It’s the year 2015, and the part of me that is supposed to be wise at 40 – according to the commitment that my 20 year old self has made – is just goofy. The care-free part me back in my 20’s, evolved into a sardonic stranger who sees the world as weird paradoxical mess. As these two parts of me come together, there is a third part of me, an observer who sees these two parts. This observer in my 20’s he was a bohemian. He wanted to write poetry, he wanted to press a bubblegum and a tree together and contemplate words such as stick. He too grew up; he is now the husband, father, provider, worrier, and a novice see-saw-seeker.
This third mind on a bad coffee day may look out of a peephole and see an outdoor museum curated by greedy octopus from the dead Kennedy cover “bed time for democracy”, he peers into the sardonic stranger standing by him and shakes his head. He can sit on the sofa eat popcorn to “bitter lake” and be vindicated. He can think of painting a self-portrait that looks nothing like him, and feel good about it.
This third mind is the closest thing to me. I asked my third mind to write a biography in a 100 words or less, and this is what he wrote:
I’m a writer that can’t write. I’m a thinker who forgets his thoughts. I’m a rambler, a rant believer, a mind changer who spent his youth carving TOZ on wooden objects. I’m Lebanese and American, in Manhood and Childhood. I’m a self-hating egoist. I’m self-recovering punk rocker. I’m a full time engineer, father, and husband. My friends were refugees – I wandered their abandoned homes and this not a metaphor. I’m bomb scared. I’m death tested. I’m heartbroken from broken homes. I’m half mad with proven language. I’m at awe with our existence. I worship the elegance of unquestionable love.
I then pushed, and asked 3rd to describe himself with one word.
He said: belief
The sardonic part of me was antsy, sitting on chair waiting for me to ask him questions; he burped at the same time my third mind answered, there was laughter from the failed goofball. They both wanted to be part of the conversation, and for a moment it actually sounded like this: beeburpleaf.
I had to go back and tease what happened, before I could write: belief. But there is 1% chance that his answer is beeburpleaf.
The goofy part of me that loves to over promise and never delivers is laughing at us. We are in his world now, taking on a huge topic, he is the jester that is out of control. He is angry for all the time I silence him in public, sometimes with my hand of over my mouth. I can’t afford to be goofy these days. It’s not the right image, not if you desire to keep a steady job.
The third mind is fickle too. He can slip out of sight, be one with the morning fog, he can be silly with fog lamp on his head, and he can be strange and fly out of the window disenchanted by his two occupants, he is the guard that leaves the asylum door open, he knows he will not be accountable, he is just the witness. He is untouchable, he in visible, he is marginalized. He criminalized for lack of schooling. He sometimes forgets that he exists.
At 40 you are supposed to have wisdom, that was my youthful promise to myself.
I’m searching for the treasure map, but I’m not 100% committed. I see my pre-fabricated confidence locked inside all my body fat. I pound my fists on the blubbers, asking for wisdom to release my confidence, as if wisdom is some kind of isotope and at half-life it releases qula qula joo joo beans which self assembles into qualia.
These words for the uninspired are like a noose, hanging a pseudo life from the tree of being. All the same, but if you have confident eyes, you can enter your cranium caves and believe in a bunch of well-organized atoms.
There is a riot of laughter right now, and it’s like mind sex. The jester is fully aroused, like a Mussolini without pants. It is not the sexiest phrase in the English language? It’s not a hopeful declaration; you can’t run a presidency with such a slogan. If I uttered these words in my twenties I would be un-dateable. I may have been able to get one friend to come along, support me by quoting Socrates, my friend would say, you know Socrates made the same discovery back in the days. But that is about it, yet I can go along with I’m atoms, not because I like chemistry, but rather I like to think of how the world can be nameless, and yet still exist. I like that every five years my atoms are renewed.
At 40, I have awareness. I’m on the right path.