Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I'll be watching you.

There’s a man I know, peripherally, I wouldn’t call him a friend. I watch his life from a distance, and I wonder who he is. By business standards, he is a success. He’s an executive at a big company; he makes way over six figures; he owns two or three or four homes; he vacations wherever and whenever he wants. He’s funny, smart, handsome, and completely in charge of any room he enters. People jockey to sit next to him at business parties knowing they’ll be entertained by his hilarious stories and riotous antics. I see his public persona, but I wonder, when I look at the trail of debris he has left in his wake, who he really is in private. When he comes home after the business dinners, if he’s not too drunk or stoned to think, what does he see in the mirror? The man who cheated on his wife and left her—not even attempting to reconcile? The guy who never really bothered to get to know his kids—the very kids who now hate him? The guy who has to take anti-depressants and alcohol and drugs to feel numb or alive or whatever it is they make him feel? Does he see the man who has lied so many times he actually believes the garbage that comes out of his mouth? At what point will he see who he really is? A schmuck, a loser, a fool. He has thrown away the things of true value to chase the magic ring. When will he see that it’s brass? Or worse, gold paint over plastic or cheap metal. Maybe the truth is that he already knows who he really is, and that’s why he fills his life with noise and laughter, with wine, women and song, with alcohol and Prozac. Every move he makes, I’ll be watching him, because I’m hoping that he’ll not only know he’s a loser, but that he’ll do something about it before it’s too late.

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