i know nothing

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I haven’t told a story in a while. I feel like I have words lodged here and there, attempting to come together like colors form a picture. The mind gets clear when I can write, when I can put down the emotions and the sensations in a form that exceeds itself. So write I will, and perhaps I can understand then.

____

This story starts with a man not too different from me. Eazy was at his regular spot, on the roof of the building he lived in. He had his notebook in his hand, a Moleskine that was gifted to him by his ex-girlfriend, and that he ironically had never used till she broke up with him.

‘Never could understand what was so special about these’ he said, running his hand over the page. ‘I could just as easily write on a notebook from the C-Store.’

The landscape in front of him always had a way of inspiring him. It was Toronto, 2016. Young and bold. This was going to be his break , his big entrance into the world of literary stardom. He had already traveled enough and he was ready to summarize the world in a singular expression. No longer would he be subject to the whims of a system, he thought.

‘It’s time to tell my own story’ he mumbled under his breath.

He uncapped his pen, and moved the top to the page.

‘He…’

He continued staring at the page. Where are my words, he thought. The sensation was a tightness in his brain, blinding his ideas and stuttering his thoughts.

‘He… lived an exceptional life’

Eazy stared at the words he had just wrote. It was only his first line and he already felt unhappy with his work. There was a different story he was trying to tell, and yet, he didn’t know how to say it.

“Eazy, are you there?” he heard someone call out.

He turned around to see the silhouette of a long-haired woman walk towards him.

‘God, she’s always been beautiful’ he thought as he continued sitting.

‘Hey Tina’ he replied. ‘Of course you’d know where I’d be’

‘Everytime Eazy’ she said , as she sat next to him. ‘How’s that story coming along?’ she asked as she peered over into his notebook.

His hands quickly covered the one line he had written. ‘It’s not done…not yet at least’ he mumbled.

‘I saw the one line you wrote’ Tina said as she laughed, ‘It’s not your best work’

‘You’re a great friend, you know, Tina.’ Eazy retorted. He continued staring at his Moleskine for a while more before turning back to her. ‘I’m having problems figuring out what I really want to tell. There’s a story that needs to come out , but it just isn’t.’ he said.

‘Talk to me Eazy, I’m here’ Tina said, placing her hand on his. Eazy turned to her and smiled.

‘Well, alright. Tell me something, Tina. What do you think is a universal theme in all stories you’ve read or seen?’ he started.

Tina stared out into horizon, thinking. ‘It’s about good vs. evil’ she said. ‘It’s always some good guy fighting a bad guy, and saving the day’

‘That’s exactly what I thought as well. Yet it didn’t make sense.’ Eazy replied.

‘What do you mean?’

‘Well think about this. In this world, is the fight really against evil people?’

Tina stared back at him for a while. ‘Of course. There’s ISIS, there’s North Korea, heck, there’s disgusting people in this very neighborhood. What on earth are you saying if you’re insinuating that there aren’t bad people out there?’

‘I’m not saying anything like that. There’s absolutely no denying that there are incorrigible people out there. But I’m a writer, and as a writer, it’s impossible for me to see someone as good or bad. ‘

Tina pulled her hand away from his.

‘Listen to what I have to say. Just hear me out. I don’t think you can ever claim someone to be good or bad without recognizing the limitations to the label. You’re talking about a person at a specific point in time, detached from his past and his future . What if he turns evil at some point in his life? Does that mean he was never good? Being good had nothing to do with him becoming evil, yet for all sakes and purposes, the label is stripped from him because his evil is his legacy. What would have kept him from evil? Good? I doubt it.’

‘So you’re saying that evil people are naturally bound for their futures? That they’re destined for evil?’  Tina probed.

‘No, no. But that’s an interesting idea’ he said, as he scribbled the thought onto his palm. ‘What I think I’m trying to say is that there’s a bigger thematic war going on, in both the literary world and ours. One that actually makes more sense. That’s where I’m stuck.’

‘I hear you’ Tina said. She turned back towards the horizon, and Eazy did too. He heard her take a deep breath and sigh heavily. It was funny how Tina was here all this while. She had been supportive of his writing from the beginning, the one and only. If anything, she was the reason why he was back on the roof.

‘Look at that skyline, huh?’ she muttered. ‘Sometimes, this is what I need to take on the day.’

‘Hope!’ Eazy shouted.

‘What?’ Tina said, as she turned towards him.

‘The thematic battle. It’s between Hope and Despair. Both are forces, dynamic and unstable , unlike good and evil.  But more importantly, they are both pure, sincere and absolutely consuming. That’s the bigger battle in our lives. We have to continue hoping, because the loss of hope, the start of despair, is when we have truly lost.’

