”The small are always dependent on the great; they are ‘small’ precisely because they think they are independent. The great thinker is one who can hear what is greatest in the work of other ‘greats’ and who can transform it in an original manner.” – Martin Heidegger
It’s so hard for people, moving on from the past. It weighs them down like an anchor and they are helpless to its pull-down to the depths. They wallow in self-pity or boredom, they waddle out to the subway each day to go to their dreary jobs to pay for their dreary lives. Their clocks are set to it. No deviations can be allowed. But one day, they’re going to miss the subway because it’s not going to come. One of these days, it’s going to break down and it’s not going to come around and everyone else will just wait for the next one or they will take the bus, or walk, or run to the next station: they will go on with their lives. But you, you, you, you, you, and even you…. You’re not going to be able to go on with your life. You’ll be standing there, in the subway station, staring at the tube.
Because you think that everything has to happen perfectly and on time and when you think it’s going to happen. Well, guess what? That’s not how things happen. And you’ll be the only one who’s not going to be able to go on with life, just because your subway broke down. You’ve got to let go. You’ve got to know that things don’t happen the way you think they’re going to happen, but that’s okay because there’s always the bus, there’s always the next station. You can always take a cab.
Most people, the minute they meet you, are sizing you up for some competition for resources. It is as if everyone lives in fear of a shipwreck, where only so many would fit on the lifeboat, and they are constantly trying to stake out their property and identify dispensable people – people they can get rid of. Everyone is trying to assure themselves: I’m not going to get kicked off the boat. They are. They’re always separating people into two groups, allies, and dispensable people. The number of people who want to understand what the rest are really like instead of trying to figure out whether you get to stay on the boat – is really limited.
Oftentimes for a man, winning can become an addiction, whether good or bad, to the point where he would rather lose it all before he loses at all.
You need not be concerned. If you hold a candle close to you, its flame rises. And if you hold it away from you, its flame shrinks. The same way you hold a candle close to you, keep all your plans, aspirations, projects, and dreams close to you too. Don’t share your plans or goals until you complete them, because as you hold your candle away from you – envy, jealousy, and resentment may put out your flame before it grows.
The tropes bore me. There will be no dramatic build to one shining moment that reveals all. There will only be the one shining moment alone, and it will overwhelm and devour. That’s how real life works, real lives are not built in a lab to manipulate a single man while hoping the man doesn’t notice the manipulation. I am no beggar child, crying and begging for more like Oliver Twist.
There is no need to seek approval.
You will never gain anyone’s approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.
He watches as you stride forward, as you flinch back, and drop to your knees before him in a deep obeisance. You kiss his feet and lay your hands on his knees, the ancient posture of supplication. Then you look up at him, your eyes wild and desperate.
Once, as a child, I had sat with my ear pressed against the grandfather clock in the sitting room as it tolled noon. The peals didn’t ring through my head; they rang throughout my entire body, from the bones in my arms to the air in my lungs, until I was nothing but a helpless vibration alongside them.
It feels the same way now. For a short, trackless time he doesn’t move or breathe; he only stares down at your pale face, your half-parted lips, and echoes the thought over and over: ’He is begging me.’
And begging for help never gets you any.
I am a willing pawn, for I have no choice. But I will not beg, for I was chosen. The rest of you, if approval were food, would have starved to death years ago.
I could not stop myself in the end, you see. That’s how they caught me. It was meant to be. I knew when it was done. All at once, the anger ran out of me. And in place of it, a strong sense of homecoming began to take possession of me. I was going home. ‘Back to Gainesville, where I belong.’ And I say it again now without bitterness, for it was the truth.
Every man comes to his own place in the end.
I resolve now to do the most I can with what I’ve been newly given. I had been a sluggard, weary of myself, unfit to fight, a failure in life and a failure in love. That has ended. I have tired of failing, and it is time to succeed for a while. To accept the worst that fate can deal, and to wring courage from it instead of despair, is success; and it is the success that I will have. I would take fate by the neck, but had it now offered me a kindness? I look out over the beautiful, ‘monotonous’ landscape, and answer heartily, ‘Yes.”
It is not in my nature to stop short at half-measures, not to pause when once I have fixed my purpose. If I ever trembled on looking forward to the utter ruin I was about to rain down on them, my second emotion was to despise myself for being such a fucking pussy about it and to be roused to renewed energy.
There is no chance, no fate, no destiny that can circumvent, or hinder, or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.
