Friday, March 28, 2008

The Archetype

Pretty Lady has known, probably, one or two dozen of these fellows. They live in bars and coffee houses around the world; they are Guests of Honor at keg parties. They are both Parasites upon Society, and utterly integral to society's continued progress. If you have never known one of them, you have truly wasted your life.

Victor: These people are on the fringe of society, they have no
money. If they have jobs at all they’re crappy, they do great Art, Music
and Literature and get virtually nothing for it, in fact they lose money
at it. In fact let’s face it, they’re on the fringe they are no-accounts.
That’s the way I always was and I’m happy being that way and I’m happy
having a few people appreciate my work.

Jean: Yeah okay, because part of what I’ve always thought is, part of it
is the connection between like you were a bohemian hippy type and still
are, right?

Victor: I was a rich bohemian when I was younger. When I was{in contrast to} these
people in their twenties, when I was in my twenties, I was very wealthy, I
was a bohemian, there’s no doubt about it.

Jean:(Confused) Now you weren’t very wealthy.

Victor: I was very wealthy and I had a lot of money, what in those
days was a lot of money.

Jean:(tentatively...more confused than ever) Okay..........

Victor: It’s virtually nothing now. The way prices are going up. I
mean in those days I had a ton of money. I mean I was a big investor in
stocks and bonds. I played the ponies, gambled on football. I had money to

Jean: (perplexed) That’s not true.

Victor: That’s not true?

Jean: That’s not true.

Victor: It is true. You didn’t know me in my twenties,

Jean: Well yeah but,{turns tape recorder off, vigorous debate with Victor ensues. Much discussion about what does "very wealthy "mean? we reach a compromise.}

Jean: But okay, well anyway, so you
had more money than they do, now.


k said...

Ah, after the first half dozen or so I really ran out of patience with them. I mean, to the point where I couldn't even just sit there and be silent and let my mind wander. I had to leave.


Nancy said...

This guy reminded me of a guy I knew...who spoke dismissively about "grubbing for money" and how wonderful it was for people to create without monetary motivation...

Yet, he had no trouble allowing others to pick up his bills with that same money.

Anonymous said...

It's also amazing how many items a mooch will order while letting another pick up the tab! Appetizer, coffee, wine, dessert...

Still, at arm's length, yes, some entertaining conversations can be had. And they certainly network like crazy. Hmm... reminds me of the ones who hit on anything female that moves.


k said...

Nancy, you just pegged my first husband to a t.

Except that the person picking up the bills By the sweat of my brow.

Literally. Unloading semi-trucks at the post office. Or, during more wretched periods, being the one to sell my blood to get $10 for food.

Since he, you know, shouldn't have to Sully his Talent by doing something depressing like working. (Or selling his own blood.) Certainly not by actually using that talent to provide income.

And it was a world-class talent. Meaning he pretty much could have written his own ticket, paid some bills, without ever having to really Stoop or Sell Out or anything approaching all that.

My only excuse is, I was only sixteen when we met, and born and bred to be Perfect Victim to his peculiar predations.

I have trouble, these days, remembering what it was like to be in that frame of mind and spirit. I've come so far it seems alien to me, now, like another person I look back to with a sort of sad, and sometimes horrified, empathy.

But I never forget the joy of being free. Never forget the joy of being truly loved by a truly decent man, either.