A teenage boy and I had a conversation a while back that reminded me of how very little I once knew as opposed to how much I think I know now.
Didn’t take long for me to tell him we never know what is going on behind closed doors and how people present the illusion of how they live.
We went back and forth a bit as father and sons do and then I asked him to be good to his mother, kind to his sister and cooperative in general.
Somewhere well after midnight but slightly before 4 AM I stopped thinking about the conversation and all that was attached to it and went to bed.
I had a dream where I saw myself shooting off a flare gun and relaxing because I knew help was on the way.
But help didn’t come and I found myself facing a nasty scarecrow looking fellow like the one below.
We stood in silence staring at each other and I muttered something about how people plan and G-d laughs.
He said nothing and started pounding me.
For a moment I did nothing and let his straw filled hands scrape across my face and slam into my body.
Those of you who know me well know it is not my nature to sit back and take it nor to be silent but I was both.
After some time my assailant stopped the physical beating and began to verbally berate me.
I suppose it had to be a dream because some of what he said were things that no one but me would know.
After a time I responded.
“You can’t hurt me any more than I can hurt myself because I am my own biggest critic. So tell me what you will, we are like family and we are inextricably linked.”
This must have taken some steam out of his sails because once again silence prevailed and under a full moon we stood there staring at each other.
I Am Disappointed In You
Anger must have finally taken control of my lips because I went after that scarecrow with a vengeance.
“You know how I deal with my demons? By calling them out, naming and shaming them. By daring them to prove me wrong and to demonstrate their words have more truth than mine.”
The scarecrow said nothing and faded away.
“I am disappointed in you. Is that the best you have got? Can’t face me under the sun so here we stand. Go! Get out of here!”
There was no response because he was long gone and I was left standing there wondering what the hell I was doing shouting at the wind.
Is It A Trick Or A Treat?
When I woke I lay in bed wondering if it was a trick or a treat.
Was it just a dream or did I learn something real and valuable from the experience?
Though I closed my eyes and concentrated I didn’t hear anything more from the straw man.
Didn’t stop me from inviting him to come back and join me for coffee.
“Maybe if we had a conversation during daylight we’d find the common ground and I’d believe what you said or are saying.”
Since there was no response I shrugged my shoulders and muttered something about being glad no one could hear me speaking to myself.
Not that it mattered, because the few who might probably wouldn’t have really heard me or if they did would have considered it to be ridiculous.
Maybe that is a better way of doing things. Maybe it is easier not to take things or people seriously or to just say things.
It is just not how I operate.
Later on there would be another father and son conversation and I would softly suggest the son seriously think about how much life experience his father had as opposed to him.
Not for the purpose of trying to prove one was smarter or tougher but because sometimes it provides a certain amount of perspective you can’t gain any other way.