The First Meeting

Wednesday afternoon. A few years ago. Sun shining. 72 degrees.

Leonard finally showed up and sat next to me on the park bench. We agreed to meet at 3:30 p.m. and it was already a ten minutes to four. I wondered what a guy like Leonard could be doing that would make him twenty minutes late to our first meeting about the documentary project. I wondered why he wanted to meet on a park bench in front of the basketball courts. I wondered why he down and stared at the three-on-three game in front of us without saying hello. I wondered…

“There’s a rhythm to it. A constant, driving beat. Can you feel it?”

Leonard finally uttered those words about 4 o’clock, nearly ten minutes after he first sat down. I was fairly agitated by that time but I didn’t respond. I was there to offer this scruffy guy a decent amount of money to allow us to document his life, but I was told there were certain words & actions that could really set him off and I didn’t want to get this project off to a bad start (or get my ass kicked). So there I was, sitting silently next to him…watching some guys play three-on-three.

“Basketball is a lot like life itself,” he said. “You don’t have to know all the rules to play, but unless you know the basics you can’t even enjoy a simple pick-up game in the park.”

With that, he got up and walked away. I slumped back into the bench and tried to figure out what had just happened. It was 4:05 p.m. and as I looked up at the game in front of me I began to realize that I probably needed Leonard a lot more than he needed me.

5 Responses to “The First Meeting”

  1. from PizzaFrank

    Man James, I had no idea you and Leonard got off to that kind of start. He seemed to put you in your place without saying it. I probably would have punched the dude but you handled it well.

  2. from Jane

    Okay now I’m hooked. I thought this guy was just a nutcase when I saw him with that turkey in Vegas but now I can’t stop reading & watching the vidoes!

  3. from Rob

    This is great – I’m loving this and can’t wait to hear more about Leonard…

  4. from Jimmy

    Did anyone else notice they posted Leonard’s email address on the About page? I just got an email back from Leonard. How cool is that?

  5. from The Second Encounter - Part One : Leonard Who?

    […] The First Meeting […]

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