Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Lasting Impression

Lawrence told me this story. Lawrence attended university the same time I did at a diferent school.

His friend, Guillermo, was a student from Argentina who imagined himself to be quite a latin lover.

On weekends he would push studies aside and prowl the neighborhood bars picking up young women who were receptive to his accent and amorous advances.

Alas, during his stay, Argentina was grasped by a currency crisis. Sending money out of the country was forbidden. Funds soon ran dry and the few dollars his parents could smuggle to him was barely enough for a meager diet.

Guillermo was renting a room in the home of a widow. He referred to her as an older lady but as he was barely out of his teens I imagine she might have been forty.

He confided with Lawrence that he had solved the problem of keeping a roof over his head. He had shared the secrets of his adventures with the neighborhood women with his landlady and convinced her he could be her "boytoy" in lieu of rent. She could then rent his room to soone else to replace the lost income.

One night Lawrence responded to a late knocking at his door. Before him stood a haggard Guillermo books and duffel in hand.

He implored Lawrence to allow him to sleep on the floor of his dorm room. The agreement with his landlady had to stop. Her demands on his part of the bargain were so frequent and furious that he could not concentrate on his studies. In fact, he was suffering dizzy spells.

I thought about this story frequently and anytime I made a business agreement I tried to make sure there were no "open ends". Alway stipulate a limit on your obligations in a deal was my guide.


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