My lawyer saw me right away.
Usually he makes me sit in the waiting room for an hour, so I brought one of the twins with me, Lila, I think it was, just to occupy my time. But we had barely begun to make out when the secretary cleared her throat. Lila was all over me and I started to extricate myself, thinking maybe the secretary was offended. Or, the way my luck was going, maybe she wanted a piece of me, too.
“Mr. Eckstein will see you now, Mr. Jones.”
I was definitely moving up. I told Lila to go on back down to the limo and wait for me. She started to pout, but I said she could have anything she wanted from the bar, and then she was OK, but she still kissed me like there might be no tomorrow and told me to hurry, in that cute 19-year-old girl voice of hers.
When I got into Billy’s inner office he was bent over his desk, which was just a huge sheet of plate glass, looking over the paper I had mailed to him. He motioned for me to sit, but other than that he ignored me. After another minute he stopped reading and looked at me.
“Where the hell did you get this?” he demanded. No “Good morning, Larry, how’ve you been?”
“Guy came to my door. Like a salesman.”
“And you let him in?”
“Well, yeah, why not?”
He shook his head at me. “And you say you paid nothing?”
“Right. Well, there is that stipulation at the end.”
“Did the guy identify himself?”
“No. Uh, yeah. Well sort of.” This was embarrassing. “He said he was the devil. Said he’d rather not tell me, but felt like I should know before I bought.”
“So according to this contract, you get to have whatever you want in life,” Billy looked skeptical, “for as long as you live. Wealth, power, whatever.”
I brightened. “That’s the way I read it, too.”
Billy flicked the document at me. It slid across the glass and came to rest at my edge of the desk. “This is bullshit. It’s totally unenforceable. For one thing, no one can deliver on what this… devil is promising. And even if he could, how in hell could he take your ‘immortal soul,’ assuming you even have one.” He glanced at the paper. “I like it, though. Simple and to the point. I wish some of my goddamned boilerplate was that clear.”
I was thinking of the limo, and Lila waiting in it, and her sister Liza, whom we would be joining that very evening, for dancing, drinks and insane sex, if the past month was any predictor. I was thinking of the $230 million-dollar lottery I had won, the day after I signed the contract. “Look, I said, I might have an immortal soul. And the thing is, he seems to be delivering. You say it’s unenforceable?”
Billy didn’t know about the huge pile of cash, or the girls who couldn’t get enough of me. He looked at me for the first time during our meeting. “Jesus,” he sputtered. “Are you wearing a wig?”
I felt my head, and sure enough, hair was growing on the former desert of my scalp. I gave it a little tug, just to be sure. Whoever the guy was, I was liking the deal I had made with him more and more.
My side of the bargain was completely unenforceable!
Before I had to do too much explaining, I thanked Billy and strolled out of there. I winked at his secretary. I might come back some day soon and give her a little taste of The Jones.
The smirk stayed on my face until I stepped jauntily into the empty elevator shaft.