Who is that stranger in my head?

January 23, 2012

Everyman reaches a stage in life where eventually, he finds himself looking back at the long journey of life – when looking back, some of the experiences stand erect like church spires punching through the landscape – others are less spectacular, resembling a row of fences, rolling hills and meandering country roads – but when one reflects on the past , it’s best not to be nostalgic – I say this as the human mind has a way of forgetting the bad times and at times glossing over the many challenges we may have once encountered. You could say this is the nature of everyman: he is inclined to remember ONLY the good times, even if at one time in his life – those “good” times may not be so good.

Looking back honestly on the past is necessary: If I don’t even know whence I came from, how do I even know where I have ended up. Or for that matter chart a new direction?

But peer as hard as you may into the distant past, one thing will certainly stand tall, the destination that you find yourself in NOW was in part determined by where you once began the journey of life, it is true, I suppose, for all of us. When we first began the journey of life (some many years ago, others not too long ago), many of us were probably young, starry eyed, idealistic and armed only with a few tubes of superglue and duct tape – since we knew very little about ourselves and less about the world, all we really had was a general outline of where the journey of life would lead too. For the vast majority of us – we end up settling for a “compromised existence.” That’s part and parcel of the journey of life, like a man who is accustomed to driving a clap up bone shaker, he soon realizes that superglue and duct tape are often indispensable, if he wants to get to his next waypoint, along with perhaps the reality of having to drive at a sedentary fifty kilometers per hour / any faster and something will either drop off or start to smoke – the same “compromised existence” logic invariably kicks in somewhere in this journey of life, we all have to make compromises with our dreams and aspirations – some more than others, I reckon, but we are all cut from the same cloth. The dentist who believes he is the best settles down to a 9 to 5 existence in a little practice; the young climber who once saw himself scaling Everest in his mind’s eye in the moment of his youth now really cares about how much he can peddle his mountaineering gear to Cash Converter . I am sure, if you look back on your own journey of life, you could just as well drawn your own comparisons between the theory and the reality of having lived X number of years against what you have really accomplished.

But even with the best knowledge that hindsight can offer us to clarify the way forward, it is clear that having experience alone may never be enough, if the goal is to successfully make it somewhere down the line in the future – the future is never clear and those who claim to see it clearest, ALL happen to either trying to sell us something or get us to buy into their dogmatic packages.

Truth is the imagined world can never be translated into the actual world, not even for the likes of Michael Jackson – I bet, he didn’t see himself being snuffed out at 50. Because the truth is once we have left our childhood crèches and started out to make up our lives, armed only with what we have and are, we understand that the real secret is not “there’s no place like home”, but rather that there is no longer any such place called home: except, of course, for the home we have somewhere in our heads surrounded by the many set pieces of our past experiences – here in this dusty darkened interior somewhere in our minds, that we have somehow fashioned from tid tibs of what life washes before the shores of our consciousness is the idea of anywhere and everywhere, except the place from which we began – and it is this place that we often find ourselves retreating too whenever we feel the need to do something unconscionable.

For better or worse, home is here my dear perceptive reader, now, in a universe of a grandeur of which I had no idea at the beginning, at a place somewhere along the journey of life that reaches hopefully into the future like another stretch of winding road – I suddenly realize that I am not alone.
Yesterday, I caught a glimpse of that stranger in mind’s eye during an afternoon walk in that familiar stretch of road called the journey of life – I recognized the lightest of his gait even his carefree demeanor and air of recklessness. There he was standing before me with his hair slicked back attired in a black suit radiating evil.

I asked him, “How long have you followed me?”

The stranger replied,”Old man, you’re losing it. I’ve never left you.”

I pressed on, “Who are you?”

The stranger did not answer – he just looked on from afar pulling on his cigarette as if waiting for me to connect the dots.

Then I realized, it was the Singaporean gangster in London, there he was standing before me with his mischievous smile of sweet victory that said it all – “You have come full circle my friend. I am so proud of you for what you did to that fatty last night.”

The birds were chirping, the leaves rustling ever so gently as the sun began its languorous swan dive into darkness.

Darkness 2012

————————————————————————————————

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: