Thursday, January 29, 2015


It takes me too long to learn life's lessons.  I can learn other things quicker than most people, but life's lessons. . . I don't know.  Here's a thing that just occurred to me.  If you do something for someone, they will want to forget it.  People don't like to feel in someone else's debt.  I knew this in an academic sense.  Take the case of poor old Sherwood Anderson.  He helped every writer I like with their careers in some way or other.  It was Anderson's letters of introduction that got Hemingway into the Paris scene.  That is how he got invited to Gertrude Stein's soirees.  How did Hemingway pay him back?  He said that Anderson was washed up and wrote "Torrents of Spring" as a put down of his style.  Faulkner did much the same.  So, O.K., I "knew" it, but it wasn't one of life's lessons.  Last night, though, lying in my bed in the dead of night. . . well. . . whatever.  I was just thinking of what I had done for people and what had happened since.  I've never had any money to lend, so that isn't it.  But it is the same thing, I guess.  Debt is debt and everybody wants to get away from it.  I just helped the girl in this picture get something she wanted to change her life.  Oh, she's happy enough right now, but in reviewing the history of such things in the dead of night. . . whatever. 

Let me help you here if you skimmed over that paragraph.  Your take-away should be that I am a helpful sort.  As they used to say. . . a good man to know. 

Or maybe it is that I am a sucker for a pretty girl.  Could be.  Yesterday, a rep came to my office trying to get me to buy her product for the company.  Oh. . . she was a pretty rep, odd looking in some ways but sweeter than apple butter.  I called one of my people into the office to listen to the pitch.  She and I are a bit of a mess together and she brings out the weird in me with her approbation. And so, after a little bit of serious discourse, things took a left turn.  And oh, the rep seemed to like it.  Indeed, she said so.  Was that heat I was feeling, I wondered, and was that a whiff of suddenly pumping estrogen?  I could smell the not too subtle aroma, I thought.  Her eyes were bright and alarmed with something akin to joy.  No?  I was almost sure of it.  When we reached our natural denouement, however, she wasn't willing to leave.  And we began round two.  Oh, I like you guys, she said.  I will come back here again and again.  I've never been to a company like this before.  Well, I said, it may be limited to my office.  I don't think you'll find this atmosphere around the company in general.  He's just sprayed roach crazy said my friend.  She meant it as a compliment, I believed.  The lovely rep was squirming with something easily confused with delight.  And then came the second denouement. And still she stayed.  No sir, she wasn't budging.  And she began to talk about herself.  She had come to this state to be a dancer.  She danced professionally for awhile, but it wasn't paying well enough, so she took this job.  What sort of dancing did you do, I asked.  Oh. . . it wasn't pole dancing, she proclaimed so that I had to protest that was not what I meant.  She told us where she lived and what she did for fun, then she invited herself to go to cocktails with a group of us next Thursday.  Of course I won't come, she said, and I was a little disappointed. And then, the hours having slipped past, it was really time for all of us to go. 

When it was all over, I was spent.  I walked over to my friend's office in a bit and asked her if I was crazy or was that girl giving off something.  Oh, she said, she was alright.  My friend has seen this happen before.  She looked at me and laughed.  And so, feeling quite the man, I started back to my office when it occurred to me--Hey! I yelled running back.  She really was a pole dancer, wasn't she? I mean she was just dancing and dancing in there for the money, huh?  I think so, said my friend.  It really would be a lot of money. 

In case you skimmed over that part too, the take-away is that I am a bit obtuse when it comes to women.  But I'm always eager to help them out.  That's a fact.  You can read all about it. 

We'll see how that works out with my new friend.

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