When the Edmonton apartment building owned by Joe Gurba, who lived in the penthouse suite, burned down last May, he made a choice he never imagined.
“Material possessions are so important to me,” says Gurba, the wealthy CEO of Edmonton-based major label Old Ugly, “the hungry flames were creeping toward my things, longing to devour them. I had to choose which of them was most important, and leave the rest to burn.”
The aging Gurba wipes away the single tear that travels down his chiseled jaw.
Gurba and his much-younger wife Bethany survived unscathed. Bethany cradled a priceless accordion filled with hundred dollar bills. Joe chose to rescue the ledgers for his music empire.
Lost in the flaming wreckage was the thousand page manuscript of Gurba’s first collection of poetry, written during long airplane rides and limousine drives while traveling for business.
Gurba is unfazed by the loss. “I wrote a bunch of new poetry instead. Better poetry.” Gurba grins, “I was clean when I wrote the last book. Since then, I’ve taken up a daily cocktail of experimental drugs.”
“I keep getting better at everything,” says Gurba.
Although “The Joe” profited handsomely from the fire, he shrugs off any lingering accusations of arson. “My homies are going to come to your house and f**k you up if you ask me any more questions,” he says with an infectious smile. (Tyler Jack Butler)
THIS STORY IS FICTION. TONIGHT IS NOT.