To Ojiisan, Obaasan, and Chihiro-basan:
I suppose I should have clarified what it meant to be Seth Midnight's assistant. After a few days of filing his paperwork, he hands me my first 'assignment.'
I should not have been thrilled. Here was how our conversation went:
Midori: You want me to go to a garage? Was there a car theft?
Seth: No, they need someone to fill in during the 3-6 shift for the next five days.
Midori: So I'm to go undercover? Why, is the boss harassing his employees? Is the garage a front for a drug-smuggling operation?
He clears his throat, looks deeps into my eyes, and says...
Seth: Midori, we operate a detective agency that just might find us dealing with the other side of the law. We can't very well advertise ourselves as such. We let our clients find us -- and believe me, if they're desperate enough, they will find us. So to the rest of the world, Midnight Confidential doesn't exist. What does exist is the Midnight Cleaners and Temp Services.
Midori: The Midnight whatta--?
Seth: (goes back to reading his paper) I knew from the get-go your obsessive-compulsiveness was just what I needed to operate. I'm temping you out at 3 PM. I hope that I will not need to remind you to be punctual.
So there I was, unaware of what dual overhead cams were, and suddenly I needed to know how a car worked. And we never even owned one! I suppose Ojiisan's prediction that 'we're going to need one in the future' was somehow right, Obaasan. Anyway, it was lucky for Midnight Cleaners and Temp Services, I was a quick study -- at least, enough of a quick study to tell the camshaft from the crankshaft and not be an embarrassment to anyone. I rather thought I did well, all things considered.
(Except for that time when I forgot to change a client's piston rings. I did apologize profusely.)
Of course, being a garage mechanic was only the beginning. Fortunately, though, Seth seemed to pick up that I wasn't too keen on getting jobs like that so the next one he gave me was comparably cleaner -- I worked as a waitress at a sushi restaurant. It was a good thing I had previous experience waiting on people that this time, it didn't seem like a task at all.
I discovered something surprising, though. When I returned to the office late one night, I found Seth Midnight sleeping on his desk.
Funny how he didn't look the least bit cold or sarcastic while he was sleeping. I suppose it would have been strange if he did. I often wondered what the man did during the day aside from read his newspaper or scribble his notes while I slaved away on his temp jobs but there was something almost vulnerable about him in that position that I lost my irritation.
I thought maybe I would just tell him tomorrow.