Tuesday, June 14, 2011



“Wait- what?”

“I said no.”

“But… but how- I mean… Did you hear me?”

“Yes, I heard you fine, I’m not that old.”

“No, that’s- funny, grandpa. Not what I meant, though. I mean did you-“

“Yes, again- I heard you. You said that you want to go to law school to become a lawyer, that you truly believe that this is what you were always meant to do, that this really is your true passion. I heard you.”

“Ok… so…?”

“And I said no.”

“But- but how could you say no? I mean- you’ve always been saying you want me to be happy and I found this thing that I’m passionate about- really passionate about and that would actually allow me to help people and-“

“James, listen to me for a moment. Look around this office. What do you see?”

“Uh, well- let me think for a moment. Well, on the far wall I see a really beautiful Max Cantor painting which emerges from a swath of organic wheat grass in order to give the illusion of a path opening. This scene is accented by hues of green and blue throughout the asian d├ęcor, calling to mind the power of nature and the calm of a meditation temple.”

“Yes, exactly- and wonderfully described. And what do you see over there?”

“Uh… a large pile of wood from where I was going to put the reflection pool?”

“Yes. And why do you see that?”

“Because I changed my mind about-“

“No, try again.”

“Well, because I realized the pool wasn’t terribly functional and-“

“No. Try again.”

“Uh… not really sure what you’re looking for here.”

“Because you quit, James. Because in the middle of the project when I allowed you free reign of my office to demonstrate your abilities and begin your career as a celebrated interior designer you quit. And thus, instead of a completed office demonstrating the abilities of my wonderfully talented grandson I have a hole in the floor and a bill for three thousand dollars for those ridiculously overpriced Koi fish with no where to live.”

“Ok, yes, yes- that’s true, but-“

“And that’s just from this last enterprise of yours. This does not take into account the connections I ruined by pulling all those strings to get you into med school which you quit after a week when you realized you were allergic to latex and argued nothing else would be impermeable enough to protect you from the life threatening germs you would encounter-“

“Ok, but that was like five years ago, shouldn’t you let it go?”

“This also does not take into account the tuition I paid in full for you to be a hair stylist-“

“That’s tonsorial artist-“

“-which you quit because the hair made you sneeze. Or the $5,000 I paid for you to become a professional dog trainer which you quit when you realized that some of the dogs you would be training would be aggressive-“

“Hey- someone in that class nearly got their face ripped off by a pit bull!”

“Or the check that ITT cashed even though you never even attended the first class to become a systems analyst.”

“I had a personal emergency.”

“Or the money I loaned you to invest in stock and become a self-made stock broker.”

“How was I supposed to know the market was going to collapse?”

“My point, dear boy, in all of this is that I have no intention of investing in another career which you will quit in a matter of days.”

“But I’m not going to quit- this is real this time! I mean, I actually have the chance to really make a difference this way. Look at me- where would I be if my public defender hadn’t believed in me?”

“In jail, costing tax payers money instead of me.”

“That’s way harsh, gramps.”

“But true. You have no concept of the value of money. I’ve honestly started to blame myself for this, you never had to work in your life. All of these schemes and passions had no consequences. Which is why I’m prepared to offer you a deal.”

“A deal?”

“Yes. If you really want this- if you genuinely, down to the depth of your soul want this- then you will get the student loans to pay for it yourself.”

“But that’s like- over a hundred grand! I’d never be able to manage that!”

“You will get the loans, you will go to school, you will graduate. You will not have to start paying these loans back until you start working.”

“But I-“

“If you successfully graduate law school and procure a job and stay there for at least one year- I will pay your student loans in full.”


“Yes. But that means staying the course. That means not quitting. It means that if law school is hard- which it will be- you stick it out. You apply yourself. You use your energy to focus rather than jumping from one task to the next like a jackrabbit. And if you are able to do this and graduate and procure employment then you will be relieved of your financial burden.”

“So… this is like a loan?”

“Yes, exactly. And you will pay it back via hard work.”

“… I probably couldn’t get in anyway.”


  1. Bev secretly trying to psych herself into sticking with something? Good use of the all-dialogue constraint!

  2. Not actually me, more what I see on a daily basis. But thanks!


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