All I feel is happiness
April 27, 2014 by Thomas Wictor
When I see that others have what I didn’t, all I feel is happiness for them. Like this scene, for example.
Lucky kid and fantastic man. The father is supportive to a superhuman degree, unashamed to show his love, proud, and uncompetitive. None of this “old lion versus young lion” stuff.
“You are set for life,” he tells his son.
Not everybody is cut from the same cloth. That’s why I don’t compare. When I told my father that I’d sold my first article, he said, “Whattaya gonna do for eatin’ money?”
Well, since he knew that I was already working full time as a field representative for a document-retrieval company, he was entirely aware of what I did for eatin’ money. He asked that only to belittle me. It was his instinct, because that was what was done to him. It was also his instinct to…make dragons, so go figure.
You know the parable of the frog and the scorpion, right? A scorpion is on the bank of a river when a frog comes up.
“Can you give me a ride across the river on your back?” the scorpion asks.
“No,” says the frog. “If I did, you’d sting me.”
“I wouldn’t sting you!” the scorpion says indignantly. “If I did, we’d both drown. So of course I won’t sting you.”
The frog sees the logic in this. He takes the scorpion on his back and jumps into the water. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stings him.
“Now we’re both going to die!” the frog wails as he starts to sink. “Why did you did you sting me?”
“Because that’s what scorpions do,” says the scorpion as it slips beneath the surface.
My favorite movie of all time is The Crying Game. In that brilliant film, the scorpion’s answer to why it stung the frog is, “Because it’s in my nature.”
I disagree that it’s in a person’s nature to sting. But if one chooses to be a scorpion, then one has to sting. I deliberately chose to not be a scorpion, regardless of what was done to me. Tonight I’ve made another grim discovery. It would be easy for me to say, “To hell with it. Why shouldn’t I sting everybody? I’ve been stung to pieces.”
Yes, I’ve been stung. But not by everybody. Look what someone said about my first published novel.
For anyone interested…I’m half-way through Chasing the Last Whale and I just wanted to share some feedback. This is not a review – that will go on Amazon – but I felt a more immediate need to post something. I’ll be honest, I was a little scared away from this book (and its sister) based on the fact that Tom Wictor, its author, was such a good interviewer and I so enjoyed Ghosts and Ballyhoo that the idea of an immediate trilogy (including a work of fiction and a compilation of dreams) seemed like such a departure from his areas of expertise (interviews and flamethrowers) that, well, I guess I dismissed them immediately out of hand. I feared the worst. I knew that they would have to be awful.
I must eat some humble pie.
If anyone reading this has/had the same concerns as I did, toss them immediately out the window. I guess a great writer is a great writer, and if Tom was writing cookbooks or technical manuals or children’s tales, well, they would be the best damn ones out there. Chasing the Last Whale is a really, really, really good story. It’s riveting. It’s not a rehash of the Tom Wictor stories we got on this website and in Ghosts, not just a “fiction” version rehashed but this time based on the life of a character named Dom Victor. It stands on its own, and for that reason I’m a bit sad it got lumped into this “trilogy” thing and isn’t getting the recognition it should be, potentially, as a result. It reads like a book years in the making, and maybe it was, but it didn’t come off that way on this forum.
So, I’ll leave it at that, and post a full review once I have finished the story. But if you love a good, emotional, character-driven story, you won’t do any better.
Also, tonight I made up with an old pal, so I’m happy. Here’s how I look when I’m happy.
My life is good.
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