"IT WASN'T HIM... IT WAS YOU..!"
A quote by Emerson, "Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins." Those words have played in my mind from the time I first heard those words as young child. I have wondered what lay between the layers, separating the person in solitude from the person in company, the person in honesty from the person in hypocrisy.
The scene from 'On The Waterfront', where Charley Malloy (played by Rod Steiger) takes his brother, Terry Malloy (immortalized by Marlon Brando) on a cab ride sorta plays like the story of my life. The people who 'shoulda, coulda' for me, often times didn't. Meanwhile, they'd go on to their green pastures without a second thought about me. Whatever they felt they needed me for was accomplished, so they would move on.
And who are 'they'? 'They' are the only people close enough to be counted as 'company', of course. Let's give 'em a category and let's call that category 'Charley', for the aforementioned brother of Terry who only could 'look out' for his brother as long as there was something in it for him. And for me, the interpretation of Emerson's statement begins to morph.
I don't see the 'hypocrisy' as being an internal character issue. Because the Charley's of the world genuinely act on what moves them. And nothing moves men like their own self interest. Don't see anything 'hypocritical' in that.
Maybe it begins with purpose. Born from an internal source it becomes manifest in deed. Is it hypocritical of Dick Cheney to suddenly run off at the mouth (for some reason, I recall him as a shadowy 'Sith'-like cat in Washington before his job as Veep... maybe the emperor demanded his 'hands on' presence of his minion!) because he believes what he does regarding National Security? After all it is genuinely held position. Is he patriotic? Does he examplify the kind of support he asked for while he was in office??
Is that what hypocrisy is? Yet when he is in his shell and alone with his soul, is he a hypocrite?
Had to digress for a bit because I don't want anyone to think that I am sitting around like a cake left out in the rain... wowsy woo woo-ing my way around NOVA. I mean I won't front. It has been rougher than I could have thought. But that is what brought Terry Malloy to mind and the whole hypocrisy thing.
See, how does the Charley's of the world think and find it in them to ask what they ask of those who are the closest to them? And how do they find their 'quo' to some one's 'quid' as a fair trade? Somewhere, there is where the hypocrisy lies. Most Charley will do is reply with 'Aw, you saw some money' when you make them face the inequity of the trade.
YES... YES, I REALLY COULD HAVE BEEN...
The anguish of Terry Malloy is pretty palpable in that scene. All the while, Charley lives in the 'sincerity' of his life without having to confront the consequence of his desires. That is what 'I coulda been a contender' is about. For the first time, he is faced with the pain that his brother had to live with, pain that made Charley possible and cost his brother all of his hopes and all that he could have been.
Maybe that is where hypocrisy is... Charley got to be Charley. And while Terry could have still been the 'bum that he was', he also could have been the next Billy Conn. All he needed was someone to watch out for him a little.
A little. Not a lot. See when you are really about making you happen, you don't need someone to get out ahead of you and clear the way. Maybe give you a little bump when you find yourself in a dip or something. 'Guardian Angels' never bring you to the end but deliever you where you are supposed to begin. That is what Charley could have been for his brother. He could have put him in a place where Terry could have maxiumized himself. Instead, he capriciously used him for his own gain. And he wanted to use him up, squeeze every last thing that he could from him.
Right now, I am sitting in that cab and I am riding with no one in particular. In the window of the door I can see my own reflection and I ask it 'Why didn't you look out for me, a little bit?' Because at the end of my day, I won't say Charley told me that 'Tonight is not your night, kid'.
KNOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT
For a long time I have thought that I was fortunate to have a understanding of the kenning of things. Q-Tip isn't the only 'abstract' cat around! Being able to look and see things for what they mean and represent has for the most part kept me from epic fail. This isn't to say that I have read everything correctly because if I had... I wouldn't have felt the prescence of 'Charley' in my life.
Nonsense. Like the lint and tiny grains of dirt and crumbs of things found in a pocket at the end of the day, that is where it feels like I am now.