Q. Do you know who I am?
A. Yes. You are a feelingless generator of questions, whose function it is to churn out question after question, based on a logical follow-up to my responses, with little or no empathy for my emotional state. Moreover, your first two questions are the same every Tuesday. Therefore, my first answer is immaterial, since you will only ask me why I have summoned you, and it really does not matter what I’ve said.
Q. Why have you summoned me?
A. Because I can’t read.
Q. You can’t?
A. Not very well.
Q. And how does this affect you?
A. It disturbs me a great deal. It also causes me to waste huge amounts of time.
Q. Doing what?
A. Trying to read. Staring at the pages, while my head is flying, off in space, not seeming to be able to alight upon a single word or phrase of meaning.
Q. Why do I find this hard to believe?
A. Probably for the same reason everyone else does.
Q. And what reason is that?
A. The reason that I seem to be educated, and reasonably articulate, and able to write fairly well.
Q. If you cannot read, then where did you pick up all these words you use?
A. Mostly from talking to a lot of smart people, and remembering their words. You see, I do have an unusually good long-term memory. I am only unable to focus in the short-term.
A. Well, hardly able. I suppose you have caught me in hyperbole. It’s not that I can’t read at all. I can read short articles, and emails on occasion, and unusually engaging works that don’t challenge my dyslexia.
Q. Then why did you say that you can’t read?
A. Because I can’t ever seem to finish an entire book. I’ve finished only one book in the past several years.
Q. What book is that?
A. The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Genius of the World’s Rarest Type by Lauren Sapala.
Q. What enabled you to finish that particular book, if no other?
A. A matter of threefold interest. There was not one, nor two, but three things about the book that intrigued me.
Q. Those being?
Q. And second?
A. Writing. Something I love to do. The book was about INFJ’s who are Writers.
Q. And third?
A. Recovery. The account of someone who had been deeply hurt, and who had escaped from that hurt by evoking a typical escape mechanism, and an addictive one at that. But most importantly, she recovered.
Q. Have you done so?
A. Recovered? Or escaped?
A. Recovered? Partly. Escaped? Totally.
A. All too often. In 1979 after a break-up with a finacee. In 1982 when I learned I was too sensitive for a highly competitive position in the music world. In the early 90’s, after a difficult divorce. And between the years 2013 and 2016, after being deeply hurt by a critique of my unfinished first draft to my musical Eden in Babylon, when I had turned to a friend for encouragement, and not only had received no encouragement, but the painful information that this man was not even a friend.
Q. How did you find out he was not your friend?
A. In the same way that I learned last night that another man was not my friend.
A. It is too painful to answer. But it might inform you what was on my mind when I tried this morning, unsuccessfully once again, to read.
The Questioner is silent.
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