by Larry Brody
NOTE FROM LB
Once again, I feel that I must remind you. Every word in these poems is true, one way or another, and these poems all are part of a search – not necessarily successful, I admit – for a larger truth. The event described in this one shook me to the core when it happened. Now it just seems like, “Oh. Yeah. Right.” Oh those crazy, zany aspirations!
We All Aspire To Be Assholes
“We all aspire to be assholes,”
A Hollywood friend says to me.
“Megalomaniacs! Misogynists! Creeps!”
Twenty-five years ago my Hollywood friend
Was young and hopeful, his face open and
Smiling and naive. Now his blonde
Hair is dark, his look tight, mouth rolled like a snail.
I can’t tell if he has closed down because he
Let out too much of himself, or because
Too much of too many others got in.
We swap stories of other executives’ selfishness,
Arrogance, and dirty deeds. Then he leans back,
Thoughtful, looks past me, out a wall-sized window
With a Wilshire Boulevard view. “A few years ago
I worked at Disney,” he tells me. “They’ve got a
Good one there. The boss works seven days a week,
Has a slogan: ‘Don’t work Saturday
If you can’t work Sunday too. We had a meeting
One Sunday afternoon. Him. Me. Three other suits.
I was putting together a Davy Crockett series,
And needed a corporate level decision. Nothing
Creative, just whether or not something would be
In keeping with the Disney image. A decision only
The boss could make. The five of us discussed
Things, and then, suddenly, the boss nodded off.
He was asleep at his desk! His chin rested on his
Palm, his eyes closed. Sssst, he was gone,
Like a tire without air. The suit who was talking
Stopped in mid-sentence. We looked at each other.
I nodded toward the boss. ‘Should we…?’ No one
Said a word, but all three suits shook their heads.
We sat silently for a minute…Two…Three…Four…
Then, with a sputter, the boss shook himself,
And his eyes opened, refocused just like that.
Immediately, the suit who had been talking
Resumed exactly where he’d left off.
The boss listened, said something wise, made his
Decision, and our meeting was over. We filed out, and
Another group entered so the next meeting could begin.
He hadn’t missed a beat! Didn’t even
Know he had fallen asleep!
Oh yes,” sighs my Hollywood
Friend, “he’s a good one! Twenty years younger
Than I am, and the man I always wanted to be.”
I nod. I sit silently. My Hollywood friend
Has a job to give out, and I need it.
We all aspire to be assholes,
No matter how much—or how little—we know.
Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.