Friday, May 13, 2011

The Scariest Conversation I've Ever Heard

A great article from my buddy - Matt Archbold of Creative Minority Report.
A number of years ago I was told to meet two “money guys” at an expensive social club in Philadelphia. I was earning money in politics at that point. I’d started off just writing press releases and speeches but I got in pretty deep pretty fast and I’ll admit I liked it. High stakes at high speeds can be addictive. I can’t remember how long ago this particular night was but I know I was still drinking so it was at least six years ago.

I knew my job. It wasn’t to walk out of the meeting with money but it was to make sure that the guy who called or met them the next day would. I would laugh at their jokes but not too loudly. I would drink but not enough to lose control. I would tell stories because if there’s one thing people love it’s a little inside dirt. It makes them feel part of it all. And when the moment was right I’d tell them how grateful we’d be for some help. Half the job was picking the right moment. So I drank and laughed and waited.

While eating dinner the two money guys, who’d been strangers before that night, learned of an acquaintance they had in common. They both knew the same girl. From their description she sounded young, beautiful and kind. They described her with a kind of awe. One said he’d been “chasing” her for weeks and added, “I finally took her down last week.” Then they high-fived. Two men in suits high-fived and then they laughed the kind of laugh that made me want to run for an emergency exit.

He meant “took her down” as in a National Geographic documentary. The strong preying on the weak. I sat there stunned. I think that moment scared me more than anything I’d ever heard before or even read. In history books you can read about wars and infamous acts of man’s inhumanity towards man but it’s hard to feel it. This scared me more. Two normal successful men talked about a girl as prey.
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