~A short story.
Frank was in need of recognition, of a link to self worth and could not find it in his parents eyes. Deep inside he knew it was there, though it had not manifested itself in his life. The more he searched in vain the heavier a frustration grew inside of him, like a drip of gasoline into his core.
One day as he was walking to class, a young man stopped him and asked him the question which he had been waiting for his whole life. “Don’t you feel as if something is wrong?”
The question stopped him in his tracks, and he began to listen. Though what was being said was illogical, instinctively offensive, the words struck an emotional nerve, feeding his starving ego with a meal piled high with sweetened fat.
Soon Frank was in a fraternity, a gang of people with shared frustration, and with leaders who professed to know the cause and a way to make it better. Every meeting, was full of that sweet dripping fat building their egos on false notions of pigmentation, of ethnicity, nationality or religion.
All societal problems were tied to innocuous labels, and distorted history, then targets were outlined giving them images to focus their hate towards.
As months passed, one by one, two by two, their members fell into death or prison. Yet the more Frank violently clashed with those on the opposite sides of his beliefs, the stronger his resolve became.
He fought in vain however, as in fact nothing was accomplished in those years, and the frustration inside of him grew deeper consuming him like cancer.
Then one day as he was barking and handing out leaflets outside of a college campus, a young man stopped to listen. Since the man was obviously and totally not qualified to recruit Frank, or for Frank to recruit him, Frank tried to ignore him.
The young man stayed and patiently listened however.
Finally after all the listeners had walked away Frank, confronted the young man asking him what he wanted. The young man simply smiled and reached out his hand My name is Malcolm, what’s yours?
Frank was thrown into confusion, but after a moment he tentatively reached out to shake the offered hand.
From that day onward Frank had a true friendship, one which allowed him unburden himself, to finally drop the heavy weight of all the hate, and the lies the false narratives which were tearing at his soul.
He was welcomed in to a family and culture unlike his own; their humor was wickedly inventive, so infectious, their food spiced in ways which amazed him, their warmth was total and real, and their view of life was firmly connected with hope.
They saw and cherished sides of Frank that he knew existed, yet could never before find. Their faces reflected the admiration that Frank had been searching for desperately in his parent’s faces.
A year later Frank was standing on the other side of demonstrations, on the side of Unity. Yet Frank was more effective, as he had known both sides so he understood what to do.
He walks across the line, looks a young man in the eyes, and reaches out his hand My name is Frank, he says, what’s yours?
Take a Bird’s Eye View,..
Art By: John Singleton Copley