“Today is finally here,” Mr. Sulphur thinks to himself. “This is going to be the beginning of a great adventure. I will clearly need to take notes of the events of the day so as to remember everything for the book I’m going to write. Today I will finally be recognized for the brilliant man that I am!”
It’s 5 a.m. and Mr. Sulphur is awake as per usual. He can’t sleep and has been up since 3 a.m. from thinking, and is lying in his single bed with his feet sticking out of the covers, as he always does. He is reading a book about the history of the industrialised world which is a long way away from his initial intent of getting up and finally finishing the business plan–that same plan that the bank manager asked him to fill out over a month ago. He instead continues to read and accidentally falls back to sleep, cat-napping off and on for the next 5 or so hours. He jerks and twitches during his sleep.
Mr. Sulphur sleeps lightly so I have to talk quietly to you about why we are here. As you have gathered, this is a big day for Mr. Sulphur. Today he is going to a long awaited interview with the bank about the ideas he has had for some time about starting his own business. Mr. Sulphur wants to borrow $20,000. He has spent months researching his business idea and knows a lot of information on every aspect of it. To be honest, most of the information he read will never be used in a million years but this is the way of Mr. Sulphur. His appointment is for 11 a.m.– not the best time for him, to be sure!
Now, dear reader, you go and have a cup of tea, we will meet back here near 11.
Here we are again, and Mr. Sulphur is STILL asleep and look at the time! Oh dear! He is going to miss the interview! I better make a little noise that will wake him. “Cough, cough”…oh good… Mr. Sulphur stirs from his sleep, startled, and he looks terrible, as he has an awful burning headache on his vertex that will now last all day because he has accidentally slept in. He now remembers he needs to be at the bank and it’s 10:50. He looks around his disordered room but knows exactly where everything is that he needs. He grabs his mismatched clothes off the floor. His suit is wrinkled because books have piled up on it! He hasn’t noticed because he’s been so busy planning for this meeting and, in fact, he has done little else.
Mr. Sulphur, as you can see, is not into fashion, but today he is making an extra effort to look nice as he glances into the mirror spitting on his hand, trying to pat down his unmanageable hair, he has not showered in quite some time. (He says the water burns his skin and can even make him dry out which in turn makes him feel itchy.) As he sits to put on his shoes and his sort-of matching socks he looks at himself in the mirror and notices that he is looking old, freckly, and sees that his skin is pale and sickly. He rubs his hands over his bright red cracked burning lips. The wrinkles are longer than he has ever seen them and he notices that he must not have been eating properly lately as he is looking more lanky and thin than when he last saw himself. Then he thinks that his height does not help the situation. Stooping over to tie his shoes, his dizziness becomes so bad he nearly falls over. Luckily he finishes tying his shoes and tries to stand up straight looking into the mirror, imagining the events of the morning but to stand is not easy for him without stooping.
“Ohhh!” he looks at his watch again 10:56. “Uughhh”, he grumbles “I’m going to be late.” He flusters around the room picking up all of his important scrappy papers, some of them even dusty. He holds up the pizza carton and then decides to leave the pizza cover at home as it’s just too cumbersome to carry through the town. He lumbers faintly and weakly through the kitchen as 11 a.m. nears. He gets a sinking feeling in the stomach, he senses his stomach acid rise and grabs for an apple off the bench. Then he is off and out the door, excited about sharing his great ideas with the bank manager.
When Mr. Sulphur arrives, the bank manager, Mr. Arsenicum
is already sitting in his immaculate office, examining his manicured nails. “He’s late,” the bank manager muses, “its 11:13!” In a nervous, excited cough, Mr. Sulphur announces himself as he bursts in.
Mr. Arsenicum is very meticulous and notes the time on his clean note pad as he asks Mr. Sulphur to have a seat, but that is not before he shakes Mr. Sulphur’s hot hand. “Yuck” thinks the bank manager, “he has dirty, sweaty palms!”
“Oh yuck!”, thinks Mr. Sulphur. “Germs, ughhh! I have no time to get sick from germs today!” He blurts out a groan, “Sorry, do you have a men’s room?”
“Yes just down the hall,” replies Mr. Arsenicum.
Mr. Sulphur then jumps back up and rushes into the bathroom to wash his hands. When Mr. Sulphur is out of sight, Mr. Arsenicum too races off to his own private, immaculate bathroom as he too is relieved to wash the germs off his hands.
Mr. Sulphur lunges back to the office and immediately goes over to the window to open it, exclaiming how hot it is in there. “We need some fresh air in here, you don’t mind, do you?” The bank manager is actually relieved as Mr Sulphur’s body odour is becoming too much for him.
Mr. Sulphur again apologises to Mr. Arsenicum but rather half heartedly, not really caring that he is late or inconveniencing the bank manager in any way. Mr. Sulphur thinks Mr. Arsenicum will soon understand and see how brilliant he is.
