As if one vision wasn’t enough to deal with now two figures emerged sporting clean white shirts and black dress pants. I’d heard about people having doubles, but not triplets. Confused to be going from one vision into another I smiled sensing on some level they were there to help me. If I was going crazy how would I know with so many other things happening? Not willing to risk further ridicule or pity, I brushed it aside in favor of keeping it a secret – a new thing for a blabbermouth like me.
Their resemblance to me was uncanny. In fact, the only difference I could see was in their functionality: keepers of the data for the ‘Yes, I needed a home’ and the ‘No I didn’t’ sides. Other than that we were exactly the same. They worked together effortlessly almost like those apparent perpetual motion machines I’d seen. If that were true then that would make me their container. Privileged to witness such a profound organic discovery was made even more pleasing because it made me feel more than a mere dualistic entity. Hopefully, I could use such insight wisely and not squander it like usual on my journey.
Excited, I tried extending it to include the multi-dimensionality of human existence, but the sheer magnitude of trying to piece together so many complex variables was too much for my mind to comprehend. That I humbly, albeit reluctantly, turned over to the realm of God, the Container of All. Coming down to earth, rather than maintaining false walls of separation, I decided to make them my equals. We were, after all, working together with the same goal in mind. They smiled with sheer love accordingly. Even by my own standards I was in new territory. Yet believing no one would get hurt but me, I shrugged it off as a logical extension of the ‘game’. And so they became my lab partners reporting their findings back to me.
Enrobed in beautiful warm feelings of self-satisfaction, it felt so good to be wanted – even needed! Sure I’d needed people, things – other people’s things – and even been needed by others before, but the idea of needing myself was new to say the least. Now there was three of me that needed each other like never before and with me apparently in charge! Knowing I wouldn’t trust putting me in charge to save anybody’s life not even my own, I went into reaction mode: it was done against my free will. It didn’t matter if it was for my own good or not, I had every right to feel scared. I hadn’t asked for it and I didn’t know how many others were waiting in the wings to try and seize control. Simply put, I couldn’t handle anything not on my terms.
Something moved within and a piece of the puzzle fell into place. Feeling re-energized, a light went on to reveal how I’d always been in charge of my life: in charge of bitching, running away, lying, not standing up and respecting it at every turn. Truth trumpeted its heavenly call: I needed myself like never before!
Self-doubt throbbed: I didn’t want to be in charge, but I was. The Universe was testing me, forcing my hand, making me see how I couldn’t handle such truth. My ego was dragged kicking and screaming into the thickets and stomping grounds of shame and victimization. Yet even they were a tolerable hurt, nurturing me when nothing else could. Adrift with my blanket of despair dragging behind, how could I be in charge when an addict wasn’t supposed to be strong, capable and in charge? I finally had the answer I’d been looking for: I couldn’t. It’d ruin my game of ‘Addict’. A shadow fell; the temperature paled. My stomach heaved, legs gave way. I keeled over in shame. I’d done the one thing I said I’d never do: I’d given in to the excuses of addiction. I’d given away my power and pleaded insanity. I became enraged.
Bile scourged its way up my intestines burning open doorways to new behavioral lows that had long been held shut. Probabilities approximated possibilities. I refused to vomit lest I lost my innards in the exchange. Instead, bile pooled at the back of my throat etching its warning signs into my brain. A line from the RadioHead’s song blared in my head: ‘you do it to yourself, you know and that’s what really hurts….’ Indeed, I had! Utterly disgusted with myself, I buried my head deep into my chest. I knew all too well what was happening: I was being stripped of my voice. A lifetime of lies, deceptions, manipulations, condescension, spite, sarcasm, double-talk and excuses sentenced me guilty as charged. A fitting tribute to the havoc wrought with it over the years. And now I’d sunk so low as to blame it all on drugs. With no power left, I ran inward and cried.
Through the sobs I pleaded with the Universe, God, Creator, the Divine, Brahma, Krishna, Jehovah, the Force, whatever name ‘It‘ went under to put an end to it all, to me. I’d had enough. No more bad things, no more anythings. I just couldn’t stand it anymore. My inner organs heaved and moaned in the strain of trying to assimilate and eliminate storms of fearful emotions. In the swirling darkness a single light shone bringing forth illumination: I didn’t have to do any more bad things if I didn’t want to – it was all up to me! It made sense, but didn’t explain why I had to do them in the first place. Why couldn’t they, the Universe, whoever they were just stop and leave me alone?
With my mind ablaze, danger, complication and victimization were nothing more than rungs on a ladder of endless choices. Yet I still had the free will to go up, down, stay or jump off at every turn. That was the beauty, the curse and the true test of my power; liking it was just another personal choice. A veil lifted from my sight and I saw how I’d been choosing every time I’d done drugs by turning to them and not healthier choices; which kind to do and not do; who to call and who not to; who had the best quality and who didn’t; who’d rip me off the most and the least; to let my money go, to put them in my body and to forget the entire ordeal – until the next time when, of course, I’d choose to make the same or similar choices all over again. They were all my choices – every single one of them!
BOOM! It sat like a rhino in a dormant volcano, watching, listening and waiting for expression. That was my power; I knew it only too well. Not wanting to inflict it on others, it inflicted itself on me. I knew it had a good side – it just wasn’t on my side. I was scared to be like them; scared to be human; scared to make mistakes; scared not to be perfect; scared to hurt. So I closed down and stopped trying. Yet I had to do something with this thing called life before I went mad. Yet around me people strove incessantly to be ‘more-thans’ in order to not be ‘less-thans’. I didn’t want to be more or less than anyone. I wouldn’t play their games. ‘I am not a number. I am a human being,” roared the Prisoner. I didn’t want to be corrupt, abusive, maniacal, manipulative, demanding, hypocritical and inhuman – all trophies glorifying the abuses of power. Yet every road led me down those same paths no matter how hard I tried to see otherwise.
© Michael J. Varma, The Gong Show, 2011 –
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