I know I’ve delayed on posting the conclusive part of the Dialectic for a long time. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, and you’re curious, you can flip back to Parts One & Two, respectively. Still, I’ve got so much left to say, I’m going to have to split it further – into two or more parts. I’ll do my best to have it ready very soon — hopefully by sometime tomorrow.
Q. Do you know who I am yet?
A. Ah, so the guessing game goes on! In the previous post I figured you for some kind of interviewer. In the post before that, you were more like my Inner Critic.
Q. Oh really?
A. Really. It’s hard to say who you actually are. You are who you want to be. Ever-changing, elusive, deceptive.
Q. The Devil, perhaps?
A. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that. A minor demon, maybe.
Q. I see. Now what brings us here today?
A. I’m here to make my plea, to explain exactly what’s happening to those who may be confused, and state my case as to why the $50,000 in question will not be very hard to come up with.
Q. Go on.
A. First off, first and foremost, the money will not go to me.
Q. Why is that important?
A. Because rumor has it that I do not handle money very well. This rumor, though it is disputable, can either be contested or acquiesced.
Q. What is your choice, between the two?
A. I acquiesce. As you know, I have been poor throughout my entire life, save for a few rare occasions when my talent got the better of my alleged inability to handle my finances. On one such occasion, I had $13,000, in addition to a market rate savings account and an IRA. I was making more in those days than I knew what to do with.
Q. And what did you do with that money?
A. Like I said, I didn’t know what to do with it. So I spent it frantically, which the psychiatrists in my life at the time told me was a function of a first-time manic episode.
Q. But were you not 51 years old at the time? Isn’t a first time manic episode supposed to take place when one is much younger?
A. Theoretically, yes. It even baffled my psychiatrists. Then later on, I was told that it might have been an instance of a new diagnosis, called Bipolar Four, whereby the manic episode, involving the spending spree, is induced by a psychiatric medication.
Q. Fascinating. So you feel the same psychiatrists who diagnosed you with the disorder provided the very medication that induced the disorder in the first place?
A. Exactly. And in the process, I lost everything I had. The $13,000. the savings, the IRA, a car, a house, and all my professional accounts.
Q. Why didn’t you sue?
A. Because I’m not the suing type. I’ve experienced my fair share of resentments around it. But in my heart of hearts, I’m the type who wants to move on and get the most out of life while I’m here. Besides, once I did lose everything, and I found myself out on the streets, I had the bizarre and totally unexpected sense that I was happier than I was before.
Q. Happier? On the streets?
A. Well – when we say the “streets,” we speak a bit euphemistically. I lived outdoors. Sometimes this involved camping out in nature. At other times, I was on the fringes, the outskirts of an urban homeless community. At times, I was flushed enough to get a hotel room, sometimes even for an extended stay. Not to mention the series of temporary shared rentals, none of which really worked out. Nor could they have been expected to. For by that time, I was driven. And my drive — the essence and the source of it — necessitated that I spend large amounts of time in solitude.
Q. So you have two problems. You cannot handle money, and you cannot co-inhabit with others.
A. Not cannot. Will not. The essence of my drive is that I need all the psychic wherewithal I can get in order to focus on the manifestation of my calling.
Q. That sounds a bit New Agey.
A. You’re supposed to be asking questions.
Q. I’m letting my guard down. Let’s go on.
A. I did my best to get along with my roommates, and to shy away from senseless quarrels over my inability to clean the microwave the way that Billy was taught to do so by his grandmother in Arkansas, so to speak. But when you see a train coming, you gotta get off the tracks. I would be so hassled in some of those situations, I couldn’t get anything done anymore. At that point, I’d fly the coop.
Q. Where would you go?
A. To the nearest power outlet where I could plug in my laptop and not be bothered.
Q. And you didn’t mind this being an outdoor power outlet?
A. To be honest with you, not really. My focus was so intent upon what I was seeking to create, I barely noticed my external environment at all. Let’s put it this way – the external environment was irrelevant, as long as it did not interfere with my work.
Q. But what about when it rained?
A. There were awnings. A laptop has a battery. I could usually get through the night.
Q. I begin to see where the rumor that you cannot handle your finances has come into being. So – backing a bit, if you are not to receive the needed $50,000, then just who will?
A. Hopefully, Danielle.
A. Danielle. At least at first. If the money were to arrive, say, tonight — by say, midnight PST, it will be 9 pm on the East Coast, Danielle will still be up (and in fact expecting my call), and whether she accepts my ultimate proposal or not, at least the money would temporarily be placed in the hands of someone who meets three needed criteria.
Q. And what are the three criteria?
A. Number One: Danielle can handle money.
Q. And Number Two?
A. Danielle can be trusted with money.
Q. What about Number Three?
(Pause for dramatic effect.)
A. Danielle can handle me.
(Another poignant pause.)
A. I assure you, not many people meet all three of those particular prerequisites. But Danielle may not be able to be the ultimate Business Manager on this project. She’s extremely busy, she has to talk to her husband about it, and she doesn’t have specific experience in musical theatre. But she can handle money and be fully trusted with it, and as my best female friend of many years, I’m sure she can handle me.
Q. But on something this huge, would you want your friend to have to be involved with you on a business basis?
A. Not really. I don’t want to push her past her limits here. Knowing her, she’d probably say “yes,” just out of wanting to help out a friend — and then she’d get overloaded, and I’d wind up feeling lousy. But I just can’t think of anyone else off-hand whom *I* would trust to hang on to the money until the True Business Manager appears. I’d lose sleep if it were anyone else.
Q. But why does there have to be a middle man? Why does the money have to come so soon? Why can’t we just wait until the True Business Manager emerges?
A. Ask a silly question, get a silly answer.
A. Obviously, I need to have capital on hand while in the process of trying to schmooze the best Theatre Artists I know to get on board with me on this damn thing. And that includes the Business Manager, as well as the House Manager, Stage Manager, Director, on down. I’ll probably be the Musical Director myself, and I certainly don’t need any money for it. But decent Artists on a par with my specific level of expertise need to be paid. If the money doesn’t exist, why should they be swayed?
Q. Spoken like a man who can’t handle money!
A. My point exactly. Not to mention, as Musical Director, I’ll have my hands full as it is. I shouldn’t *have* to handle the money — like I’ve been saying. But get the crux of this dilemma — it’s not enough for the money to simply exist. It needs both to exist, and to be placed in solid hands for safekeeping. My hands are anything but solid. In fact, they’re fluid.
A. All over the map. Just like you, my friend.
(Pause. The Questioner muses.)
A. Listen buddy boy. We’re gonna get this show and the road, and soon.
A. I’ll tell you how. Be patient. The O.G.’s gotta eat.
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