You, as the reader, may or may not care because it might not be about you. But what if it is?
You, as the storyteller, may or may not care unless your narration is appreciated. And what if it isn’t?
You, as the character, should care because now…it is personal.
Priya: “I’ve been picking up on a pattern as of late.”
Saris: “Oh yea? Do tell.”
Priya: “Well, it feels like a unique problem but this guy, who slapped another guy on stage recently, once said that if you read books, you’ll come to find out that no problem you have is ever truly unique. Somebody somewhere has dealt with it before.”
Saris: “Sounds pretty existential…and also true.”
Priya: “For me, like other people, I get inspired and passionate about all sorts of eclectic ideas, you know?”
Saris: “I don’t think anybody who’s talked to you longer than five minutes would disagree with that.”
Priya: “Cute, so because — ”
Saris: “I’m not joking.”
Priya: “Because I’m like that, it means that I build projects, write papers, lead teams, try new things. I travel and argue; I pick fights and get really competitive, sometimes to make a great story — a great epic. And sometimes, my intentions are to be the best. I can be the best if I want to be.”
Saris: “Some people would call that arrogant. Or at least, talking about your capabilities outside of a job interview is usually viewed as arrogant.”
Priya: “Yea, and that’s what people seem to call me behind my back. I think to myself, ‘My intentions are genuine and only about where I’m trying to go. Am I not supposed to believe in myself since you don’t believe in yourself?’ Like what the fuck do y’all want from me?”
Saris: “That’s an arrogant thing to say.”
Priya: “Look — ”
Saris: “I’m using the truth to mess with you. That doesn’t make you wrong, but neither am I.”
Priya: “What I came to find out is when I breathe life into something that’s bigger than myself, every time I leave it in the hands of another — meaning I pass it on, it tends to begin eroding. In truth, I know I should not expect people to care about my own creations the way I do, and I don’t. If it’s designed to benefit you just as much as me though, wouldn’t you give it your best? I mean why sign up to be a part of it if you’re not gonna deliver…
…Wouldn’t you try to perform to a higher standard since it means you win too?”
Saris: “I would. But as one of my best friends, who loves pumpkin spice like it’s cocaine or something once told me, ‘Most people are not like us.’”
Priya: “Maybe. However, this constant result over the last several years has kept leading me back to the same question: ‘What’s the point?’ Yes, it’s about the journey or whatever, yet I’m trying to build things that last and are bigger than just me. Why do people keep failing to take the helm that benefits them, and hold it properly?”
Saris: “Don’t get all Descartes on me with the solipsism now…”
Priya: “I’m not. And I ain’t saying failure isn’t a part of all our lives. Clearly, it is. I am trying to open my view, and widen it to see the bigger frame of my choices and decision-making. It became more elusive the harder I sought after the answers. It was like being Santiago in Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist.”
Saris: “And have things turned out for you the way they did for Santiago?”
Priya: “Neither here, nor there, I’ve always had trouble answering the question of what I’m good at — ”
Saris: “That was evasive — ”
Priya: “Mostly I try and do something new and different all the time. And it finally connected, like newly silvered glass, or returning to the homeland and uncovering an obvious discovery…
…I’m great at providing and protecting.”
Saris: “Are you now?”
Priya: “Could be a service or a product, could be kindness, could be safety, or anything really. I just want to be capable of it, ensure its quality, and deliver a strong finisher. If I died today, how many people could say I failed to do that? Or in the very least, didn’t die trying?”
Saris: “Fair enough.”
Priya: “Arrogance would be me expecting people to appreciate it. And I admit, I want to be appreciated. But less and less now am I starting to care…I feel my work speaks for itself and in exchange, I speak less. It’s hard to believe I’m even having this conversation with you.”
Saris: “I’d like to see what happens when you stop caring all together. Not about people, obviously. But about…well…everything else that doesn’t enhance you.”
Priya: “Sounds wonderful, however, I don’t want to become an asshole either.”
Saris: “Everyone’s an asshole. Including you. Welcome aboard the ship you were already on. And you’re going to have to figure out how to live with that as the reader, the storyteller, and the character.”
So, listen this time.
You, as the reader, may or may not care because it might not be about you. But what if it was?
You, as the storyteller, may or may not care unless your narration is appreciated. So, what if it wasn’t?
And you, as the character, should care because back then, just like now…it was personal.
Correspondence concerning this written work should be addressed to
Jacorry K. Lewis.