Stand on a nickel…

He wore a white oxford shirt, frayed at the collar and cuffs. Long, bony wrists protruded from his sleeves. His hair was always a little shaggy, what there was left of it. His tie was stained with the remnants of sandwiches past, threadbare, wrinkled. Khaki pants, just a little too short. If he’d’ve kicked off his scuffed loafers, I bet you a dollar there would be a hole in his sock.

A brilliant but slightly eccentric attorney, he was my boss. Let’s call him Jubel.

The lawyer in the next office over was a natty dresser, neat, pressed. Shiny shoes, slicked back hair. Let’s call him Jim.

Jim would tease Jubel about his appearance, but Jubel would always just wave him off and bury his nose deeper in his law books and piles of paper.

One day I heard the two out in the hall.

“Jubel, why in God’s name won’t you buy a new shirt? It’s not like you can’t afford it!”

To which Jubel replied, “Jim, I’m so tight I can stand on a nickel and tell you if it’s heads or tails.” Then he turned on the heels of well-worn Weejuns and went back into his office. Back to his books.

And that was the last I ever heard of Jim pestering Jubel about his appearance.

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