Thursday, January 15, 2015

This Is (Probably Not) about You

He was tough. He was clever. He fought for what was right, because all that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good people like him sit by and do nothing about it. (It never occurred to him that he might be wrong about something; urgency dictated that he needed to act.)

The thing that made him most proud was that he was good with words. His speaking and writing had layers. He could craft speeches and memos to sound as if he were being munificent and selfless, even while he was drawing attention to his own exceptional performances in professional and social circles.

He rarely ate lunch and he never ate at company parties, which made his co-workers wonder why he was so plump. This was another one of his clever moves. He was a player of chess who spoke of avoiding french fries while others indulged and then he stopped on the way home for various confections. Some speculated he had glandular issues. This was preferable.

He knew every motivational and aphoristic cliche ever written. So had his father. He would never go behind his father's sayings, because the wisdom was indisputable.  Timeless. Traditional.

Yes, he had most of the people around him under his thumb. He was in control. He was the real boss of his company, but without the responsibilities therein (not unlike old Creon); he was the head of his household, too, and his wife fell into line. He was Casparov looming over the board of life. He was a crusader for right. He was (he humbly acknowledged as he looked in the mirror at night) a respectable and politically brilliant individual.

Then, one night, he woke in a cold sweat. Relieved, he wiped his brow. It had just been a nightmare. He had dreamed that he was completely transparent. Thanks goodness it had just been a dream; for, it would be a shame for one's self-concept to be revealed as comically short-sighted; for one who had fancied himself a giant to have been revealed as a model of embarrassing obviousness.

Thanks goodness he was truly as clever as he thought and that people around him didn't see right through him and laugh about him at parties and make fun of him when he left the room, on a regular basis.

I know what you're thinking, but it's okay. If he reads this, he will not think it is about him. (In fact, he will have trouble with a lot of the significant words.) And, if you read this and you think it is about you, it's not, simply because you thought it might be about you and this guy would never have such clarity of mind.

And besides, "he" is many.

1 comment:

  1. Your blog made me pause my task of filling in the abyss that formed here, near me, years ago. I may go back to filling it in now that I have cooled off under this tree, listening to your stories.