Confessing … June 13th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2611)

VI.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

Rick and Larry had a meeting.

It actually was a conversation that turned into a discussion about me.

Larry was my boss. I hated to admit that. I was still young enough–in my twenties–that I was unwilling to concede that I was bossed by anyone.

When Rick expressed his appreciation for my efforts and inspiration, Larry filled him up with negative notions concerning my true value, mainly citing that I had no college degree.

Rick listened carefully, being the older of the two and having acquired some patience. At the end of Larry’s tirade, he deadpanned, “No, he doesn’t have a degree–he has a message.”

Since at that time, I was not privy to their discussion nor to Rick’s defense of me, when I did catch wind of the fact that the meeting of minds had occurred, I went to see Rick and asked for his side of it.

Exhibiting great restraint, he was unwilling to share many details. All he told me was that Larry had explained to him that I did not have a college education.

At that point I had an option.

I could have just sat quietly, nodded my head and left it alone, because I knew I already had Rick’s friendship and respect. But I was arrogant. And arrogance is the fertile soil for every rotten weed.

So I acted shocked, and explained to Rick that Larry’s assertion about my lack of schooling was incorrect. I told him I had gone to college at Cincinnati Xavier, and graduated with honors. (To this day I don’t know why I picked Cincinnati Xavier.)

I was offended because someone told the truth about me.

So I kept blabbing on, making up college experiences, gradually noticing that Rick became quiet and even a bit sullen. He knew I was lying. Yet he allowed me to propagate my myth without objection.

I walked away from that experience feeling like discarded chemical waste. Yet I was so immature that I never went back and apologized to Rick, telling him the truth.

I thought about that incident today.

It was a good ten years later when a lady came to my book table and asked me, “Where did you go to college?”

I paused, and then replied, “I didn’t.”

It was the first time I had ever told the truth on that subject. I had to grip the table and grit my teeth in order to dispel all remnants of the fictitious kingdom I had constructed in my brain.

Yet I wonder–what is left of that overwrought, lying and willful instinct to lift myself up?

I don’t know.

But rather than accepting it as part of my human foible, I am trying to hunt it down and kill it … before it renders my reputation meaningless.

 

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