Why anyone worth thirty million dollars would take the time to note every single stock market transaction in a database seemed absurd, especially considering the fact that the Barbour Trusts were being managed through the Bank of New York and a paper trail as thick as a good novel came in the mail once a month, according to Stephen.
“Before you file the monthly statements from the Bank of New York, there is certain information that must be noted on the computer. Tom enters most of the data himself. You’ll use this program to monitor Tom’s checking account at Chase, but I figure I’ll show you how it all works. Put the cursor on this field. The program has formulas that are somehow related to the stock market– you know the Dow Jones. I know nothing about it, but I thought I would show it to you in case you decide you want to work a few extra hours doing data entry each week. Every time Tom’s broker buys or sells a stock, Tom keeps track of the transactions on his computer. See here– this is the sale of five hundred shares of General Motors. If you type in the first few letters of the company name, the database automatically extracts information of what Tom paid for each share, the date of purchase and the amount he originally paid for the shares. If you type in the price at close, it will give the amount of profit or loss here. Tom sits here for hours, either laughing or crying– entering ever single dime that came in or went out.”
“My God, how much is he worth?” I asked, noting that no matter which few letters I had entered, a stock that Tom owned came up on the screen.
“ Who knows? This is old money. Probably dirty. Most of his money is in trusts for his nieces and nephews– that is whatever cash Tom’s lovers haven’t squeezed out of him over the years. We’ll never see money like this, nor will we ever understand how it’s made, Charles. Poor white trash that we are– one never understands the concept of wealth until he’s worked around money like Tom’s. If you let him tell it, Tom’s damned near broke. Always. His favorite line when one of his friends asks for a loan is– ‘Money’s just pouring out of me’. Oh you’ll hear him scream that when Richie comes around.”
“An old trick. Richie’s been around for years. He’s the super here. Always inventing little projects for himself to do around the house. Last summer he put up that chimney in the back yard and it cost Tom almost a hundred grand. He’s a Nazi– piece of straight white trash that Tom picked up at Julius’s years ago. Now he works for Tom and so does his older brother. They both have swastika tattoos. Tom insists that Richie is the closest thing to a lover he’ll ever have. He’s nothing but junkie ruining it for all of us. Oh, I’m sure you’ll meet Richie. I should tell you that Tom lives with another one of his strays– a guy named Floyd– Floyd’s been out of prison for five years now and lives in that little room over there. Richie nearly killed him once. Hit him over the head with that old answering machine sitting on the floor over there. Tom just screamed. Didn’t call the police. Jose had to come down and break them up. It was horrible.”
“He was in prison?”
“Child molestation. I don’t know why Tom puts up with this shit, but he does. Floyd has always been polite to me. Just say hi and try to avoid getting caught up in arguments between the three of them. They scream at each other all day. Tom threatens he’s throwing Floyd out, but Floyd always says something to make Tom feel bad for soliciting his sexual services years ago when Floyd was a lowly piece of street trade. The strangest thing is that it was Richie who introduced Floyd to Tom, back in the seventies when Richie decided he no longer wanted to sell his body, but wished to remain friends with Tom. For Christ’s sake, there’s never a dull moment at 60 Perry.”
“Why would Tom take in a child molester?”
“Guilt I suppose. As I was saying– Tom’s stocks… I’m sure you’ll get an earful if Tom ever calls his broker while you’re here. You never heard screaming until you hear Tom get into an argument with his broker Paul Levine. You’d swear he was talking to Floyd.”
“Why is that?”
“Because Tom’s little sister has him on a strict budget. Tom gets $30,000 every three months from his stocks– that’s it. You see– Tom, being gay, has no children and by default, the estate must be preserved for offspring close to him. Try to avoid Alison– that’s my advice to you. She swears we’re all attempting to bleed the estate dry.”
Tom’s cat Whisky jumped on the oak desk and walked across the keyboard causing the program to freeze. At that moment, Floyd walked in the house.
“Hi Floyd. This is my cousin Charles. He will be Tom’s new secretary.”
Floyd ran his large white hands through his brown greasy hair that had been parted unevenly down the middle and extended his hand to me–
“Nice to meet ya. Where ya know Tom from?” He asked, almost defensively…