So I’ve heard.
”Loss alone is but the wounding of a heart; it is memory that makes it our ruin.” – Brian Ruckley
Six months after interrogation….
Detective Callaway and Detective Rodriguez walk up the walk to the front of an empty mid-century house. They greet the crime scene investigator there with a handshake and look around.
“Good morning. Scene’s out back.”
Callaway reacts with a nod and gestures for Rodriguez to come with her. They head around the side of the home and up a small concrete stone walkway to a wooden door, which had been flung open.
Walking through, they emerge into a typical suburban backyard, with evidence of digging in the middle of it, surrounded by crime scene tape.
Callaway approaches a heavy-set man who is now turning to face her.
“What are we working with here, Lenny?”
The man shakes his head. “Third week in homicide, I get this mess.”
Rodriguez gestures to the cops working nearby, some ten to fifteen of them at least.
“What’s with the block party?”
Lenny shrugs. “Some moron gets it in his head to buy this piece of crap, sends an inspector to check it out, and digs up a bunch of skulls.”
Rodriguez crosses his arms.
Lenny gestures them over to the main section of the digging.
“CSU says some are recent, others have been there for years. Found them positioned like this.”
Callaway kneels down, and she looks at a row of skulls pointed toward a room at the top of the house.
“Lined up, facing upwards?”
Rodriguez follows her eyes to the window near the top of the A-frame home. “Attic of the house…”
Lenny nods. “The owner was killed up there in… oh, 2003?”
Rodriguez looks back at him.
“They find the doer?”
Lenny shrugs. “Robbery rape is all they got.”
Callaway follows the line of the top of the house back down to the line of skulls, then kneels down next to them and notices something.
“Carlos, look at this…”
He kneels down next to her and looks at the skulls, which have black marbles in all of the eye sockets.
“Black marbles in all their eyes.”
Lenny steps over. “You wanna clue me in?”
They stand, and Callaway looks at Lenny.
“Serial killer we interviewed a few months back. Black marbles like these were at his place.”
“Right,” he says, nodding his head. “The freak who walked, right?”
Rodriguez nods, shoulders slumping. “Yeah. Hunting down his victims in the swamp. Made them run until they couldn’t run anymore.”
Callaway interjects. “He decapitated nine women that we know of.”
They look down at the skulls again. Nine skulls.
“Well,” Callaway sighs. “Never gave up where he put the heads. Looks like we might’ve found them.”
Rodriguez frowns. “And who was the previous owner?”
Lenny pulls out a notepad from his back pocket, looking down at some notes scrawled there.
“Simone Roberts. Lived here with a 10-year-old son….”
Callaway perks up at this, a chill running down her spine. “Named Jeffrey.”
Lenny looks back down at his notepad to confirm. “Yeah, that’s right.”
She looks at Rodriguez and the two share a knowing expression.
“Looks like our serial killer’s come back home.”
”I’m done with those; regrets are an excuse for people who have failed.” – Ned Vizzini
And here we are.
By all accounts, I should not be here. Let’s be honest with ourselves. I was not brought to HOW to win championships, as far as you know. At least, not this quickly. And what to say to one of the greatest collections of competitors the wrestling world could ask for?
Hall of Famer Jatt Starr.
Possible Future Hall of Famer Jace Parker Davidson.
Hall of Famer Cecilworth Farthington.
Hall of Famer, World Champion, and SON OF GOD…. Michael Lee Best.
I know that you’re all cooking up some original idea to wow the masses and check the tick sheet for the various things you’ve been trained to believe make a good “promo.”
I assure you all, every story has already been told. Once you’ve read Anna Karenina, Bleak House, The Sound and the Fury, To Kill a Mockingbird, and A Wrinkle in Time, you understand that there is really no reason to ever write another novel. Except that each writer brings to the table if she will let herself, something that no one else in the history of time has ever had.
I’ve spent ten very long years in solitary confinement, and the only thing I had were books to read and my thoughts to keep, and do you know what I found?
Even the ‘original’ ones know they are not. They are the sum of every single thing they’ve ever seen, read, heard, or consumed. Their form of ‘originality’ is an illusion. If a man were to look over the fence on one side of his garden and observe that the neighbor on his left had laid his garden path round a central lawn; and were to look over the fence on the other side of his garden and observe that the neighbor on his right had laid his path down the middle of his lawn, and was then to lay his own garden path diagonally from one corner to the other, that man’s soul would be lost. Originality is only to be praised when not prefaced by the look to right and left.
