Hegesias tilted his head back, pondering my options and humming silently the jungle melody.
I started whistling along.
His head snapped forward, «What am I hearing?»
«No, don’t stop… You whistle? You can whistle?»
«Yeah, I …»
«You can whistle and you’re not telling me? I can’t whistle. Who can whistle these days? Nobody ever been to his office was able to whistle. How many people do you know that can whistle?»
It didn’t take me long, «Nobody.»
«Where did you learn how to whistle?»
«My dad, he… Whistled… Until my mother passed away, then he stopped.»
«You know how rare that is? Nobody whistles anymore. There is music everywhere, no time to whistle, no need to whistle, a total waste, except one has no other talents.»
«Phew», I made.
«Or somebody wants to whistle in an orchestra. Do you want to whistle in an orchestra?»
«Yes», that sounded not bad.
Then he started laughing, and I joined in.
He was shaking his head, «Arthur can whistle and doesn’t tell me. You have to tell me those things. Right away, first day, first thing. Any other nugget you forgot to tell me?»
«I didn’t consider whistling…»
«Shall I phone Mr. Esperanto from the Lethbridge Philharmonic Orchestra? He’s the director and conductor.»
I could just blink; he interpreted it rightfully as a yes. Hegesias said «Call Mr. Emilio Esperanto, Lethbridge Philharmonic Orchestra.» His device started to connect.
My mouth got dry. What a chance. A minute ago I was nobody, more a burden for society merely contributing by producing electricity, not knowing what to do with my time, my life, and now I could end up with the Lethbridge Philharmonic doing what I do every day on my own: whistling. Audiences would applaud me, whistle solos in the spotlight, world tours, expensive hotels, I could move into an actual apartment, with two rooms at least, daily coffees, maybe even eat out once a while, amazing.
«Mr. Esperanto, Here is advisor 651, Hegesias, thanks for taking the call, how are you… Thank you… I have a customer here who… Just told me, he can … get this: whistle… Yes… I heard him… Yes… Here… I put you on room tone.»
Now I heard the voice of the conductor, «Please whistle!»
I stuck to the jungle melody. Around the second ‘The lion sleeps tonight’ Mr. Esperanto interrupted me with an emphatic «Thank you, thank you, and: Hegesias, can you put me out of the room again!?»
«Sure», my advisor said, and I was out of the loop.
The future was wide open to me. I smiled like a kid on Christmas.
Hegesias ended the call and looked at me.
«What did he say?» I asked.
«I quote Mr. Esperanto: Try your luck on the street.»
My dream popped like a balloon.
«Hey, Arthur, the door is not closed, try it, people like you, you can make some rupees out there, and if enough people like you, you can create an online account, grow your fans there, and fans talk. If your fan base is big enough, you become philharmonic material again! How does that sound!?»