Just who do you trust for the truth?
I met two men during the past few days.
One was from Sierra Leone, who was about my age, had three children between ages three and eight by a wife here in America, but who also once was married to a woman still in Africa and who has six adult children there.
He initially described his American wife as beautiful. When I met her later, I thought she was sort of average and, obviously, the boss of the family. He told me he had a brother who was in the Sierra Leonean army, and who killed rebel insurgents and was killed by rebel insurgents in the wars surrounding the notorious "blood diamonds." He said his brother, his brother's wife and their six children were locked in a house which was then torched.
He mentioned that his mother also lives with him, and that she requires a lock on her bedroom door at night to prevent her from "going wandering."
I cannot help but wonder how much of his story is fabricated. On the other side of the coin, he most certainly has been places and done things I have not done, so who cares where the lies end and the truth begins? To talk to him is an experience onto itself.
As an aside: Thunder and lightning rule the sky here at the moment.
The other man was a real estate agent. God, could that man talk. And, I do not mean trying to sell me anything. Within about thirty minutes, I knew his entire life story. I knew how much he loved his wife and, in the same instant, how much he hated her; loved, because they had been married nearly twenty years and had two children ages thirteen and eleven; hated, because, in this failing American economy, she kept putting pressure on him to bring home more and more money.
He told me how a friend of his since childhood had recently died from pancreatic cancer, how this man had been his buddy and his confidant and his confessor.
Once more, I cannot help but wonder how much of his story is invented. On the other side, he most certainly has been places and done things I have not done, so who cares where the lies end and the truth begins? To talk to him is an experience onto itself.
Yeh, I know I said the same words about the Sierra Leonean, but is it not wonderful to hear the stories people tell you about their lives -- here, there and everywhere?
It is absolutely amazing how, in the span of twenty minutes or so, it is possible to learn all the relevant details in an individual's life. Maybe, this is because I worked as a newspaper reporter, and learned interviewing skills. Maybe, it is because I have interrogated literally dozens of criminals, trying to break them down and to confess to "high crimes and misdemeanors." It probably is more simple than that. It probably is because some people need to talk to someone, to anyone who will listen, and I happened to be there, in the right place at the right time.
It takes an expert to tell when lies end and when the truth begins. But, hope and dreams and just plain stupidity sometimes overrule even the experience of an expert. Remember, the bottom line is that no one can lie to you unless you wish it to be so and allow it to happen.