Johnny claimed that he wrote Blue Suede Shoes for Elvis, and that he got screwed in the deal leaving him penniless and on the street, drinking and smoking, as was his wont. He always asked to retain Jeff’s services to take back what was his and tap into the royalties from one of the most famous songs of all time. Jeff eluded the engagement by explaining that the case could not be brought because the statute of limitations would have certainly expired on this 1950’s song. Also, Jeff didn’t believe him, and a lawyer needs to believe and be paid by his client to represent him effectively. Everyone knows that.
Though Jeff would usually stand by Johnny's stoop and chat about the premises of the case, Jeff didn’t have any time to talk this morning, so didn't say much before he flipped the man a five dollar bill and moved on up the way.
"How ya doin Johnny?" Jeff asked.
"Livin' on borrowed time and borrowed money."
"See ya later Johnny."
“Thank ya, sir, and god bless you and yours,” Johnny said, as he always did, then adding loud enough for the crowd in the thoroughfare to hear if not be startled, “this here’s a good man, goddammit, goddammit, this here’s a good man, ya see, who all here can match this here man, now, none of ya huh?” Then he sang his song like he owned it.
You can burn my house,
Steal my car,
Drink my liquor
From an old fruitjar.
. . . .
His ranting voice faded into the crowd as Jeff walked on.
As Jeff approached nearer to the building, for the first time in thousands of trips down this path, he noticed the full length, bright reflections of his thin body in the vertical glass panels on either side of the dark door on which he had his bearing. These two perfect reflections staring back struck him. He had not before seen them. He passed through the dark non-reflective door and, like Jeff, the reflections, the ghosts of himself, were swallowed up by the gold-bricked building.
Jeff rehearsed the script in his mind as he rode the elevator up to the top floor. Suffice it to say that the reasons for his sudden resignation were too harshly true to share with his colleagues, without deeply hurting their soft feelings and stinging their advanced egos. So, though he would declare his intentions to them, he would be very careful to live by the old rule that if you don’t have anything nice to say . . . well, you know, such rules are very hard to live by.