Sunday, 26 July 2015

"A Different Kind of Friend": Excerpt #2


You might think I’m being a bit of a bully. But why shouldn’t I be, after the stuff you’ve done to me over the years? Oh that’s right; you barely remember. You probably can’t even recall those feelings that came over you when you did what you did. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that nothing came over you. You saw an opportunity to do something to me, and when you reached back into your mind for that part of you that was supposed to stop you, it just wasn’t there. I can see you now, waking from the whole thing hours later as though something had possessed you and then vanished without a trace. As though the real you had gone away for a while.

The hard part is that those kinds of episodes only happen once or twice a year at most, which is just long enough for you to convince yourself that they won’t happen again. But you know what? I honestly don’t blame you, because you don’t deserve blame. Blame is something a person has to earn.

You’re probably getting impatient by now. You want me to make a beginning, because there’s only so long I can expect you to hang around if I keep going on like this.

So why don’t we go back to when you were a kid? Why don’t we start with you and your childhood companion Roddy heading into the woods behind your family home? Why don't we start with the sound of cicadas ringing in the trees?

No? You don’t want to start there? I figured. But rest assured that we’ll get back there eventually. After all, you’re the one who spent years thinking that what happened in those woods would somehow explain everything that came  afterward. That was just a fantasy like everything else. But yes, we’re still going to get back to those woods eventually.

Let’s begin with you heading off to university. I think it would be fitting if we made a beginning by going back to your first false epiphany – at least the first one you can remember. It was your freshman year, and somehow you thought you could spend the rest of your life offering pure, godlike love to everything in existence. Maybe you read a book on Zen Buddhism and missed the point – but that’s okay because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re that age. Let’s start with you sitting cross-legged on your dormitory bed, staring into some book that suddenly made you feel as if you’d finally figured everything out, that made you believe with every cell in your body that universal, all-encompassing love was not only possible but inevitable. Let’s go ahead and play out what happened afterward.

I honestly understand that you might not want to make a beginning from your own life. You’d probably prefer it if I told some story that might distract you from it all. But I can’t do that and you don’t really want me to do that. Some part of you knows that you owe me, so I’m going to ask that part of you to step forward for a while as I make a beginning.  

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