Henry Ross Perot, left~~at the ballgame~~with a friend~~2009
As with all the young things, Lovey is ever an exuberant inspiration.
The young are effervescent and childlike in their gay enthusiasms.
You know that silly Juliette up the street, Thurston?
Indeed, Lovey, I do.
You know what she said now?
She said two things.
Well, these ones~
She says, Mr. Perot is dead.
She said you are now in what is called middle-middle age.
What is that, Thurston~middle-middle age?
Right next door to real old.
You ain’t old, Thurston.
I’m happy to know that.
Juliette didn’t say anything about old~~she said you are middle-middle age–that’s what she said.
Rude little thing.
Where is it again?
Right next door to old, hunney, right, flat, next door to old.
That close~~right in the next apartment.
You can tap on the wall of ours and hear him.
Old age. He lives on the other side of the wall of middle-middle age–you can hear him moving about in there.
It’s true–he’s there–waiting.
You can’t be old, Thurston!!
Thank you, that’s sweet. But he is just next door~waiting.
Thurston–tell us a story about Mr Perot–did know him?
In a way.
What way, exactly?
A chance meeting, at an airport lounge many, many years ago, Lovey.
How many years?
Neigh on 30 years, I would guess.
How did you find him–what was he like when you met?
Like a jockey?
Yes, pretty much like a jockey.
How’d you get him to talk to you?
Then, how did you have a conversation?
He talked to me.
A number of things–I am trying to order it up in my mind.
Will that take a long time, Thurston?
No, I’m almost recollected now.
What do you recollect?
I was in a packed airport lounge in a terrible hailstorm–nobody could take off.
What did they do in the lounge?
So, tell about Mr. Perot.
Alright, I’ll do that.
Go ahead, Thurston, tell us.
OK, Lovey, I’ll tell it. He walked up to my table and spoke.
Just like that~~no introduction?
What did he say, exactly?
Well, it can’t be completely exact–it’s 30 years on.
Try–please–for us–we want a story.
I will do.
I’ll be quiet as a little ole mouse–we all will–since you are in middle-middle age.
Oh, Thank you.
How did it go–the conversation?
Like this~~generally recollected~~he spoke to me.
He said–You can ask me one question, but I get to go first.
How come you don’t drink?
It makes me very happy.
If it makes you so happy, why don’t you do it–all these others are doing it.
Yes, they are.
Are they happy?
I don’t know~~couldn’t say.
If drinking makes you so very happy, why don’t you drink?
One cannot be happy all the time~and that thought~~makes me sad.
Ahh–you just need to sell something.
Yeah–have you ever sold anything?
Do you want to sell something?
You’re a screwy kid–yes you are–sure are–a screwy, screwy, screw ball kid.
Oh, yeah!! Real screwy–don’t drink, don’t sell anything.
What do you do?
Do you work?
Have ever worked?
Don’t you like to work?
I’ve no idea, never done it.
What a screw ball kid.
Are you rich?
Have you any money?
Have you ever had any money?
What happened to it?
What happens to all money.
It got spent.
Where’d you get it?
From my Nana.
A whole lot?
What, did you do~~lose it?
In a way.
Were you robbed?
And you don’t work?
So, you got money from your Granny~~but you spent it all?
Did ya have fun?
In a way.
Whatda spend it all on?
Many things. This and that.
You don’t want to talk about money do you?
Nana said it was boring and ugly and rude to do.
To do what?
Talk of money.
Well, your Granny was all high and mighty, wasn’t she?
She was. Nana was–high and mighty.
So you think it’s rude to talk about money?
You’re a screwy kid, I can’t figure you at all–yet anyway.
Oh I will–before we’re done here.
So now you get to ask me your question.
Don’t be shy, ask it.
Why do you detest people?
Yes–you, know, hate them.
But you said detest–why’d ya say that?
It’s just a different word, that’s all.
Say what you mean, mean what you say–didn’t your old Granny tell you that?
So, she wasn’t all that helpful to you, now was she–except for the money?
Yes, she was.
Well, if she was, she should have told you to say what you mean and mean what you say.
So say what you mean and mean what you say.
Alright, I will~ Why do you hate people?
They don’t have any money.
None of them?
Well, not many.
So, I hate them because they don’t have any money–most of them anyway.
Because if you ask people what they want most, they all say it’s money they want most.
Oh, yeah, really–they all say it–but they don’t have it.
They don’t have it and it’s very easy to get.
So, I ask you~~what do you think of a man who says he wants money more than anything else and he doesn’t have any?
I do. I hate him.
He must be lazy.
He must he lazy because money is very easy to make.
Oh, yeah–real easy.
Yeah–and you don’t have any money either, now do ya?
Are you lazy?
In a way.
Why don’t you sell something, ya screwball kid?
Why not–afraid of rolling up your sleeves and doing a little work?
Ya screwball kid~~but I ain’t rich for nothin ya know?
Yeah–I’ve had my eye on you here now, kid–I think I’ve got you figured.
Yeah–I think I’ve figured what you really like.
Money is not your game is it?
These little girls, these cocktail waitresses–you look at ’em.
All these other guys–they’re too busy drinking to notice these girls–they look but~~ they don’t really look.
Yeah–but you really look–I can see ya pickin’ the prize fillies out from the herd.
Yeah–you like girls, boy–you like ’em a lot–I’ve figured you now–I’ve got ya. I have a gift to readin’ people.
Yeah–that’s how I got rich–knowin’ how to read people–that’s all.
That’s all sales is kid–reading people–that”s it–that”s why gettin’ rich ain’t hard at all.
Oh, yeah–I came over to you, because I was thinking about you.
Yeah–I was thinking–tryin’ to read you–thinkin’–all these other guys sittin’ here drinkin’ in the hail storm and here’s a boy who ain’t drinking.
I thought–I wonder what that boy does–does he know how to sell anything?
Yeah–I found that out–and I had you down for just a screwball kid, but you ain’t –are ya?
You like girls, don’t ya? You like ’em a lot?
A whole lot?
A great deal.
Why do you like girls so much?
Are they nice to ya?
Some of them.
What about the others?
But that doesn’t bother you, does it?
Not at all.
So–you see–you’re a salesman–I don’t gotta teach you nothin’ ~~you just sellin’ a different product.
You’re no screw ball kid–you’re just a salesman–just like me.
In a way, I guess.
So, I’m right.
So, we solved everything–you want me to go away now–and I want to go away now–you got some sellin’ to do here before the hail storm breaks.
You’re OK, kid–first I read ya wrong–read ya as just a screw ball kid lackin’ ambition–you know–lackin’ drive and ambition~~get up and go?
Only you ain’t–you’re a good seller–maybe as good as me in your own way–it’s just a different currency.
So, I don’t hate you like I hate all the others.
So long, kid.
So, that was it, Thurston~~between you and ole Mr. Perot?
That was it, Lovey~~that was all of it.
Rejoice and Glad!!
John Daniel Begg
Washington, District of Columbia
Friday, 14th Juin, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013