My name is Joe, but I am not a regular Joe. The nicer people call me eccentric or odd; the rest, well to my way of thinking, the worst of them call me ‘useless’.
The truth is, none of them are entirely wrong. I am an idea generator, but I am not that good at taking action so as to bring the ideas to life. Let me illustrate the description, with a brief story of how we arrived here, today, my dear family.
Unfortunately I am hopeless at imagining scenarios for writing fiction, which would have been a good way for me to utilise my ideas, so I have been forced to watch all my ideas die a slow, wasted death, for my entire life
On the morning when my story, the most important part of it, began, I woke up with a crazy idea for starting a new business. By now there was nobody I could try and sell my idea to, since all my friends were convinced that even if my ideas sound brilliant, there is always some detail I forgot to account for, which causes the new venture to collapse (rather catastrophically, I am honest enough to add). Still, it does get depressing, so I decided to reward myself with a large cappuccino and an easy crossword puzzle, so that I can feel the day had at least one pleasant highlight.
That world chain of coffee shops I dislike is, luckily, not popular in my country, so I went to Wimpy (I know, it sounds like it is a coffee shop for wimps, lol, but they make a nice cuppa). Being the first days of the month, the place filled up and as I was sitting at a table for four, I was pleasant about being asked by a middle aged woman whether she could share, and did not try to impose myself on her, letting her do her texting in peace while I tried my crosswords.
“Crosswords are a wonderful way of exercising the brain.”
I offered her a small smile. “For exercise, my brain prefers flying.”
Of course I was deliberately being enigmatic and as I hoped, it led to us actually having a conversation, between the sms beeps from her phone. She did something I’ve rarely experienced - she shut off her phone and asked me a question, trying to understand what I meant by my mind flying.
I liked that she asked, but I also liked the way her eyes seemed to be alive and interested in what I said. I liked that she told me her name - Patricia. I explained about how my mind soars to the ether and waits there to steal the best ideas for me to trash them - but still, driving me nuts with ways of seeing the connections others do not seem to see. She asked for an example and I gave her my idea of that morning. She did not make any comments and soon thereafter she said the typical, ‘nice to meet you’ and called for her bill.
I knew I had not given off any signals of sexual interest, as she was not the type I find alluring, so I was surprised when she asked me for my cell number.
Days went by and I wrote off the memory as just another oddity that makes life interesting, but without any deeper meanings - and then she phoned and asked to meet me at the same Wimpy.
“Joe, let’s clear the air first. After meeting you, I arranged for a friend in the force, to investigate you. Not because I worried you may be a criminal, but because I needed to know what the truth is, what your rules are and why you are not wealthy. I like most of what I have learnt - and what I did not like, none of it was bad, just confirming what I had already suspected. Are you okay with the invasion of your privacy?”
“Not really. I need to know what it is you learnt about me that would give you the impression I am likeable. It is not how I see myself.”
She laughed. “Yes, I got that impression when reading between the lines. You have good ideas but lack in self-confidence and practicality to implement them. I came to this meeting with the intention of offering to fund the idea you confided…but I’ll expect a straight fifty-fifty deal, no haggling.”
“You liked the idea? And you did not find anything wrong with it? No weaknesses? No incomplete information?”
“As I implied, the only weakness is you. You also need to have someone involved who is more practical than you are. I think I can supply the qualities you lack.”
We agreed the deal and within days I had money in my hand. I rented an office. I bought furniture, all needed electronic gizmos and employed a decorative secretary and a dowdy bookkeeper and only then started organising the business side of it. Of course, by this time I, somehow, no longer held enough cash to get the business going and we folded like a punctured balloon.
Patricia made it easy for me; she did not blame me, mostly blaming herself for not taking a more direct part in the decisions and the spending of her money. She really made me feel shitty.
One day I woke up in a strange mood. I wrote about the experiences and how badly I had managed the business end of things and honestly portrayed Patricia as the victim. I say I was in a strange mood, for I was able to mine my experiences and weaknesses for a number of laughs.
I thought I had done well in my writing and so, having joined a social group, Steemit, I posted my story. I actually earned seven upvotes, to the astounding value of one tenth of one U.S. cent.
I was not given much time to creep back into my dark hole, for someone contacted me and asked me to email them. I did so and it turned out they wanted my story for converting it to a play. I had to delete the post, which was not a problem, I was still in time - though I felt guilty about that person who sacrificed that one tenth of a cent on a now deleted post.
I am not even going to quote the critics, let’s just say the play was a huge success and I started making some serious money, while remaining capable of laughing at myself. Then I suddenly realised I am going to end up broke again.
I knew what to do. I called Patricia.
“I know you are not a good choice, after all, you did show serious lack of judgement in funding me, but if you are willing to stick to the rules, I would like you to be my manager and control all my funds. You must examine what the earnings are likely to be, make an investment and after dividing the returns in two, to be shared by the two of us, set that amount as all I am allowed to draw each month. Patricia, can you undertake to see to it that I have something to live on for the rest of my life? Nothing grandly fancy, just a small home of my own, with enough of an income for me to never have to try and make another genius idea of mine work?”
Patricia has taken care of me for all these years, secretly paying me more than my share when my health collapsed and I had medical expenses. It is why, my dear family, you are getting nothing and she has been declared my sole heir (heiress?) - apart from the one tenth of a cent I asked her to return to whoever it was that upvoted me. If she cannot find that person, I asked she goes out a hundred metres in a boat and throws a one cent coin into the ocean, in memory of that person who chose to reward me for my fateful post.
I may not be leaving you any money, but I will leave you one wish - may you find yourselves a friend like Patricia.
…and now, I have gone flying in those rare ethers where my mind spent a lifetime dreaming and I am happy.
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
Written: 13th August, 2019
- posted on Steemit: 13th August, 2019