Monday, April 11, 2016

Jail Time

Arthur sat at the table with Ben.  They had been friends for years and enjoyed spending their Sunday evenings together, sipping coffee and pontificating life.

Arthur uttered the words, "Commitment."

"What does it mean to you?", Ben asked.

"Well, I know that at the end of the day, there is no such thing as true commitment.  I'm not fully committed to anyone and no one is fully committed to me.  It all is based on conditions."

Ben replied, "Hmm.  I'm a little offended by that.  I'm committed to a lot of people."

Arthur asked, "Really?  If someone turned on you and went out murdering others, would you really stay by their side?  What would your commitment look like them?  Conditions.  There's always conditions."

Ben instinctively replied, "Well, Arthur, we are talking about you now aren't we?  If you one day messed up and started killing people and went to jail, who do you think would visit you?"

Arthur hesitated.  Ben has a way of somehow always seeing beyond his thoughts.  The strange ability to pull out hidden meaning when there was none.  Arthur decided to reveal his truth.

"No one", he said quietly.

"Where does that come from?" Ben asked

"I don't know", said Arthur.

Ben was quiet now.  Softly, he asked, "Was there ever a time when no one visited you?"

"Yeah." Arthur replied.  "When I first went into business, I rented a beautiful corner office space with a view looking over the marina.  It was so gorgeous but I was saddened by the fact that no one in my family ever visited me there."

Arthur continued thinking.  Thoughts racing through his mind, a micro processor performing a search algorithm.  "Well, a few years back, I visited my old apartment.  It was my first apartment after leaving home.  Even though it was so long ago, I broke down in tears crying."

Ben quietly listened as Arthur continued processing.

"Yeah, I was crying when I realized my mother had never visited me there."

Ben said, "Hmm.  Sounds like some painful memories.  Its completely normal for people to cry when they remember something painful, even if it happened a long time ago.  But it sounds like, when you say no one will visit you, you really mean that the people who mean the most to you won't visiting you."

Arthur affirmed, "Yeah.  I mean what good is life if you can't take the people you love along the journey with you?"

Ben thought about a billion things to say.  He could mention that the beauty of life was that the people you love are always on the journey with you.  Or ask, "It's hard to accept change when you've built your life around someone you love, isn't it?"  But somehow, he knew Arthur would have to figure this one out in his own time and in his own way.

"I know what you mean Arthur," Ben sighed.  "I know what you mean."

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