Saturday, October 30, 2010

Confidence Men

- Hello. You didn't call me. You lost the job.
- I didn't believe you.
- You wouldn't risk the money. I tried to help you. I'm a member of the Producers Guild. I can't give you a job unless you're a member of the Writers Guild. It's $2200 for the membership, but I said I'd pay all the fees I was legally allowed to pay, 90%.
- I'll tell you what. You were going to send your lawyer down to the Guild if I gave you the rest. If you want, I'll go with you now to their office, I'll pay the 10% directly to them, and you can pay the rest.
- It's too late. You didn't show you were serious. You lost the job.
- You would never have paid me anything.
- You're right that I could always fire you. But what did you have to lose?
- The ten percent. And I didn't believe you.
- Do you want me to show you my Fox Studio I.D., Fox credit card?
- No, it's not necessary.
- Here, look.
- Yes, fine. I told you last week I don't have money to invest, I'm only looking for a way back to Europe.
- That's seven hundred, eight hundred dollars. Everyone has that.
- I don't.
- But it's nothing, don't you know someone who will just get you the ticket?
- I'm from here but don't have any connection to L.A. any more. I came here because my Hungarian wife wanted me to come. She left me here in trouble.
- But you don't look it. You're clean, have good clothes. You're a good looking guy. I don't understand it.
- There is nothing wrong with me. My circumstances are bad. I'm looking for a way out. I thought I'd found one yesterday. But that is a terrible story, you don't want to hear it, and I don't want to tell it.
- You almost got the ticket to Europe?
- Yes. I told my story to a man I met the same evening I met you. He said he wanted to help me, would buy me a ticket home to Europe. Meet him the following day, he'd come with his computer and buy the ticket on the internet.
- What happened?
- We met last night here at the cafe, then went to a restaurant down the street. He told me he had thought long and hard about my situation, and he had concluded it would be wrong to help me. I needed to suffer, have my confidence broken, lose my pride, lose everything in life. Then I would be reborn, and free.
- The man is sick.
- A school teacher.
- I don't care what he is. I don't like that story.
- I don't either.
- No one should say something like that to another man. He changed his mind, fine, that is alright. You and me didn't come to an arrangement, but we're here talking, getting along. It is a cold hard place our country's become.
- Yes.