The 20-foot bully, the 3-year-old genie, and a bloody waste


This morning I saw a large wooden table on a sidewalk, tipped over on its side, legs pointing stiffly forward, like a cow that had suddenly dropped dead.

What a waste, I thought.

Earlier I passed a Cadillac parked by the side of the road – covered with dust, a few scratches, tyres a little flat, “For sale!” sign in its windshield like all the other abandoned cars on that stretch of road.

What a waste, I also thought.

This morning on the way to my apartment I thought about how much I have learned the past few years. I am good at research, following clues, collecting material, sorting material, weighing opinions, formulating opinions – but when it comes to implementation, I can’t stick to one thing for long enough to make a success of it.

So, with this issue, too, I cannot help but think, what a bloody waste.


Who is this 20-foot bully before whom I kneel in submission, before whom I prostrate myself in the dust? Tell me the name of the monster whose servant I am, and probably will stay all my life. Tell me in whose name I suffer. In whose name do I still wear the same clothes as five years ago? In whose name am I broke? In whose name do I borrow and beg and worry about money? Tell me – what is the name of this monster?


Why, starting in May 2006, haven’t I tried harder to get more teaching jobs to make more money? Why haven’t I tried harder to work with other people?

The answer to both questions reminds me of the old saying: “Be careful what you wish for.” And it confirms what I have read someone said about the subconscious: that it is like a powerful genie, yet at the same time like a 3-year-old child.

One of my earliest desires was to be left alone, to stand on the side observing the world from a distance.

It seems that the fulfilment of a desire has impeded the realisation of a dream.