shirt off his back. Spinning in his office chair, he broke off into song. He heard a soft step of his Rose Maria at his office door.
“Carlo Pietro Giovanni Gugliemo Tebaldo Ponzi are you up here daydreaming?”
Whirling around to greet his beloved, Carlo waved an envelope at her. Pale pink with deep blue and green lines the international response coupon fluttered to the ground. He picked on the slip of paper for return postage. It was worth pennies in the US but in Italy so many liras especially now. A sketch of a thought, a money making idea, maybe not a hundred percent legal but definitely promising money making idea, sparked. As the office door opened, Carlo was fanning his face with the slip of arbitrage. He knew this time everything would be different.
Carlo beamed at his wife and motioned her to come to his lap. Attempting an attitude of stern reproach, Rose Maria scowled. Carlo threw open his arms.
“Sweetheart I’m not daydreaming I’m empire building,” Charles Ponzi said.

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