“Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.”
He still remembers the long fairy tails, he and his friends used to make at the back yard of his house. They used to build forts and castles with mud and their stories would always contain a game of domination. Oh, how much he loved these games! They separated in two teams and his team would always win. That’s why everybody wanted to be in his team, in his side.
Year by year though, more and more kids got bored of his strategy games, less and less kids would concentrate to play with him, till the games stopped. All had heard about this “ticket” which would give one the possibility to acquire everything one ever wanted. Gossips flew all around. Even he heard about it. The real game was in action.The ticket, according to the rumors, had felt somewhere over there, so everybody started looking for it, day and night. They all got obsessed with it but not as much as he was. This ticket had to be his! His perseverance was so big that this searching journey lasted 80 whole years. He dedicated all his life trying to find it. He searched every inch of the streets, in the trash cans, everywhere.
As a consequence of this endless searching, his body started bending. Now, his upper body is almost parallel with the ground, he is just an old humped back man. Because of his body formed that way, he was not able to look anymore at something else than the ground. He still has this obsession with finding the “ticket”.
One day a voice came from above…
– Old man, is too late for you to be searching for “the ticket”, don’t you think so? Even, if you’ll find it you don’t have much time to enjoy it.
– Why do you care? This ticket will give me everything I ever wanted. I’ll enjoy it in the time I got left.
– You are too stubborn old man.
– Yes, maybe all this is just a bet for me now. Yes, maybe it would be better if I had found it when I was still young and had my whole life in front of me. I dedicate my whole life on this and I’m not going to die before I find it. I owe it to myself.
– All this time you were living in a dream old man. You are not going to find it.
– Why are you saying this?
– Because…I invented the idea of “the ticket”. And I’m telling you, “the ticket” doesn’t exist. Never did. It was never real.
Suddenly the old humped back man wasn’t feeling so well. He tried to hang on something.
The voice continued…
– I hate humans and as I was born really tall, I tried not to look down. I didn’t want to look at people and their greediness. “The ticket” kept their eyes down so they wouldn’t be able to look at anything else that might exist, so they wouldn’t know… In contrast with you, my body “learned” to always look up.
The old man sat on the ground and said:
– You talk about greediness like you aren’t greedy at all?
– Of course I am but I was able to recognize it and use it as I liked. Now it’s too late for me too. Because what I’ve learned at last is that the real ticket is in front of us and neither you nor I can see it.
” I’m afraid that if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go on living…and I’m afraid that it would all be a disappointment, so I prefer just to dream about it.”
I said to him I can’t sleep next to you tonight. I can’t bear seeing you closing your eyes…
He replied: “Why are you saying that? I’m not going to sleep, I’ll stay with you. Why do you always act like you know everything?
I looked myself in the mirror and gave me a bitter smile. I lied next to him and took three deep breaths, the last ones… as I was watching him “traveling” already away…
…You are walking by the road when suddenly you see a house. It looks like some sort of an abandoned villa but you don’t actually care because your eyes are “pinned” on this huge, deep green ivy that covers almost all the stony surface of the building. Its majesty…As you get closer you notice the bold relief of the leave’s rib. Ivy usually spooks people because of its glory and it makes you feel that if there was a limit in the sky it would be able to reach it. You feel that it could devour everything that might be on its way. You don’t cut it off neither uproot it. You don’t want to mess with it. You just watch it grow and grow even more.
You turn your head to the left and see that next to you lies a grass land. Not a simple grass land but a meadow of daises. Beauty, serenity and smiles. You walk through the meadow to enjoy it. You don’t care, they are just daisies. Beautiful but daises. And as you walk through it, “the daisies of your sole” bent down one by one. They are just daisies. You stop and notice a beautiful daisy with all its petals on. You cut it off the ground and as you pull off its petals one by one, you count the probability of someone loving you, someone else, some “ivy”…
“Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy, and vain. To be a man of knowledge one needs to be light and fluid.”
You wake up one day and your wife isn’t there.
Survival/Egoism: No! Don’t kneel!
You get up, go to the mirror and paint your face white.
The next day you wake up, you look at your white face and go to work.You didn’t get the promotion. Smith did. Yeah, you did your job great, yeah, you know that this isn’t fair. Maybe Smith’s feeling of survival is much stronger than yours. Besides, he used to say “the end justifies the means”. That is his favorite quote.
Survival/Egoism: No! Don’t kneel now!
You paint your eyes black and draw a big red smile that almost touches your ears.
You get back home and watch the news. Wars, ruins, dust, violence, fear. The system. You watch these but you don’t move. You feel tired. Scared.
Survival/Egoism: No! It’s fine!
You go to the mirror and wear an orange wig with curly hair, a tiny hat over your head and a big red plastic ball for nose.
The next day you learn the news about your elder neighbor. Mr. John who used to live at the house next to yours has been dead the last 3 days but they found him this morning. Natural causes, they said. He didn’t have any family. He must felt happy when he was dying. For a lot of years he had nothing here to keep him alive anymore. Suddenly you feel nausea, dizzy and a strong headache.
Survival/Egoism: No, not now! You don’t know it! Maybe not…
You go to the mirror, you wear a polka dot bow tie, baggy clothes and large shoes.
Take a good look at yourself. Are you surviving or are you living?