The Professional

Four magnificently dressed men swept into the Nougatine in Trump Tower, New York. They were escaping from the tedious auction their wives had dragged them to. The MOMA: Museum of Modern Art, was holding a fund raiser in the ball room for the elite of Manhattan and their partners.  The curators had conspired to sell what could best be called by a casual observer, questionable art. Of which the centerpiece was a pile of rocks, literally a stack of white rock used as bedding for asphalt roads.  When the bidding reached six figures, they made good their escape with the aid and cover of the feigned excitement.

Nougatine, provided the perfect hide out. Its modern motif fit the men quite well, its stainless chic bar beckoned. The self-important and impressed quartet eased their way to it through the near empty room and ordered cocktails as pretentious as their clothing.  Reaching for tab, the Surgeon made sure to show off the distinctive sleeve buttons of his one hundred thousand-dollar Dormeuil Vanquish II suit coat. Not to be out done, the Financier, in his equally expensive Alexander Amosu snatched the tab from him.

“I move tens of millions a month, I’ve got this.” He quipped.

“With all due respect, while I’m sure your dealings are important, each of my patients lives depend on my skills.”

Not to be out done; the Athlete, dressed in a ridiculous Stuart Hughes Diamond Edition suit, ringing in at an astounding and ostentatious eight hundred, ninety-two thousand dollars.  Actual dollars, for the actual diamond encrusted ensemble. With an outstretched, bling covered, hand he demanded the tab.

“No offense Doc, but boob jobs and face lifts aren’t exactly life threatening. Besides I make more a game than you two in a month. And if I don’t perform as planned, my team loses, I got it.”  

Not wanting to stray too far from his man of the people image, the Lawyer wearing his typical Desmond Merrion, costing a mere fifty grand, began to make his case.

“Gentlemen, while each of your endeavors are not without merit, certainly you can see that I preserve the very freedom of my clients.”

”Class-action ambulance chasing ain’t keeping anyone out of jail Counselor.” Dismissed the Financier as he looked past the lawyer.

Nodding toward an older man sitting at the corner of the bar sipping a beer and looking out the glass wall toward Central Park.

“Perhaps you should offer to pick up his tab, no doubt he’s one of your people, and could use your help.”

All four looked at the man. He was dressed in an old slightly worn golf shirt, faded levi blue jeans, and scuffed black roper boots. His hair, unlike their meticulously coiffed styles, was slightly unkempt. A very expensive wrist watch clashed with his casual appearance. He turned toward them revealing crow’s feet around intense sky-blue eyes. So intense, each of them became uncomfortable under his stare.

He spoke slowly, with authority not volume.

“On any given day, hundreds of people put their lives in my hands. I personally move hundreds of millions in assets, worldwide, to some of the most dangerous places on the planet. My team depends on me to keep them alive when things don’t go as planned.”

He turned back to his beer and finished it off, looking out to the park he spoke again.

“And when I was a young man, the world depended on me and a few others, to preserve freedom.”

Pulling a worn wallet out of his jeans as he stood, he placed two crisp one-hundred-dollar bills on the bar and nodded to the Barman.

“Put their drinks on my tab Billy, and keep the change.”

As he walked away the Lawyer asked.

“What are you a politician, a world leader?”

Over his shoulder he answered as he marched confidently toward the door.

“No, I’m a pilot.”

leland

lelandshanle.com

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