Autumn 2016

8.

For better or worse

 

'Dear Universe, please make things go tomorrow the way that is better for me, not the way I want', I mumbled in trust before falling asleep.

That night I had a dream.

I was wandering a city, a little unfamiliar, but at the same time, known to me. I sensed something wasn't quite right about the place, but I couldn't tell what exactly. I kept on walking the empty old streets in search for an exit, as that stuffiness in the air was too much to bear. After a while, I came out by a tall weary wall which surrounded the entire city. There were two exit doors - one on the left, and one on the right side, both slightly open. I went to the door on the left and opened it widely. All I saw was a dirty beach and the ocean with unsettled horizon. I turned on my heels and went to the door on the right side. To my great disappointment, the scenery was the same. My nostrils recognized the smell of intense gothic moisture - moss on stone, moisture - the old and the dark, the past and the question marks. I stood there, digesting what I was seeing. Suddenly I realised that somebody looks after these exists. The doors were left open because of the present low tide. It felt like the city was given a chance to exhale, or inhale after a stormy night, or something along those lines. So when the high tide comes along, they close the doors to protect the city from flooding, I thought to myself. The city is drowning? Do people who live here know about it? My sixth sense whispered they do. Indeed, I started to think how on earth I was to get out from this place.

Vivid was the dream. Clear and so perfectly symbolic that I woke up knowing how all will go today.

I knew he'll say No.

 

................

 

I chew a tip of a pen watching unusually delicate sensibility of this elderly man. I watch how calm objectivity, certainty about things and rich knowledge transforms into an instinct of a child, who apparently struggles to understand boundaries and so insists on knowing 'who is in charge here'.

'Briga, who has the last word?' he draws the line.

I put the pen down.

'What do you want?' I ask him a straight forward question.

'I want control over the project. I want to make it better' he says.

'Give me an example of 'better'' I ask.

He has none. He just knows he cannot deal with being 'controlled'. He cannot deal with someone else correcting his draft. It makes him feel small. It's not that he is not good enough to take part in this project, he is. He writes well, when supervised. But he just won't do it, because acknowledgement will have to be shared. And that is just too much to give up. Silly old Ego. Fair enough.

'My dear Albert, a chara. You're forgetting the project has copyrights. You cannot be in charge of an idea you didn't come up with' I remind, and try to open a bigger vision hoping it might help. 

'Look at this project as a business proposition' I wink. 'Let's have fun and write about it. Let's put it all into one story, release a book, make people laugh. Let's make some money, get a little known, and walk our own literary ways afterwards. Ha? What do you say?', I hear myself adopting first signs of 'entrepreneur' mindset and I feel glad.

He looks curious; I see a sparkle in his eyes. But. The silly old Ego reminds him why he is here in a first place. That's the idea of someone else! It means he'll need to 'comply' with one or two things. So the answer is No. It never was (was it not?) and never will be this way! Besides, he's busy. He has his own things to write, in fact - three of them. And he doesn't need money. So hey! He is not going to share the fame! He wants it all to himself. He needs it all. (The Ego has reasons but he wouldn't reveal that to my friend. It's job is to protect it, not to tell.) In seventy years time he never managed to make it, but this time he will. Glorious marvelous Cork Albert knows best. So I may feck off.

 

I walk home annoyed.

This was a rare moment when someone's you thought you knew devil's tail slipped out of pants. A moment, when I wanted to scream in his face: 'You obviously didn't learn much this lifetime, old man!' But I didn't, thanks to god. I let Albert go and do 'better'. I let him open and close the gates of a city as the tides come and go. Those walls are very very old though. I wonder, how long they'll hold.

 

 

...............

First failed attempt to craft a bigger literary piece is nothing but an inspiration and self-acknowledgement. It's a good feeling to know I can do things others can't. It means I'll make it. And that is all I need to know for now.

 


A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.

-David Brink