Monday, April 8, 2013

The Consuming Fires of Gerald - The Story

I have been talking with a friend lately about displaced focus and being true to who we are.  How easy it is to become distracted from what we really want to do and be.  This is Gerald's problem -- or at least one of them.  He just can't seem to focus on what is really bothering him. 
Have you ever been mad, but not sure why?  Then Gerald is just like you, except he doesn't question why he's mad. 
Have you ever lashed out at someone knowing full well that they are not what's bugging you?  Then Gerald is just like you, except he doesn't know it wasn't the other person's fault. 
Have you ever thought you were doing the right thing, only to realize you were doing something that was completely wrong?  Then you are just like Gerald, except he never realizes he is wrong.
You and Gerald are a lot alike.  I would be careful if I was you.

Here is an excerpt from The Consuming Fires of Gerald:
It had not been a good day. Everything seemed to be bothering Gerald. He thought everything and everybody was out to get him – to ruin his day. It had never occurred to him that if everything seemed wrong, maybe there was something wrong with him

He walked barefoot out of the foyer of his huge multi-roomed maze of a mansion and into one of the living rooms. There, on the floor, was a broken vase. “Khua! Mo! Xavier!” Gerald yelled. No response. “You better get in here and clean this up or I'm going to beat your collective asses!” No response. No one was home. Where was The Butler? “Ah,” Gerald remembered, he had fired him that morning – the eggs were over-cooked. What about The Nanny? She now lived out back by the pool in a new combination cottage/cabana. She probably never saw this. Gerald wondered why he ever hired her in the first place. Maybe he should fire her. She can't even keep track of Geraldine, his daughter. Gerald then remembered Geraldine was missing. That made him even more mad at everyone.

“How could Geraldine be missing? That is so irresponsible,” he said to no one. “That's when this all started, when things started going downhill.” He headed to the first floor kitchen. Mumbling to himself, “Someone wants to make my life suck. That's why they kidnapped Geraldine. I own half this town and most everyone hates me because I'm successful. As if I care? But they are all trying to ruin me.”

He opened the refrigerator to find some dinner. “And now I'm looking for my own food. Fuck, I hate this.” Gerald contemplated going out to Donkey Burger where, being the owner, he eats as much as he wants for free. Instead he grabbed a cold container of something and went to look for a fork. Gerald was unfamiliar with the kitchen. He never cooked for himself, never knew where anything was kept. He thought of himself as the most powerful man in town. He was also the most helpless in his own home. He never found a fork, so he ate what was in the container with a pair of tongs.

Gerald went to look for the dining room. He never found it. He finally came to eat sitting in a chair that was in a hallway. He didn't know if the food he was eating tasted good or bad. Gerald was not concerned about things like flavor. His only concern was that the slight pain in his stomach went away. He could have eaten cardboard or slugs; he wouldn't have noticed. His only driving force in life was to address, in the moment, what he considered inequities for himself.

This style of behavior made him very decisive and pro-active, which led to his wealth. But along with these positive traits came the burden of negative traits, such as an uncaring nature toward others and himself, a pervasive valuing of objects ahead of people, a consuming competitiveness, a heightened sense of paranoia and a serious lack of aesthetic judgment. But lately, it seems that another log had been added to the pile of difficulties: he has been lonely. Gerald is so emotionally incapable of dealing with loneliness that he simply gets mad – at everything else.

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