Our hearts are pumping as we sit in the car. We’ve just parked. We’re 20 minutes early, but the excitement is killing us. My husband has already left his job, I didn’t have one. We’re ready to go.
“Are we sure we can do this?” I ask my husband. He’s an overweight man with a sweaty complexion and thinning hair. But he’s brilliant. I am, needless to say, the people part of our relationship.
He nods, “We’ve considered about every angle. We’ve got the money to cover our expenses for six months, we’ve got a great business idea, we’ll be okay.”
He gives my hand a squeeze. It is more to reassure himself than to reassure me. I smile.
We sit there, just waiting. We’ve got plenty of time.
“We can get all the licenses?” I ask. I know the answer, we’ve been through it all before.
It is a beautiful day. The sky is blue, the sun is shining. It would be a great day to be at the park.
We unbuckle our seatbelts. Open our doors.
My husband straightens his tie. I tried to pick one that will look good, but they all look too thin.
I grab my soft leather briefcase. I love the touch of it, it makes me professional and accomplished.
We head inside.
The Loan Officer is waiting for us. He gestures to his desk and we follow him there. I lay our package in front of him.
“It’s all there,” I say proudly, “Business plan, pro-formas, marketing plans. The whole kit.” I’d read all the books very carefully. I’d put the whole package together beautifully
The Loan Officer smiles. He’s in his mid-30s, with a thick head of dark hair and a confidence that seems trained.
It seems like he can tell we’re nervous. “Have a seat,” he says. his voice is steady. We sit.
He hasn’t opened the packet.
“I like to get to know you a bit before we get into all the technicalities,” he says, “Why don’t you tell me about your idea and how you were inspired to it.”
I’m a bit surprised by the question, but it is a good one.
“Well,” I answer, “My husband George and I have always wanted to start a business of our own. He’s a master of biochemistry and genetic engineering. He works over at Hu Pharmaceuticals. Just last Christmas, I was struck by a great idea. I asked him about it, and he said it was possible. So, we got planning.”
“Excellent,” said the Loan Officer, “I’m glad to see you’ve taken the time to do your homework. What’s the idea?”
“Well,” I answer, because George can’t explain anything, “When clients will come into our shop, we will discretely take a sample of their skin. It is a very easy and painless process and we’ve already looked in to all the licenses necessary to do it.”
“Okay,” says the Loan Officer, “Then what?”
“Well, we take the sample and then, we convert the cells back into what are called adult stem cells. They can be made into any type of body part.”
“Fascinating,” says the Loan Officer. He is genuinely interested and I’m feeling increasingly confident.
“We place those stem cells on a lattice. And they grow out. They can be grown into anything. In Australia they are growing mice hearts.”
“Do you have FDA approval?” asks the Loan Officer.
“We don’t need it,” I say, “We aren’t growing hearts.”
“Okay,” says the Loan Officer, “What then?”
“Well,” I say, “We grow these lattices of beautiful, warm, healthy and all natural skin.”
“And then we turn it into the ultimate personalized gift. Wallets.”
The Loan Officer doesn’t seem excited. He just asks, “What?”
“Wallets,” I say, although to keep the momentum going I add a few other things, “Of course, given a little time, we could expand into boots and jackets and briefcases – like this prototype here. Just think,” I add, “You can share DNA with your accessories.”
The Loan Officer just stares at us. Like we’re aliens. He seems to be recoiling from my briefcase.
As we leave the bank, I turn to George.
“I don’t understand,” I say, “Why didn’t he like it?”
“Never mind,” says George, “Somebody will like it.”
Maybe he shouldn’t have quit his job.