Monday, October 17, 2011


Her: 'Why do you act the way you do?'
Me: 'I am just trying to do the right thing.'
Her: 'Well why don't you then?'
Me:  'I am not sure I know what the right thing is.'

That last line caused us both to collapse into laughter, and that is what it was designed to do. It was my (not so) clever attempt to prevent any further probing into my actions, and why I act the way I do. It worked, just barely, and for that I was thankful (at least at the moment).  Maybe my temporary companion wanted it that way as well, I sure as hell wasn't going to ask her to continue to ask me questions that I either did not want to answer, or worse, did not know the answer to myself.

However, afterwards (afterwards what I will leave to your imagination), I got to thinking about what that 'right thing' was. What was the elusive thing that I was trying (and clearly failing) so very hard to do?  Was it something specific to the conversation? Or was it something more general? Some overarching 'right'  thing that I need to do in order to call myself (in any sense) a decent human being?  For no matter how hard I try to deny it, I am still a member (no matter how reluctantly, of the human race).

And we all know some decent human beings, some people who are just way too  nice for you to stand next to for any length of time lest you start to get a complex. People who know, and do the right thing on a daily basis. Helping little, old ladies across the street, opening doors for ladies, etc, etc.  These are the people that make the rest of look bad without even knowing they are doing it. The people we want to be more like even as we want to push them out in front of an oncoming train.

The truth of the matter is that, after a while we start to expect these people to do the right thing, and after more time we even start to equate their actions with the right thing. But, what if, just if, they aren't as ''right" as they seem?  What if they either had this evil idea of being a 'good' man from the beginning only to lull the rest of us into trusting them? Or if they just decided one day that wearing the white hat, and being the hero is just dull as dirt, and they wanted to be Hans Gruber for a while? Would the rest of us even pick up on it until it was too late?  The trust we have placed in them, and it is a LOT of trust, is going to be shattered like a glass, bad luck to break, but even worse to keep intact and see their reflection in after they have gone off the rails. 

It is a crap shoot in the end, to decide whether to trust this 'good man' and their ability/history to do the right thing, or to step back refocus for a second, and look into their eyes to see if what you want to be there is actually there or not. It is in many ways a lose/lose position, if you are right and the good man has gone bad then a little part of you has died inside, if you are wrong, and you mistakenly believed that a right thinking/doing man has done wrong, when in reality he hasn't then how can he ever trust you again? It is a grave dilemma, and one that does not have an easy answer. But then again, who ever told you life/doing the right thing was going to be easy. If someone told you that then they were obeying the first rule of life, the rule that one should NEVER EVER forget, the rule that should be the basis for every interaction you have with the world, the rule that can be summed up in two simple words. People Lie.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should write a narrative that starts with "People Lie". A topic like that should be discussed at the beginning, not the end. I'm just sayin'.........