‘We have to keep believing.’ Tina smiled. ‘I like it.’

‘I like it too. And I think I know just the story to write.’ Eazy said , smiling back as he grabbed her hand and held tightly onto it.

Their eyes locked onto each other, and they continued smiling. Tina turned her head back to the horizon and paused for a while before finally, with hope in her voice, uttered ‘Tell me the story, Eazy’

And that he did.

____

hooah.

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she colored me purple

Welcome to Vita. We exist for a very special reason. We exist to add color back into your life.

Ask yourself this question now – what do you think you lack in your life? Love? How about energy? Some of you may say happiness even. We have the capabilities to restore them for you.

Yes, we used the term “restore”. Our philosophy has been that the waking man breathes his first whiff of life in its entirety. It’s a concoction of all sorts of forces and emotion. Yet, as we are exposed to the struggles of this world, we lose our ability to see the world through the same lens. We become immune to some of the flavors of life. We forgot what life was meant to be experienced like.

Here at Vita, we treat this the same way you would treat myopia. Your eyes don’t see things the same way, and so we add lenses that can correct your vision for you. We can’t tell you how – that’s a trade secret – but trust that our lenses have been rigorously tested to add as much back to your life as possible.

“Life mostly seemed gray and monotonous at first. I had lost the ability to see opportunities and found the seconds passing to be a dreary undertaking burdened upon my soul. Yet, here I stand now, seeing life brimming with opportunity and I am compelled to make the most out of them” said one of our customers, Gregory Mann.

All you have to do is visit our outlet at the end of Trinity Lane. We’re a boutique outfit, and are currently open only to friends and family of our compatriots in the War of Words. We recognize that they have been the most affected , especially from the fallout of the last battle on Standings. The password is shared only with these beloved few.

*static*

*static*

“Run away, do not trust Vita. They’re here to take over your lives. They take advantage of your sense of lack and ….”

*static*

We apologise for the interruption. We seem to be experiencing technical difficulties…

*static*

“The only person that needs to change how you see the world is you. You are strong enough”

*static*

We are extremely sorry. We will now have to cancel this broadcast. Please wait in front of the screen as we initiate our memory wiping procedure for your own benefit.

____

geronimo.

the life consultant

One of the benefits of social media is that you’re able to track your own evolution over time. One of my friends said it perfectly the past day over a Skype conversation when he said “You post so much, but I’m never bored because it’s always something different. ”  I think when it comes to creating stories and content , it has to be about building on your past and bashing forward.

Avoid mistakes that you’ve previously made, make bold decisions and charge forward. Keep your head strong, and your soul on fire . There’s a reason to live, a reason to more than exist.

I’ve used social media additionally as a way of keeping people in my life involved in what I do. If there’s any a time I needed to push an activation or following, people aren’t taken aback but instead have already been so passively involved that they’re more inclined to provide a response. A spin off of this that was rather interesting was the accidental portrayal of me as a life consultant. One of my goals in life is to eventually become a coach in leadership and passion living. I’m nowhere near there ; instead I’m spending time putting myself in situations where I can learn as much as possible. But I’m glad people are talking to me about things personal to them because I get to learn so much from their stories, and if I may say so, their struggles.

I’ve given advice on anything from how to  plan  kickass travel itinerary, to how to survive the military, to how to start a business succesfully. I don’t think I ever did any of those things in the “best way possible” but I realise it didn’t matter because through the process of reflection I was able to identify the principles that would have made it better. My favorite session was when I was talking to a friend about how he wanted to help a village in Cambodia fight the local government for more sustainable development and had a friendly debate on topics such as governance, personal courage and political warfare.

I’ve missed having such cerebral topics and as much you would think you’d find those in college, the honest truth is that most conversations are clouded so much by emotion, personal biases and prejudices that you never get to the point of having a valuable discussion.

That’s why I’m an engineer by education. Everyone I’ve talked to says I much better fit an Arts degree, and I’ve always replied saying that I can still learn about the Arts without taking a degree but you can’t really the same about being an Engineer. I’d rather have discussions and write articles directed at people who’d be willing to have a discussion than those immediately wanting to judge.

Having given advice, I also reflected on the fact that a huge reason I am where I am now is because I was always asking others for their advice too. I’m blessed with mentors and friends who I can pull a whole bunch of information and wisdom from and use them adaptively. That ability to recognise resources and how to utilise them is something I hope more people gain and take advantage of, because only then can they see more progress in their lives.

I love the idea of being a consultant on life. Again, I’m nowhere near there right now, but when I’m 50 and ready to retire, I want to tell some of the best stories ever.

geronimo