There is only one patient zero. He stands at the top of the mountain. The rest desperately want to be him, so they think they should do their best imitation of him. They think they can be the authors of the next great moment, but they are grasping at straws.
I have recently discovered modern social media. I never was afforded the use of a computer, you see, but one of the perks lately from my benefactor has been to give me tools to more easily reach the outside world.
Do you know what I see? A generation of people calls themselves an ‘author’ on their Facebook profiles. They try so hard to be cute and original. They are not. They are about as original as all those other witless twits ‘writing’ the one-millionth shitty Fifty Shades clone. Or maybe they’re trying to show their 2,000 fake Facebook ‘friends’ that they are empowered social justice warriors who will not stand for sexist or racist terminology. But they’re not showing people that they are fighting the good fight, they’re showing people that they are sheep, who are trying just a little too hard to ride the current wave of idiotic political correctness.
Unlike a fountain that circulates the same water in an enclosed, perpetually recycling system, a human being circulates thoughts in an unlimited reservoir of self. Why limit myself to being a mere fountain when I contain an entire ocean?
I’m faced with a conundrum, of course, ultimately, that is who I should be seeking to please this week. Should I seek the approval of the one who prizes his championship or his place in the history of High… Octane… Wrestling….. above all else and will say and do anything to keep it? Who will kill to keep it if he must? Or should I be seeking to please the one who gave me this purpose, this responsibility, this opportunity in the first place? I have to assume based on the gifts and the spot on this show, and the continued communication about things which must be done, that he likes very much what I’ve been doing. So if any of you, really, should think that I’m not quite what they’ve said I am, or choose to willingly refuse to read what is in black and white print in every Florida newspaper in business at the time, or should you spend your time telling me things I already know about myself… I’m apologizing ahead of time. I have a job to do. I will continue the tasks to which I have been assigned. So I will ignore your pleas, your insults. They mean nothing to me. I have no soul to harm, no feelings to hurt. Say what you will. Your words will not save you.
If you want to find the real competition, just look in the mirror. After a while, your rivals are scrambling for second place. But no, that’s not me, not today. I’ve earned nothing, perhaps the least of anyone else here.
In a sea of high performers, there is me. I am nothing. I am no one.
High performers who exhibit tremendous self-control tend to be burdened by their own competence. In my reading, studies indicate that being extraordinarily competent can place a person under an unusual amount of stress because it raises other people’s expectations of them. The more tasks that an exemplary person produces, the more they tend to underestimate their actual effort and the more they expect of them. Other people do not comprehend how difficult it is for a high performer to complete multifaceted tasks. They also tend to underestimate how much effort an enterprising person exerts who maintains superior competence while completing difficult assignments.
And that… is why you do what you do.
I understand it. I would sympathize if I could sympathize, but I do find it interesting, and I don’t hold it against any of you either.
After all, I’m not even in control of my own life, so who am I to judge? I suppose I’m actually sort of grateful that someone else has taken over my life. I mean, I’m obviously pretty terrible at managing it myself, so it has been nice to have all these concrete tasks to do and be sort of distracted and consumed by them. It has kept me from thinking about every dark and sinister thing that goes on in my mind all the time.
I am woefully undertrained compared to all of you. I am here because of my natural athleticism and my intellect. I am not what you are used to, not an athletic competitor in your usual sense, but I do study. If you want to succeed and leave your competitors behind, you need great plans and ever greater strategies.
Six other people. It is quite the dilemma. Humankind’s struggle against a hostile environment causes people throughout the ages to deploy their full armory of logic, training, strategy, imagination, inventiveness, and creativity. We are born with the natural ability to strategize. The most influential tool in our intellectual tool kit is the ability to regenerate a sense of unruffled alertness, to establish a poised stance that leads to intuitive discoveries generated by the conscious and unconscious mind constantly filtering a plethora of data, selecting critical facts, and producing elegant solutions to seemingly insoluble dilemmas.
I am a team player. So I will do what I have been asked to do. We all have our roles. Father, Son, Brother, Uncle. It’s only a matter of time before the larger plan is revealed, but it is not mine to reveal. He will decide, and only in his own time.
Speaking of time, I have some computer time planned, so I’ll stop here. It’s Tuesday, and my favorite blogger is releasing a new blog today.
”I know the resolution. I know the end of the story before it ever begins. I must choose the truth. And for this, I will surely die.” – Addison Moore