“The Painting” By Joe
30 May, 2014
Mr. Joe Charney, Pfister lobby lounge frequent visitor, has already been written about by the two hotel narrators before me. And much of what he told me was also accurately described in those blog posts. But not everything! Here you will see why Mr. Charney needs a third story, my story. Since quality journalism was demonstrated by both narrators Molly and Jenna, this time Joe is getting an authentic free verse poem story thingo!
Once, before Joe knew this opulent palace,
or his European voyages
before, before all that
he was a boy with a painting in his room
well, it was a good reproduction of a painting
depicting horse riders
kicking up dust and pointing
perhaps to Joe’s own distant quests:
to attain commercial real estate
to acquire 18th century artwork,
because like an omen
it all turned out to be true
when he came to the Pfister
he saw his own painting
well, the real one
hanging above the front desk.
That’s how he knows he belongs here
“in the warmth of a hug”
as he puts it.
“this is pure unadulterated perfection,”
as he puts it.
The moment is interrupted,
as Senator Kohl gets up from his chair and leaves the lounge.
Valerie, the mixologist calls after him, “I love you.”
Senator Kohl wears a green baseball cap.
“If you’re feeling low,
this is the place to go,”
he gestures towards Valerie and tells me,
“She is much more advanced than a bartenderess,
she’s a… she’s a mixologist!”
I tell him I have never heard a woman bartender called a bartenderess before.
“Well, it would be apropos,
she’s really a good looking female
and you must distinguish between the two.”
Joe cuts the fluff,
the nice fluff,
and goes into an hour long description
of the blog post he wants me to write
but not today
about the cover up of the banking industry by the government.
I stop taking notes
because this is not for today
and he tells me I should change my name anyways
before I write the story he says he has for me
about “necessary evil.”
Joe asks me a lot of questions:
“Do you know what we’d have without the banking system?”
“Have you heard about getting on the merry-go-round?
He draws me a picture on a napkin.
“Do you understand now?
You never get to pay the loan back.”
He tells me a story and he even starts with a title.
Mr. Marcus was standing in the lobby as the bank turned him down for a loan. The bank told him, ‘You must proceed to have investors with you and then you can come back to buy the hotel.’ Another man who happened to be in the lobby pointed to a painting and said, ‘Mr. Marcus if you buy this hotel I will give you a large sum of money to buy that painting.’ Mr. Marcus knew that in a locked room in an upper floor was a bunch of paintings, secure and waiting for a buyer to come along.
The room was full of appraisers and insurance people all contemplating the worth of these 18th century paintings. Mr. Marcus with papers in hand and the grand total entered into the bank, proceeded to tell the head of the bank he had enough equity from the paintings alone without a single dollar of his that would satisfy any loan that was given to buy the hotel.
This was circa fifty years ago when the paintings were worth more than the hotel. He really saved an iconic piece of architecture, which could not be reproduced today. This is also an evolution of great taste. Each renovation is better than the last.”