Thursday, June 23, 2011

Paradise Fragment: What's the point of having a lot of money?

Late on a Friday night, I wander down to Mulberry St. for a drink because I don’t want to be alone in my apartment. TJ is DJing some old school hip hop. I order my usual from John and sit alone at the bar, watching The Craig Fergusen show with no sound—only subtitles. There’s this comedian performing, and I actually laugh out loud from reading his jokes on the subtitles. I wonder if his delivery was a good as his jokes.

This 40-something guy sits at the booth next to me. He seems a little drunk.

“Jesse La Tour!”

“That’s me.”

“We’ve never met before, but we know a lot of the same people.”

He names some people I know, and some I do not.

“I think we are on the same page about Fullerton.”

“How’s that?”

“I’m involved with a lot of the bars down here.” He names a few bars, some I like and some I don’t.

“Nice.”

“We both want to make Fullerton better. To make it a real destination.”

“True that.”

“I love what you did with the Art Walk. Do you know how much business that brings to downtown Fullerton?”

“Not really.”

“A lot.”

“It’s funny. I started that thing, and yet I don’t get any money from it.”

“You gotta change that.”

“No, it’s all good. I don’t need to get paid. I just like that it exists. I do it for love.”

He laughs a little.

“No, seriously. I’m totally okay with my little teacher’s salary. What’s the point of having a lot of money?”

He looks at me, a little incredulously. I’m starting to get the impression that this guy and I are not really on the same page about Fullerton.

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