Mr. Sulphur gives Mr. Arsenicum no time to talk but, in his exuberence, throws in the air all his notes so they land all over the boardroom table. Mr. Arsenicum is taken aback but impressed with the sheer volume of pages he sees before him, and yet, a bit disgusted at such a mess covering his orderly expensive desk. Mr. Sulphur begins with a flurry of mumbling about this and that, while at the same time holding up one piece of paper and then another. He bounces from one idea to the next. As he speaks, he gets warmed up and his eyes flush a brilliant red along with his whole face.
He starts using Mr. Arsenicum’s stapler and hole puncher to make points about one thing and another while at the same time Mr. Arsenicum frantically grabs back his office items and replaces them to their original spot. Mr. Sulphur doesn’t understand Mr. Arsenicum’s behaviour and continues to take pens and pencils from off the desk and repositioning them to make his brilliant points. At this Mr. Arsenicum takes a deep breath and sits back, wipes his suit down in an irritated manner and then, unexpectedly, with his whole arm, sweeps Mr. Sulphur’s pile of papers off of his pristine desk to the side and attempts to take charge.
“Mr. Sulphur! If I may start….” Mr. Sulphur is shocked at what is happening. “We need to fill out your application!”
“But I want to tell you about my ideas,” Mr. Sulphur emphatically states.
“We can get to that later… firstly, Name…” He looks up sternly at him.
“Grrr”, grumbles Mr. Sulphur who flushes red in the face. Procedures he has no time for but will go along with it today as he will shortly be praised for his brilliance. Mr. Arsenicum proceeds to fill in the form, but Mr. Sulphur is now getting irritated and wants to release his grand ideas to the world, starting with Mr. Arsenicum. “Sir, Sir!” says Mr. Arsenicum to alert Mr. Sulphur back on task, “Can I have a look at your business plan?”
“Oh, yes it’s all here,” Mr. Sulphur states as he gestures towards the mountainous pages. “Here, here, and here.”
“Hmmm … no,” says the bank manager. “The form I gave you last month, have you filled it out yet?”
Mr. Sulphur suddenly feels an itch on his scaly, sweaty scalp. He scratches but it seems to cause more pain as it burns. He declares, “Oh, that one! Uhhh…” With that thought, he starts rummaging through his pockets saying it was here somewhere….He moves into one pocket and then another. “Ah, here it is….oh, no this is that library fine I was supposed to pay last week…Okay maybe in this…pocket.” He pushes his big sweaty hand into another pocket. “Okay now I have it!” Mr. Arsenicum is visibly disgusted at the disorder and time-wasting. He looks at his watch urging Mr. Sulphur to hurry it up. “Rightieo,” says Mr. Sulphur, happy to have found the form. He pulls out a crinkly paper, folded in eighths which he tries to smooth out, only to realize, no, this is not it either. “This is my thesis proposal,” he says. Suddenly he remembers, “I don’t have it! I decided there was not enough space to write on it, so I thought it best to do it this way.” He gestures toward the many scraps of paper before him. He appears defiant now and egotistical as he thinks he knows best.
Frustrated, the bank manager rubs his forehead with both hands. Mr. Sulphur is now getting very frustrated with the ignorance of this man. He sees this interview turning sour and is getting angry as to why such a dumb man would be in charge of business loans.
“Right!” says Mr. Arsenicum, quickly grasping that Mr. Sulphur is, in fact, in no position to be borrowing money from his bank and decides that he will, nonetheless, submit the loan application, knowing full well it will be rejected. He strokes back his neat short hair in an attempt to compose his now obvious displeasure. “Mr. Sulphur, I will need to see some ID from you now so we can put in this application.”
“What?” says Mr. Sulphur?
” ID.” he repeats.
“I don’t have that here!”
Mr. Arsenicum stands up, unable to waste anymore time with this absent-minded, disorganized ne’er-do-well. Quickly, while wiping the wrinkles out of his designer suit, he explains with an officious tone, “Mr. Sulphur,”– here he extends his arm out –“Take your application and fill out the business plan and come back to the bank at any time with some ID to lodge your form.”
Mr. Sulphur is utterly perplexed. While Mr. Arsenicum carefully enunciates his instructions, Mr. Sulphur’s red rimmed eyes open wide, as does his mouth. He turns his back on Mr. Arsenicum, mumbling about how he has never met a more stupid man in his life. He collects all his papers off the table and floor in the same rushed manner that he had collected them in his flat. Again Mr. Arsenicum holds his arm out stretched with the forms that Mr. Sulphur needs to fill out. Mr. Sulphur snatches them and without a goodbye, storms out the door and out of the bank. Cursing as he walks unevenly up the street, he tosses the bank forms in a garbage can and muses, “They would be lucky to be involved in my business!” He feels very upset and misunderstood, but will chalk the day up to an unfortunate experience where the bank has employed the likes of Mr. Arsenicum who is not of his intellectual caliber. While he walks he surmises that the world is not ready for such a man as he and his brilliant ideas.
So for today, he heads up to the liquor shop for a bottle of whisky to drown his bitter disappointment.
So there you have it. Mr. Sulphur will drop in to the local curry house on the way home and will spend the night imagining more new, fantastic and colourful ideas for tomorrow in the hope that one day soon he will be recognised for the genius that he truly is!