In the Laundry Room
Eduardo (Eddie) Valdez was one of the invisible people. He was a man who got up in the morning, went to work, came home, ate a tv dinner while watching Lifetime network, and went to bed. He never made waves or ruffled feathers in his life at home or at work. He wasn't a member of any clubs or teams or organizations and just sat quietly in the back of services on Sundays, going home immediately afterwards.
People who make their marks on the world in big, brash brush strokes couldn't even see the simple dot that he was on the canvas of life. In fact, that dot was probably down in the lower left corner and not even visible to the naked eye.
If you asked him about work or sports or the news, he'd carry on a conversation with you. He was not totally socially retarded, just socially unnoticed.
All of this, however, did not mean that he was without love. There was someone in his life that dominated his dreams and his doodles, but they just didn't know it yet.
Eddie loved one of the bosses at work.
Eduardo Valdez was employed by the Moorview Institute in the laundry room. He was not a supervisor (as his work never caught the eye of anyone, for good or bad). He was just another drone who loaded, unloaded, and folded for eight hours a day, five days a week.
Ask Eddie to describe his job and he could actually say something funny; "I clean shit stains out of psycho's underwear." In the eight years since he'd thought that one up, however, no one had ever ask him to describe his job.
The person of the affection of Eduardo was not Eloise Altoids. Sure, she was blonde, had a cute smile, a great ass, a nice rack, and legs that went up to there, but that was not Eddie's type. He also wasn't into someone like Gertie in the Security department. Amazon women were just not his style.
His crush was on Doctor Melvin Lippshitz, head of Psychiatry and Counseling Services at the Moorview Institute. The doctor, however, was probably not even aware of poor Eddie's existence.
He'd let the Doctor cut the line once in the employee cafeteria, but that was the extent of their close contact.
Eddie was sure that old Piebottom (as many of the people in the facility called him) already had a boyfriend. A young, handsome, wealthy doctor like him that drove a Miata Convertible and lived in the Country Club Estates could not be unattached.
It was probably some hairdresser or clothing salesman in town. Those types got all the cute ones.
Eddie threw another load of sheets into the industrial sized washer, turned it on, and headed for lunch.
Maybe today would be his lucky day.
In the Hub
Mr. Lippshitz was tired of the same old routing. He needed something new and exciting in his life. His old, humdrum existence was beginning to bore him and he need a change.
Maybe what he really wanted was love.
There had been no one to share his heart since he'd ended it with Phillip. Yes, the man had dressed nice (his employee discount at Men's Wearhouse had helped) and had the body of an Adonis.
His personal hygeine, however, left much to be desired. While he did follow the requirements of showering at least three times a day, he also insisted on trimming his toenails in bed.
Sanitation was sanitation, and he could not stand for anything less than perfection.
Before that, he'd had a brief tryst with Roger. A man who worked with his hands all day in the hair of others, however, was just not the type for him.
Melvin understood that he'd been looking for love in all the wrong places.
Maybe an office romance to make the days seem shorter? No, there were no good gay men here. All of the non-straights that he knew at Moorview tended to be in the deviant ward, and he was not about to start something with a patient.
His mind and his heart turned back to the dreams of his childhood: John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Now those were real men! Men that lived with other men on the cattle trail. Men that slept with horses. Men that weren't afraid to walk funny. Why couldn't he find a real man like that!
He'd picked up this manly, macho guy in a bar in Springfield (The Real West Nightclub). It was 70's night and the man was even there in an authentic leisure suit and ordered Brandy! He thought for a few minutes that Dean might be the one, but the man had beat him up when he discovered that Melva was really Melvin.
Maybe he should go to Thailand and just have the surgery. Dr. Woods had sent him all the brochures and he had enough money to pay for it. It could make him happier in his life. He knew that he could be a perfect housewife and keep a clean and spotless home.
After Lysoling his desk and sealing off his office and treatment rooms, he headed for the J wing and the employee cafeteria on the third floor (residents ate on the first floor) to get some lunch.
In the Staff Cafeteria
Both men entered the dining area about the same time and headed for the lines. Eddie happened to go to the left line while Dr. Lippshitz went to the one on the right.
Each grabbed a tray and their silverware and napkins, and then walked along and made their selections. Eddie grabbed a Coke, while the Doctor grabbed his usual distilled water.
Both men just happened to finish at the same time, and turned to look for a place to sit and eat. They stood only six feet apart, but didn't realize it.
As they looked around and scanned the room, two hearts started swiftly beating. Could it be? Had they simultaneously found the object of their affections?
Did love at first sight really exist? Could true happiness be found in a momentary glance and meeting of the eyes? Could two lives find joy and lifelong happiness in the cafeteria of a nuthouse? Eduardo Valdez and Melvin Lippshitz did not know the answer to these questions, but thier burning lust and desires and overpowering loneliness begged for the answers.
Smiles of peace and satisfaction, with a little lust, came to two faces as both headed towards a table on the west end, where the new object of desire for both sat: Administrator and Patient Mark Lowton.
If you are interested in reading other chapters in the Moorview saga, here they are: