A man killed himself today. Although I’d only met him a couple of times, I think I know why he did it: He met up with the same "mild" Satanic figure that we did, but in his case, he couldn’t crawl out of the hole again.
Evil doesn’t always rampage–it doesn’t always call attention to itself in the dramatic style of the horrible villains of history, such as Adolf Hitler and Kim Jong-Il. Sometimes it tiptoes stealthily into the room.
This man joined a company started up by a movie producer who was a real charmer, promising everyone he was in business with big deals and sure riches. Whitley wasn’t too confident in his abilities, so when he signed a contract with him, he made sure that their corporation had a cut-off date if the guy did not get the financing he told everyone was immanent. When he didn’t make the deadline, the company automatically folded and the producer and his empty promises were whisked out of our lives.
But many people were bruised along the way, including a young would-be screenwriter who wrote and rewrote according to this man’s demands, before he finally realized that the demands didn’t cease because the would-be producer had no money to produce anything. He eventually left screenwriting and went into another profession, where he has become very successful, but I suspect he still keeps up his screenwriting in the few free hours he has.
This young man wasted his talent, but we just wasted a year of our time. However, time is precious when you’re a writer, and it was a definitely setback for us.
As well as a mild sort of evil, there is a mild sort of good as well. I’ve been a kind of angel to a few other people in my time. I’ve never dived into a roaring river to save a child, but I once helped an acquaintance change her life.
This was someone I’d known in the small high school I went to after my parents moved from a sophisticated college town to an isolated house in the country. After graduation, we were both young working girls, and she got a job as a telephone operator. She started calling me when she had a free moment and her supervisor wasn’t listening in.
She confided that she wanted to go to college and become an archeologist, but she didn’t see how in the world she was going to do it. I encouraged her, told her to take some courses. She did, and that’s where she met her future husband (who was one of her professors). I haven’t heard from her in many years, but I imagine she has children and grandchildren by now. Who knows?–She might even be an archeologist!
When you trip and fall in life, whether someone sticks their foot out in front of you or you just trip over a metaphorical tree root, you have no choice but to pick yourself up and start again. We’ve all done this countless times, and most of us expect to do it again in the future.
But sometimes you run into someone who takes everything from you, and makes it just too hard to keep going.
A man killed himself today. Although I’d only met him a couple of times, I think I know why he did it.
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