I’ve been told I’ve got talent.
Not the kind of talent that creates art…or publishes books…or contributes to the world’s excessive need to be entertained.
The talent I’ve got involves people. Individuals. Souls.
It’s a dirty sort of talent. One where I twist and pull and shake out the piles and piles of shit people have been sitting in, holding on to…or flinging about.
See, people seem to think I can help them.
It starts with casual conversation…and then I smile…sort of through the other person…because I read between the lines and the gestures and the vibes…and I got them. And they know it. And then it’s too late.
I’m a victim magnet.
I see them, floating around in confusion…muddling through life…pleading for help silently…and for some reason, they see me.
I get to know them…quickly…and I can pinpoint where the work must begin. And then I map out the choices in their life…and tell them how things will be down each possible path.
Sometimes, they listen.
Sometimes, they don’t.
Sometimes I shut my mouth and pretend not to care as they drift on by…and then they never even know how close they came to being one of mine.
When I was fifteen I cried every night because of all the horrible things I knew about everyone. My father tried to advise me not to listen. That’s like telling a bird not to skydive. Irrelevant. It’s never been about me listening.
When I was seventeen and pissed off, I dressed gothic and never brushed my hair. I wore hoods and clunky boots and made my vibe as offsetting as I could.
Still, they came.
The corner I sat in, glaring out into the square as I chain-smoked, became known as my office. They sat next to me…too close next to me…and told me about parents…teachers…friends…relatives…strangers…all the abuse…pain…and shame they needed to expose…
I don’t know what they saw in me.
I was mean. I pushed people away before they could hurt me. I was aggressive, violent and malicious. I could spot your weakness and exploit it just because. And I never, ever told anyone one full truth. It didn’t matter anyway. No one was really listening. They were too busy talking.
Then it became my job. I was deep in the center of a therapeutic nightmare. Story after story after story. LIfe after life after life. Soul after soul after soul…
Each year they brought their two suitcases and eighteen years of baggage. They loved deeply…fought nasty…cried oceans of pain…and numbed it all when the sun went down.
Each story ate away at a bit of me. Each soul drained my life source until I felt that I had nothing left.
And it was ok because by then there was nothing left to do.
The doors were locked…the dream was dead…and my life was shattered at my feet.
It’s taken over three years to build me up again.
For a while I thought I was better off. I thought life seemed normal…
I’m not normal though. I’m a victim magnet. I’m a talented orchestrator of the kind of dirty no one can ever prepare you for in clean classrooms over spotless books. I’m a product of a street that brought revolutions…rebellions…change…
It’s been a quiet three years. It’s been an experience I guess I needed.
But now…now I’m fully charged. Now I’m more grown up. Now I’ve perfected my talent and even know how to listen.
Bring it on.
Bring. It. On.