“The story of my life” by Clayton “SuperFreak” Bigsby

“Which kind of life do you live? You will have to tell me,” said the blind man to the child, “because I can’t see any of the details of your life.”

“Ah, yes, that does make sense,” said the child. “Obviously, you will only know what kind of life I am living from what I say about it.”

“First,” said the blind man, “is your life a life of gratitude and rewards for past deeds? That is the life in which you are grateful for all that is present now in your life. You can say that your past is what justifies your gratitude, for your past includes what you call above-average justifications for being grateful.”

“Yes,” said the child. “That sounds just like my life! Isn’t it wonderful?”

“Well, I don’t really know. As I just told you,” said the blind man,” I can’t see your life, but you certainly do sound happy.”

“I am! I am always happy,” said the child. “That is exactly what my mother always says, too.”

“Okay, great,” said the blind man. “Anyway, I have not finished providing you my list of the different kinds of life that you could have. Would it make you happy if I continued a bit further?”

“Go ahead, sure,” said the child, chuckling. “I am always happy about everything, so why not, right?”

“Well, you have not yet heard the other kinds of life that you could have, have you? Maybe you will not always be what your mother always says that you always are.”

“Look,” said the child to the blind man, “are you looking yet? Like I said, I am always happy. That is just what kind of person that I am. Therefore, I would be delighted to hear about these other kinds of lives that obviously only other people have.”

The blind man said, “So just to be clear are you insisting that I continue? Or are you just saying that you don’t mind if I do?”

“Of course I care about all these different kinds of lives,” said the child. “I am a very caring person, right? But as for insisting, no I am not like that. I would not say that I am insisting and it is a bit rude of you to even accuse me of such things. Let’s get something straight. I am very happy. So, I am expecting to be totally delighted by whatever you say. Got it?”

“Okay, well at least you are consistent. So, here we go,” said the blind man. “Next, is your life a life of regrets and punishments for past deeds? That is the life in which you feel regret for all that is not present now in your life- focusing on what is absent but should be present according to some ideals of how your life should be. In this case, you can consistently say that your past justifies your regret, for your past includes what you call below-average justifications for happiness… as well as what you call above-average justifications for regret.”

“Seriously? That’s totally ridiculous,” shouted the child. “I am nothing like that at all. You don’t even KNOW me! I am offended that you would even ask such a rude question. I am VERY happy!”

After an awkward pause, the blind man slowly said “Your mother…,” but then the child interrupted and began to scream.

“Don’t you DARE talk about my mother! My mother was the happiest person ever.”

“Similar to you, right?” the blind man quickly added. “All that I was saying was that your mother always said that you were always happy, didn’t she?”

“What?!?! Look, that is not what you were about to say,” said the child. “I know what you were about to say and that was not it.”

“Well, let’s move on then, shall we?” Said the blind man with a mix of skepticism and caution. “Unless you want to stop for any reason, such as any pre-existing time commitments, perhaps???”

“No, please continue,” said the child. “I mean, if that is the kind of thing that makes you happy.”

The blind man stayed silent for a while, perhaps hoping that the child would get bored and retreat. Alas, the blind man heard no sounds of a retreat and proceeded with the list of different types of lives. “Right! So, another type of life is a life of eternal grace. In that case, you would have experienced occasional pains and pleasures. You of course have used words like reward and punishment sometimes, but now you say that such words are foolish and meaningless. You do not need to list a bunch of justifications for explaining why your life is one way and not another way. You are much smarter than people who have such rigid views of their lives, right? You are more honest than that, right?”

“Of course I am VERY honest,” said the child “and I do agree that people with rigid views obviously should not be so rigid. They used to infuriate me before I became so happy.”

“I thought that you said that you were always happy,” said the blind man. “But then just now didn’t you refer to a time before you became so happy?”

“Nonsense,” yelled the child. “You are just twisting my words like you always do. Were you even listening to what I said? Anyway, why are you always over-analyzing everything that I say like you are listening to every single little word. Is THAT really the kind of thing that you have to do to be happy?”

“Um…” the blind man thought for a moment about what else to say. “My answer is no.”

“Your answer to what?” said the child. “I did not even ask a question, did I? Did I or didn’t I? Didn’t I or did I?”

“You asked about something that I might do to be happy, didn’t you?” Asked the blind man. “I was just answering the question that….”

“Look,” said the child, “hey, are you looking or not? For the last time, I did not ask you a question. I would appreciate it if you would stop always twisting my words, okay?”

“You are asking me,” said the blind man, “to stop twisting your words, yes? Is that the question that you are asking me?”

“I did not ask a question,” said the child. “I’m not sure what you are talking about. You can be SO confusing. Why are you always like that anyway? By the way, you know I really just love that the weather is just delightful here where I live for the entirety of my favorite season of the year, don’t you agree?”

“Yes,” said the blind. “I do agree with what you just asked me.”

“Huh?” said the child “Are you playing some kind of a game with me? I did not ask you anything, but, as I was saying before you interrupted me, the weather certainly is pleasant during my favorite time of the year, isn’t it?”

“No,” said the blind man. “As to whether or not I am not playing some kind of a game, my answer is no.”

“You don’t know how to communicate very well, do you,” asked the child. “I mean… how do people like you even survive?”

“I find it helpful to practice proper breathing, get a good night’s sleep every night, and generally to eat a good diet,” said the blind man. “Those are a few ways that I promote my own survival.”

“It sounds very selfish the way that you say it,” remarked the child who was always happy. “Have you ever thought about getting some counseling for being such a selfish and abusive person?”

“No,” said the blind man. “Have you?”

“Have I what?” asked the child. “Have I noticed how much I enjoy my favorite season of the year? Yes, I have! I am always happy because I focus only on things that keep me from being anything other than happy, such as people like YOU.”

“So, as I was saying,” said the blind man, “there is one other kind of life besides the ones that I have mentioned so far.”

“Well, I’m sure there is, you know, according to someone like you. And you are probably going to keep blathering on like an idiot even though I already told you that I have always been a happy person, so you might as well just go on then and get this over with so I can be happy again like I always am. What other kind of life is there?” The child asked, “and what kind of life is it that you lead anyway?”

“Well,” said the blind man, “I have noticed that there are some people who are unusually respectful. Their respect includes respect for the nature of language as well as for the nature of social interaction. They recognize that there are a variety of ways that people can present their life using different patterns of communication. They notice the common patterns and can use any of those or none of them. Sometimes they communicate and sometimes they do not. But they do not stay stuck in a narrative of a grateful life of reward and pretenses of constant happiness. They do not stay stuck in a narrative of a regrettable life of punishments and failures and so on. They also do not stay stuck in a narrative of a life that rejects all forms of reward and punishment, adopting an ultra-spiritual persona and so forth.”

“You kind of people, “said the child, “just do not appreciate the weather like I do. That is probably why you are not always happy like I am.”

“Well, there you have it!” said the blind man. “You certainly have been a fascinating partner in this conversation. Now, I wonder if there is anything that could be more delightful than speaking with you?”

“Nope, I am the most delightful thing ever,” said the child. “Nothing could ever be as delightful as I am.”

“I’m just thinking that now that our conversation is ending, I am open to be even more delighted than I have been so far with you,” said the blind man. “I wouldn’t mind if I experience something even more delightful, but perhaps as you said that might be impossible. I wonder though…. Either way, thank you so much for your time and input. I’ll be going now.”

“What? You are so rude. I’m out of here,” said the child. “Look, I am always a happy person and negative people like you do not deserve my company! I am DONE with all of this childish psychobabble. BYE!”

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