Our subject for today hails from the intellectual Mecca of all intellectual Meccas. A fact he is only too keenly aware of. It is also a fact he likes to make use of. He comes from a highly intellectual family, at least according to him. He’s in his late forties to early fifties but masks this well by deliberately adapting hipster styles. The beard, so he maintains to himself for he would never say so out loud, keeps him ageless, while the clothes give the false impression of dire poverty. It is, in reality, an attempt at getting young girls, feeding their ideal and romantic notion of the starving artist.
Hailing from the intellectual Mecca of Meccas raises his prestige immensely, so that people offer him creative opportunities and only realize they would have been better off hiring someone about to enter art school when the job is already done. But despite his social standing, there is one higher than him. There are in fact several higher than him, but this is the one who irks him the most. In this post he shall be referred to as Pakal.
Pakal is the super-popular kid in high school. Except that now high school is Helsinki. Pakal, too, could pass for a starving artist, but that’s mainly due to a steady diet of what no parent would want their child to be near. Pakal pulls this off much better though, because unlike our Faux Starving artist, he has no need to resort to frequent allusions to his hometown, the intellectual Mecca of Meccas or young girls (who – and let’s be perfectly honest – are far easier impressed than those already jaded and bored elders). Pakal can enter a room and make the crowd part like the Red Sea for Moses. Pakal, too, is a fraud of sorts. But has achieved far more than the Faux Starving Artist. This is mainly due to his pride not allowing him to beg, whereas Faux Starving Artist sees nothing wrong with this, after all, why put in the work yourself when you can “delegate.” Let someone else come up with ideas and then steal them.
And so we find our Faux Starving Artist readily brandishing his phone to display the name (minus the number of course, after all the guy’s not a dummy) of Pakal’s confidante to anyone mentioning an interest in Pakal for business reasons, not matters of the heart. At some point he had Pakal’s number, too. But an ex of his got mad and threw his phone across the room thus permanently deleting all contacts.
Forgive me for this brief interlude, but if you’re as close to someone as you claim to be, how hard is it to send your superclose friend a message via social media, or – if that’s not an option – get a message to him via another trusted friend. “Hey, I lost Pakal’s contact details. Can you get him to call me?” And don’t people normally have more than one contact detail? And if you’re really that close and Pakal’s information is super private, wouldn’t you keep mum about it? I mean, friends do respect each other, especially close friends.
Our Faux Starving Artist knows of his limitation which is, that unless he’s handed the whole thing on a silver platter, the man has no ideas of his own. This also explains him association with younger people and girls. But he’s very good at faking it. Once an idea is presented to him (because the younger generation is extremely keen on impressing the older one and will do everything to prove their worth, thus willingly handing over ideas), he can point out flaws, suggest improvement, motivating the young one to do the entire groundwork while he harvests all the credit.
And so it should come as no surprise that Faux Starving Artist suddenly decides to remember his old contacts and sends an email after years of no communication, alluding to projects he suggested to collaborate on, stating he’s in the one place you want to be, where someone near and dear to you has gone missing and that you can’t get to in the immediate future, asking you if you “have any friends I should be speaking to.”
At least this one pretends like he cares and wants you to think he’ll help you find the missing person you’re looking for.