Joseph Costa

Bobby Winger is a quietly odd, 21-year-old plumbing savant who struggles with mental deficiencies, inner demons and a bizarre fetish for stealing plumbing parts—from working bathrooms. Beneath his bed, Bobby stores dozens of ledger books that he uses to meticulously log his prized stash of stainless steel, copper and chrome, pipe fittings. Utilizing both memory and innate ability, Bobby lists the make and model number of each part along with the company name and the place from which the item was taken.

Bobby is all but non-existent to virtually everyone around him, except for an abusive mother who openly blames him for her own plight. Her neglect of him has left Bobby to fend for himself in life. Each day he dons the same outfit—a workman’s jumpsuit—and lives off a steady diet of peanut butter and milk.

Trying desperately to fit in somewhere, Bobby gets one job after another, but he is undone each time by his penchant for dismantling the facilities of the establishments in which he works. Bobby’s growing frustration leads him to the local reptile store where he watches the snakes shed their skin—revealing a yearning to shed his own existence for one he can never have.

In a selfless attempt to win the affection of a girl, Bobby trades his life’s work for an inappropriate gift leading to a disastrous emotional low point. The death of his mother then leaves him alone and literally out in the cold.

Then, with an impromptu act of kindness, Bobby uses his one talent to assist a neighbor, and his dismal life takes a turn, leading him to an unlikely friendship and a healing connection with his deceased father.

Copyright 2005 Joseph Costa
All Rights Reserved