Forecasting my future, I told him “I don’t want kids. My work will be my legacy. My company will be my ba—”

“Fall in love with your customers, not your company!” Before I finished he began.

He went on and on for fucking ever about how you can’t get too attached to your work, how companies fail all the time, the ways one must prepare to start over, and some Chinese man named Jack who he had a failed startup with.

What’s the fucking point though?

I often wonder what it’s like to be that self-centered, so fond of the sound of one’s own voice. Does he even hear it anymore, the shit he stinks my ears with? He spoke so long that I grew exhausted. Too tired to explain the argument I’d originally harbored. Subconsciously though, I refused to let him win.

“Why” I said softly, “why do companies fail?” I had to speak with a hint of suspense and seductiveness to keep him quiet. “Companies fall flat or get knocked off. Companies are bought or sold, or in some other form, restructured or dismantled entirely. Companies don’t crumble because the founder loved them too much.”

“But a company is just a name, an idea. The customers make the company. When it falls they stand.” He was wound up. It’s like the more ideas I presented, the more he made it his mission to convert me. Like fucking me wouldn’t be as good until he tamed my thoughts.

Of course I had words, seductive words. “You’re right.” I knew his dick would twitch to that. “It’s just a name and an idea. Proof of concept comes from generating interest. It comes when customers believe in the brand, the product, and the people – you. They must fall in love with you too for the the business to work.”

I could see the words forming by the roll of his tongue, so I lifted my hand.

“Let me ask you this, how easy is it for you to fall for someone who isn’t invested in anything?” He scratched his chin. I didn’t give him the opportunity to answer.

“Personally, I’m usually the target of more romantic attention when I have a lover. It’s like people see the joy I wear and want to peel my clothes off more from that than from whatever the hell my single self was emitting. So falling in love with the customers is useless if they can’t see how enamored you are with your business.”

Until the conversation above, I was blind to the beast in my bed. My lover was a faux physicist and a wantrepreneur. It wasn’t until I got into specifics about building a business with him that I figured out he was a fraud. He presented himself as a modern day Nikola Tesla, a victim of his industry, but the truth is he was nothing more than a less eloquent version of Ellsworth Toohey.

•Art by Shaza.Wajjokh•

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