[Originally published January 7, 2011.]
Yes! You there! The one with the lukewarm small coffee and the laptop! I would love to purchase whatever it is you have been working on. I see you here everyday. I take notice. You probably think no one is cataloging your daily toils, or that no one is going to reward you for just showing up everyday at this coffee house, pumping out half a page, and then listening to internet radio. How dreadfully wrong you are.
I am your just reward! I have taken notice!
A little about myself. I am a billionaire who has always loved the Arts. Instead of supporting the local Opera or the Youth Painters Club, I have chosen to cast away one of my spare million dollars on whatever it is you are working on. I couldn’t stand to see you write and text and check Facebook anymore! I am that person you always drunkenly wished would give you that easy solution!
I’m not a cruel mirage. This is real, my friend. I want to get your work in front of my powerful publisher friends. I will publish it myself if they deny its worth! I am certain that its overwhelming success will lead to a movie deal or a television series. This is just the beginning of an empire built on your talents. And to think, I saw you almost delete the file to make room for that new Kanye West CD you spent most of the night illegally downloading! Your parents will beat themselves up about trying to get you to go into advertising. They will be made the fool for once!
Now I must ask, what is your piece about? I’ve only been able to gather so much from peeking over your shoulder. You say it’s a story about “a boy who likes a girl but she already has a douchebag boyfriend,” and that it’s “based loosely” on your time in high school? You know, all of the world’s best work is born out of a tormented self truth. May I ask how it ends? “A road trip to the Grand Canyon leads them to discover what they always knew, that they are meant for one another?” My god. What beauty. What originality. I was right. I knew it. You are talented. I know for sure that giving you lots of money is the right thing to do. Quit whatever menial job you work. Quit it this very second!
But please, don’t stop writing today on my account. No need to close that IMDB page on Jon Voight you were reading. I am sure it is deathly important to wrapping up that chapter you’ve been working on the last month and a half. I can tell you are a man who does not like to waste time.
Let me write you a check for the full amount and we can meet again in a few years when your novel is done? Is that too soon? I don’t want to put you on any sort of deadline. Art is never made that way. I’m so happy! My mission to discover a supposed “loser” is complete!