Editor’s Page

By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez

Ah, Persistence!

lincoln shadow 

 

Setting: A prestigious employment agency in Washington, D.C. Time: Sometime late in 1858. As scene opens, a tall, solemn-looking MAN enters and walks stiffly toward a RECEPTIONIST. His gaunt features and melancholy-looking eyes immediately make her wary.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Our deliveries are made down the hall.

 

MAN: No, I’m... I’m looking for a job.

 

RECEPTIONIST: (with jaundiced eye) Well, I doubt that we have anything for someone of your ...type. But you may fill out our stan­dard application form... it’s probably a waste of both your time, as well as mine.

The MAN takes a paper from his long black coat and hands it to her. She looks as if she’d half-expected him to draw forth a pistol.

 

MAN: I’ve brought along my resumé. Thought it might save some of that precious time.

The woman reluctantly takes the resume. An awkward silence.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Not much of a conversationalist, are you?

 

MAN: (a gentle smile) Depends on with whom I’m conversing.

 

RECEPTIONIST: (glancing at resume) Not much of a record, either...let’s see (reading from paper) 1831Failed in busi­ness... 1832Defeated for the State Legislature...1833 Failed in business. Again ...1834Elected to State Legislature. 1835Sweetheart died... 1836—Suffered nervous breakdown. Well! If nothing else, you’re certainly honest!

 

MAN: (a glint of pride) Yes, I’ve been called that.

 

RECEPTIONIST:   (reading on)   1838—Defeated for Speaker...1843Defeated for Land Officer...and defeated for Con­gress..,1846Elected to Congress...1848Defeated for re-elec­tion...1855Defeated for Senate...1856Defeated for Vice-Presi­dent...1858Defeated again for Senate...(slightly stunned) Gosh, Mister, you’ve certainly had more than your share of ups and downs!

 

MAN: (quietly chuckling) That’s a fair assessment, yes.

 

RECEPTIONIST: But I just don’t think we have anything in the office at the present time that you’d be right for...but if I may make a suggestion?

 

MAN: I’d be most grateful, ma’am. I obviously could use a little help.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Well, why don’t you try running for president? Seems like you’ve tried everything else!

The MAN smiles and backs toward the door.

 

MAN: Funny you should say that, ma’am. I’ve had the same thought myself.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Oh, better get your name, just to have it on file.

 

MAN: (pausing at door) Name’s there on the resume. And thank you for the kind advice.

The man quietly exits. The woman ponders for a moment, shakes her head, then drops the resume into a waste-basket and goes on with her work.

The End (or maybe the Beginning)

 

 

alex grattan

 

ALEJANDRO GRATTAN-DOMINGUEZ

 

Column: Editor’s Page

 

Website:

 

Wrote/directed first movie about Mexican-Americans, Only Once in a Lifetime, recently purchased with another film of his, No Return Address, by Turner Classic Movies.  Lifetime premiered at the Kennedy Center in Wash., D.C. —1979.  Awarded  Governor’s (California) Special Commendation—1980.  SpecialAward of Appreciation from the National Association of Mexican-American Educators—1981. Wrote 23 film scripts, nine of which were either sold or optioned.

Established Ajijic Writers Group in 1988. Wrote seven novels, two of which were at one time in 1400 libraries in the U.S. and Canada.  Best Screenplay Award—Ajijic International Film Festival—1999.  Award ofAppreciation from Ninos Incapacitados—2007. Biography appeared in Who’sWhoinMexico—2007. Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 —Lakeside Community Awards Committee. Winner of Benjamin Franklin Digital Award in 2014 for historical novel The Dark Side of the Dream.Editor-in-Chief of Ojo for past 21 years.

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