The agent was deep into his pitch. It wasn’t going well. He desperately needed a close.
“I can sell it to Nickelodeon,” the agent said. “I can sell it to Disney.”
“No,” Henry said.
“It’ll make you famous.”
“I’m too old for being famous,” the old man said. “I just want to be left alone with my girls”
“It’ll make you rich,” the agent pleaded.
“I’m too old for getting rich now.”
“You don’t like money?”
“I don’t wanna have to fool with it.”
“I’ll get you a financial guy.”
“I don’t wanna have to fool with a financial guy. I just want to finish our story.”
“I’ll take care of it. I’ll set all the financial stuff up for you. You won’t have to do anything.”
“I don’t wanna have to fool with you either,” Darger said.
“I can’t tell if you’re stupid or just stubborn,” the agent said.
“Me neither,” he said.
“Tell me again, why won’t you sell? I need to understand.”
“Cause the girls are mine,” the old man said. “And I’m not dead yet.”
“They’ll still be yours. You created them.”
“I need them for a while longer,” he said. “Without selling them out. If I sell them out, the rest of the story can’t be pure.”
“Pure? You are a fool, Henry.”
“I love those girls,” the old man said. “And when I sit down to create, they love me back. But they love me cause I treat them right. I always have and I won’t quit. I owe it to them for loving me back.”
“You’re crazy,” the agent said. “I can get you a Vivian Girls cartoon. An animated film. I can get the Vivian Girls on t-shirts and backpacks in Hot Topic.”
“No. I’m not whoring them out. You wouldn’t whore out your own daughter, would you?”
“You’re being melodramatic,” the agent said.
“No,” Darger said. “You don’t understand. You don’t create. See, they’re mine. And they’re pure. They’re all I ever had that was pure. And I’m not giving that up. We’re almost to the end. We’ve almost made it there together.”
“You’re insane,” the agent said.
“I’m afraid,” Darger said.
“Afraid of what?”
“Afraid I’ll sit down with my coffee some morning and the girls won’t love me anymore. Afraid to find out they’ve abandoned me.”
“For selling them off,” the artist said. “For betraying them.”
“You’ll die penniless and unknown,” the agent pleaded.
“Let me die loving my girls,” the artist said. “And with my girls loving me.”
One thought on “Darger’s Agent”
“I don’t wanna have to fool with it.” Sean Connery’s voice popped into my head so I decided to watch this in the theatre of the mind with Sean as the artist. At first I picked Matt Damon as the agent but then decided on Edward Norton. I tried the artist voice on for size with Alan Arkin, Larry David, Don Rickles and Al Pacino but Sean just won it straight out. I shuffled the agent in my head a few times, too: Liev Schreiber, and then strangely Liam Neeson and even more strangely Tony Robbins but, yeah, Ed Norton. RIP Sean Connery.