I’m not complaining. In fact, I don’t care. I’m a very old man in a very young body. Most old men wish for what I have. I’m grateful. I just want the perspective that I have now placed upon the shoulders of a two-arm man. It’s one of life’s great mysteries: a man wishes for riches but not for love. His wish is granted, yet, because of his loneliness amongst his success, he dies a broken man. It’s one of those stories you inoculate children with in order to subtly manipulate their future. Mother Goose and those Grimm brothers were clearly on to something.
Walk with me for a moment. Imagine a time in which all things pushed towards the apathetic and no real hope could be found. There are two choices: find yourself to be a fighter or don’t find yourself at all. In fact, no one would be able to see your light in a crowd because it had been snuffed, simultaneously taken like a thief in the night as well as given away like the first kiss on the back of a young lady’s palm. The only answer to the myriad of questions that you might muster feels strange and foreign, yet the result could promise to be something other than what you could expect from giving up. The hope lies on the eastern tip ofLong Island: the smells of the farm country, the brush of the winds bouncing off of the rows of grape plants and the smiles of the everyday people who take pride and pleasure in wishing you a good day. Now, picture a world in which there were no smells, no breeze and no compassion. Could the flicker of hope survive, or would it be summarily snuffed out again, still in the infancy of its humble return? If you can feel this transition, if you might let it into your heart of hearts, you will know my struggle. It is not your own, but it is a struggle nonetheless. As a writer, I used to think that the world could learn a lot from me.
After what I’ve seen, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, I’ve learned that life is the highest institution of learning and people are its professors. There are two classes: What to Do 101 and What Not to Do 101. Stray from their examples and the world is no longer your oyster. I’ve learned three things from them all. One: Keep your room clean. The rest will follow. Two: The toast is going to pop up when it’s going to pop up. You might as well stop and smell it until it does. Three? In a moment…………………………..
(Pause) Still there? Okay, I just wanted to make sure that you were serious. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? I promise I’ll make it quick. Let me ask you something: what was the last time you felt you had enough time? I mean, when it wasn’t barging in or running out? Do you ever feel time, crawling on your back? I hope not, but if you have, just throw it away, because you know what? There is no time, not where I’ve been, and it’s not important there either. You know what’s important? Come closer, I’ll whisper it… you. You are what is most important to this world. Not in the sense of megalomania, but rather if everyone felt they were what was essential to their society, their planet, their life, this world would be much better off than it is right now. Instead, we are made to feel small, insignificant and trivial instead of the walking miracles we all are. Please, do not buy in to your own insignificance.
Do you want to know what gives me hope? What makes me feel worthy of the journey I have undertaken? Telling my story to someone who is as good a listener as you. I know that the days are long and the years short, but try, if you can, to remember my struggle. Not for me, but rather for the next person that you see who has chosen to walk my path. They will need encouragement. They will need a helping hand. They will need you.