“This is incredible!”
“I mean it’s absolutely perfect. I can’t make one single improvement. Every word is exactly as it should be,” the editor said, his face caught between disbelief and elation as he leafed through the pages.
I didn’t say anything. Act like you’ve been there before, is my philosophy.
“Well, I don’t know where you’ve been hiding,” he said, “but you’re lucky you found me.” His eyebrows bounced over his pince-nez like children on a trampoline.
I couldn’t fight off a smile. “Yes. Lucky.”
Cabs honked in the street as I lifted my glass from the bar and savored the smooth warmth of the twenty-five year old Scotch. Success tastes like The Macallan.
“This is going to be huge! I’m gonna fast-track it. We’ll release it just in time for the holiday season. We’ve got to get our publicists involved right away, start lining up some appearances. Oprah, for sure. All the morning news shows. You’re about to explode onto the literary scene in a big way, my friend.”
Now comes the tricky part. “Well, don’t we need to talk about a contract first?”
“Money, is what you mean, right?” He nodded. “Of course. Obviously, we’re talking seven figures, here.”
“No doubt. But not just barely seven figures, right?”
He would have stammered if he was that kind of guy. “No, no, not just barely. Well into the mid sevens, I would say.”
He wasn’t as evil as I was led to believe. “That sounds about right to me,” I said.
A cab was honking right outside, the horn blaring as the editor said something I couldn’t make out. It looked like he said “Five million,” but I wasn’t sure. I tried to ask him to repeat it but I couldn’t form the words. And then I knew.
I rolled over and slapped the snooze button. Fuck.