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January 27, 2017

Constantly cultivating the art of how to be alone and perfectly comfortable in solitude is central I imagine to the idea of wholeness. When one is not afraid to be or to stand alone, only then can one associate with others without having to use them as a means of escaping the pains and boredom of life….this is the foundation of all real interactions.

It begins with having an independent mind.

Good manners I imagine will always take one very far in life – whether it is reciprocated in kind is not really important. The point is to follow right thru the custom of being good mannered and well spoken all the time, irrespective of how others may regard you.

As the real test of being good mannered is never what others do. Rather it is how well you are able to maintain this discipline.

I am certainly not 100% there. But for the time being – those I rather not see. I make a specific point to avoid seeing and even if that is not possible, it’s best to keep it short and sweet.

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‘Live long enough in the wild and it will get right underneath your skin – yes, the wild can burrow deep inside a man…any man. Doesn’t even matter whether it’s a ramrod of probity, sobriety and sagacity without him even realizing it….only to transform him animal.

Civilization or humanity. Which ever way you choose to see it will I imagine always be crumbly in the wild – for me it’s always a conscious effort to keep it all whole and complete like the infinity of the circle…to keep at it…to always be within the circle and never to stray too far from the well trodden path.’

The reborn man dressed in his tuxedo in the city may have looked like all other men that once came in and out of her life. But this man was indelibly different despite his sheen of civility and education – as the woman in red could sense him running his fingers ever so softly thru the contours of her fear and fascination – something was stirring in her like how one leafs through an old book and suddenly a postcard, picture or note slips right out – something from the past had screamed out lancing what would have past as perhaps another pleasant and uneventful evening – in that one moment of serendipity where fate intersects destiny life suddenly takes an unexpected and dangerous turn.

This was the expression of the woman in red wore as she watched this new man who is so unlike that farmer working through the kitchen. The man knew she wasn’t so self assured now and he reveled in watching the weapon she had forge against him turned on her – sitting on her barstool, she could make out his care free ease with the other Argentinian chefs – they must go back a long way. Maybe all the way back to those rumors where they said, he used to have a blond European wife and they lived together in a sugarcane plantation…till the war came.

Pictures hung to one corner behind the counter – the woman in red moved closer – she could make out a younger version of the man sitting on an open top race car holding a magnum Champagne with a couple of others holding up a Nicaraguan flag. A young blond girl sat beside the man. He had his arms around her. They looked happy.

In the next picture, the man was on horseback with the blond woman – he wore ridding breeches, knee high boots and a Panama. They looked as if he had just told her the linchpins to a joke. The woman in red noticed the blond girl was chewing on straw. They looked happy.

Just as the woman in red was about to turn away – she noticed a picture tucked away into a hidden recess – a sort of space where chefs usually keep their personal stuff. The woman in red moved furtively drawing the curtain – an array of black and white photos of most men – they all wore fatigues, carried guns, just as about she was going to turn away. She caught sight of a strange black and white photograph of a naked man covered only by a piece of skin – the man held a bow and rifle was slung across his shoulders. He stood on a large round rock. Beneath him bobbing heads of tribesmen – many of them had that all familiar look of curiosity mixed with surprise – all except the man who stood erect on the rock with his face painted to look like a human skull.

She recognized those eyes – those same eyes of desolation and loss that she too had once seen so many times in the mirror from her many torrid relationships with callous men – that finally led her to settle for the next best idea – that she would now transform her beauty into a weapon to secure herself in the material world – to accomplish this feat the woman in red had turned her back resolutely on the idea of love and married the grand old man to be his apprentice, lover and confidant.

But as she peered deeper into the eyes of the man who stood on the rock – she knew this was a man who didn’t care whether he lived or died, ate or starved to death – there was a lingering sadness in his eyes. A faraway look as if his soul was somewhere else and all that remain was some spent effigy – one that even the woman in red turned away from – as she realized for the very first time that evening – the man who sat across her on the table was a man who had known the same depths of sorrow that she had once experienced.

He must have. The woman in red murmured to herself, “I’ve seen that same look in the mirror before…”

With these thoughts it saddened the woman in red profoundly for what would have to follow.

As for the new man, he realized the woman before her that day had blinked….he could have pressed on. Instead he said to himself, he had all the time in the world.

The night was still young…the opera was yet to begin.

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