Once upon a time a boy was born whom his parents named Jonathan. He was a beautiful baby boy and his parents were extremely happy when they got him. When they drove home from the hospital, his father had said: “This is the happiest day of my life.” Little did he know that it would also be his last, for when he turned to the passenger seat, on which his wife sat satisfied with her child, in order to take a good look at his son, he did not see that an SUV was only mere seconds away from collision.
Jonathan’s parents had died almost instantly in the crash. But, thankfully, Jonathan had survived. The driver of the SUV found the baby, weeping and still wrapped in his mother’s dead and broken arms. And when he took the gorgeous baby from the car and looked at his beautiful extraordinary eyes, he melted.
When Jonathan’s family learned from the tragic accident, everyone hurried to the. Everyone had looked and smiled at the baby’s beautiful face. And when the question “Who should take care of him” arose, everyone had volunteered. But one of them was more persistent than the rest, someone most unlikely: uncle William.
Uncle William was the oldest of Jonathan’s father’s siblings. He had inherited most of his parent’s money when they died, but he had never spent it. He also never had been married and thus he also did not have any children of his own. He did not care much for having a family, but when he saw little Jonathan lying in that cot, he melted and the parent inside, that had never before had the chance to awake, insisted he should take care of the baby.
Uncle William lived in a fairly isolated cottage on the countryside and he was rather self-sufficient. He grew his own vegetables and with a wind and watermill he produced the required electricity for the few electric machinery that he owned. He had little need for the outside world with the exception of the occasional visit to the market in the nearest town where he stocked up on meat and everything that he could not produce himself.
Jonathan grew up beautifully and that did not come as a shock to uncle. Uncle William taught him all about talking, reading, writing, cooking, gardening and most other necessary basic skills. And at the age of 10, Jonathan had already written a lot of stories and uncle William had read and loved each and every one of them. Jonathan was indeed very talented in writing. For a long time, writing was almost all he did. He wrote of simple things like the smell of vegetable soup, but also of complex things, like how much he loved uncle William, but also about the fact that he did, in fact, feel empty.
Jonathan and uncle William rarely received visitors, few took the effort to come and see the two since they lived so far from civilisation. Their family had all but forsaken them and the only one to ever visit was family Larryson. Mr and Mrs Larryson were old friends of uncle William. They had a daughter, Rose, who occasionally came along.
When Rose was there, Jonathan would show Rose his latest stories and they would both enjoy each other’s company. Rose would compliment Jonathan about his stories and she would suggest that Jonathan would become the greatest writer ever. Jonathan would, in turn, immediately dismiss the idea, while secretly hoping that it would actually happen. For he desired nothing more than becoming the best writer that ever lived.
It was this appearance of occasional outside contact that kept Jonathan going, because besides this little taste of the outside world and his writing, he had little to live for.
And so several years would pass, Jonathan would write, uncle William would teach and Rose would read and love. But this harmony was broken when uncle William died, unexpectedly, from a heart attack four months after the Larrysons had moved away. This left young Jonathan all alone and Jonathan was convinced his uncle had died of loneliness and Jonathan knew that, if he were to continue to live in solitude like his uncle did, he would not make it either.
He would have to go and set out into the world all by himself. And even while Jonathan inherited a lot of money, this would prove a daunting task. Rose had told Jonathan about the great film-makers in Hollywood and that Jonathan would surely make it there one day. Jonathan decided that, because his old life had obviously gone, he would set out and go there, to Hollywood. So he took all the money his uncle had left him and put it in a large bag.
Jonathan had never really been to a big city and thus he was extremely excited to go.
Jonathan went to the airfield and after having his bags searched, which they called a “routine check” (the bag with the money felt a little lighter afterwards), he boarded his plane. He went business class.
On the plane, Jonathan had the greatest lunch he had in a long time.
The onion soup he had for starters had a mouth-watering smell and that smell certainly did not create a false sense on what was to come, for the taste was also extremely gratifying.
Next, he had an exquisite steak and the very sight of it already made Jonathan’s taste buds go haywire. And as desert he got an extremely well prepared chocolate soufflé.
The stewardess had very kindly asked for a tip, which Jonathan was only too happy to provide. A hefty one hundred dollar bill disappeared into the stewardess’ pocket.
After the plane touched down and Jonathan had left the airport, he saw the great city of Los Angeles before him and thought to himself “this place will definitely have what I need”.
Jonathan was surprised by the amount of people walking up and down the streets and the masses of cars driving around. Being used to being the only one in the land, he thought to himself: “This cannot be healthy, so many people in so little space.”
And these buildings, they were so many houses cramped together in so little space. “Where would they grow their vegetables, their herbs?”. Jonathan saw some neighbours arguing about the height of their fence, they were both quite angry and Jonathan was confused. He did not understand how two people could get so mad about something so small.
Jonathan had no idea where he was going, so he called out to a man walking by, but the man ignored him. He tried again, but the man still did not recognise his existence. Jonathan tried to greet someone else, another man, he was wearing a suit. But the man did not see Jonathan and he walked on.
Jonathan did not get what the problem was, but it seemed futile and he gave up nonetheless. He walked and walked and it was getting late. Jonathan had come across a diner, where he had a truly mediocre meal. The waitress was also very unpleasant and with the rain outside, he realised that Hollywood was not what he thought it would be.
Jonathan asked the waitress if she knew a place where he could sleep and she told him about a place. A ‘bed and breakfast’, she called it.
“And could you please tell me how I could get there?”
“Ah, I dunno... like, eh... right when ya leave the diner and left somewhere farther down the street. Somewhere that way, I guess.”
Jonathan left the diner and went right and walked on far down the street. Since he did not know at which intersection he was to go left, he walked on and on. Then, when he was sure the waitress had meant for him to turn left somewhere already, he turned left.
It was getting late, few cars were still on the road and it was dark. Jonathan also felt as though the houses were getting smaller and less well maintained the farther he walked, the gardens seemed to be getting smaller too and so did everything else. In the rain, he felt extremely uncomfortable. With no idea where he was or how to get to the bed and breakfast, he wandered the streets.
But then, he saw a man walking on the street, Jonathan walked up to him. The man did not seem so bad, for some reason and Jonathan said: “Excuse me, sir. I am Jonathan, could you help me? I need get to a hotel, do you know where I should go? I am a writer and I have no idea where I am. Could you help me?”
After the man did not respond, Jonathan said: “I can pay you for the directions, I have a lot of money on me, if that is what interests you.”
But the man walked on, unbothered by Jonathan’s voice. Jonathan took the man’s arm as to force him to notice Jonathan. The man turned around, highly alarmed. Jonathan did not know what was going on. But the man just looked at Jonathan, confused.
“Sir, could you help me? I need to get to a hotel.”
The man did not seem to understand him and Jonathan tried one last time: “Sir, I need a hotel, could you please tell me where I can find one?”
The man put his hand behind his ear and then shook his head. He appeared to have been deaf.
Jonathan let the man walk on, but not long after that, another man came from an alley and slowly approached Jonathan. The man walked with a slight limp and he looked like he could fall over at any time. He wore torn, dirty clothes and the rain had put his greasy hair in front of his staring eyes. The man spoke.
“Hey, kid, I heard ya say ya’re a writer.”
The man had lost a few of his teeth and his breath smelled like the compost heap from uncle William’s farm.
“Hello, that’s right sir, I am.”
“Well, this is ya lucky day after all, kid. I know someone who works in the filming industry. I could introduce ya to him, if ya want.”
Jonathan became all exited at hearing this pleasant news.
“Really? That would be great! What exactly is his job?”
“He, eh, he is a producer.”
“Wow, could you tell me what films he has made?”
“Well, eh, why don’t you come with and ask him yourself?”
Another man, who looked equally afflicted as the other, came forth from the alley and approached. All of a sudden, that dark feeling Jonathan had when the man first walked out of the alley returned. He looked at the two men, who obviously knew each other.
“Why don’cha come with, kid?”