How Others See Us (I.)

Big Lou Emeritus (Not his real name) said I had made a mistake when I had directly asked him to buy my book.

“I never ‘directly asked’ you to buy my book, Big Lou,” I said.

“You sent me an e-mail.”

“I sent everyone an e mail. You sent me an e-mail when you ran for city council.”

“That was different,” he said. “That was a public service.”

“My books are a public service,” I said.

“Fair enough,” he said. “If that is your perception. I am just saying, given our relationship…”

I enjoyed Big Lou. But our relationship, as far as I could see, consisted of our standing in the locker room in various states of undress while he I listened to his efforts to become an entrepreneur or celebrity spokesperson or consulting expert.

“I’m all about…,” he went on, placing a hand out to either side, fingers clenched, equal level, justice’s scales. “Not…” He dropped one hand to his side and raised the other, fingers cupped, soliciting a hand-out.

Which, I assumed, was me.