I watched a memory today. Across the street. Old and weary. No mistaking the sickness. Real illness, sunken eyes surrounded by red pigment and grey skin betrayed the situation.
Was it four decades ago? He has a bad reputation, violence, bully and vengeful man. George, a friend of mine, borrowed a few pounds. He drove thirty miles to threaten and demand the debt was settled. I’d guess, the cost in time and fuel was more than the few pounds owed. Of course, you realise, the money was secondary, he enjoyed frightening George. Although, do not conclude money is not crucial to this psychopath.
Even though the street is wide, I’m not mistaken. He will not be threatening another again; he’s finished and good riddance. I remember the smug know all smile and calculating mind. I recall him as deceitful, treacherous and vindictive. In the long term, few people trust him; all involved come to hate the name. You see there is no hiding the truth of a man. In time we either enrich or betray our true self.
I considered squandering a few moments crossing the street to get closer. The certainty is, if he sees me, he will know me. I can be sure if he see’s me he’ll know there is no compassion. No apology, I’m uplifted to see his plight. Many would celebrate with me, a two hundred or more celebration party I’d wager. Should I cross the street?
Magic happens, he looks over, no doubting memories are rekindled. No mistaking me: my eyes bore into his skull. He see’s my health, strength and happiness. I read him easier than a cartoon in a comic. He is wrong to believe my happiness comes from seeing the degeneration. My happiness is deep within my being, it comes from being free. Freedom from frauds, and liars, and those who live in illusion and self-deception. People like him.
Of course, there is a pleasure in seeing the decline. Would I deceive those around me? No, if there is a truth it must be written or spoken. Surely there is more evidence of integrity demonstrated by those who reveal the truth, rather than lie to seem better in the eyes of those around? I know, the character of a man is built on truth, and this must be before all other considerations. Yes, pleasure in the obvious pain and pleasure is temporary. Happiness is continuous; happiness is freedom.
Yes, he recognises me. He will be angry to see me happy; anger is his way, the way he controlled people. Always believing himself infallible. He lied to associates I was nothing, failure, idiot, probably worse. He will be asking; he will want to know the answer to an outcome. Images return to my mind, words, words never to be forgotten. This dying man centre to the tragedy, which held the potential of ruination. The situation did indeed hold long-term horror for one victim. A high price paid for a few days indiscretion. Who became the victor in the end? The answer is in these words.
I am not guessing; there is a certainty, not a week will pass when the terminal, has not thought of the thirty-seven days. No one within the episode will escape without scars. Mine is faint, at a distance invisible. A confident may suspect there is something deep mine dark in my mind.
Seeing me fit and well and obviously without problems. I nod my head and smile. He attempts to communicate. I turn around and walk away. Knowing he would like an answer to the question. He will never hear the answer. This is worse than the pain of the disease and the tortures of the consultants, examinations and diagnosis.
Not knowing the answer to the question.