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  The Dark Side (090412)
  

People who know me casually think that I'm outgoing, straightforward and generally sunny.

People who know me well often think that I have a dark side, unkown to many.

People who know me very well (very few in number) understand that the dark side in me is just a scar from my distant past, not at the core of my personality as it is now. They also know that I'm shy; so shy that I can't even smile well.

Whenever I'm alone, as I am these days traveling around the US for many days, I do have a lot of talk with myself and soon find that 'we' are mostly talking about 'our' dark side. The question is: Where does it come from?

My best guess is that it has two origins. I grew up mostly uneventfully, but there were two situations in which I had to face the harsh reality: one about my potentail death at an early age, the other about my father's slow and steady decay into his own, a long-drawn process taking 25 years.

I am a healthy man of 46 and I look that way. So it's hard to associate myself with an image of a super-thin, super-sickly boy, aged 8, bed-ridden and on low-sodium, low-protein diet due to kidney failure, brooding over how many days were left in my potentially short life. If you spend a certain amount of time in bed, little things start to appear. Cracks on the wall and ceiling, wrinkles on mother's face, nurses' moist and slender fingers, etc. Abilty to observe was perhap the single best gift I got in reward for eventually getting my life back. Maybe I was too young to be serious about my death; that somehow kept me alive.

My father's story is a different one. He had a stroke in 1983, had half of his body permanently paralysed, but managed to live another 25 years until the second stroke put his life to an end. Having to watch my own father, once so healthy and outdoorsy, caged in his own crippled body was an inseperable part of my life in my youth and early mid-life. Even days, the biggest trauma of my life is worrying whether my father's fate will become mine as well. That's why I take a good care of myself, watching weight and temperament and docilely follow doctors' advice.

I am going to surprise you by tellig you that I love the dark side in me. It makes me a fuller person, able to understnad other people's dark side as well. I've also managed to keep it from controlling me, so that I can live my life as a generally happy man. But on days like this when I'm alone and far from home and the people I feel comfortable with, I enter my own dark side, which, after all, is also part of the world I live in.



2009-04-29 01:16:13 / 211.243.67.159


   

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