Sunday, July 22, 2007
I walked into a Malibu restaurant one evening 15 years ago with my daughter.
I noticed, in a booth midway down the length of the place, two couples, one facing my entering & the other with their backs to me.
I overheard the man facing me in the booth remark, “Hey, check out Charlie Manson”.
The other couple turned around & looked towards me, but reacted to their booth-mate`s statement with not enough hypocrisy & knew I had seen them staring, when they pretended to be looking for a waiter.
I ordered my favorite food & let my daughter take her time perusing the menu, like a big girl. Our vegetable salads were brought & I kept looking puzzled, whenever the waiter was near. I finally pretended to be curious enough, & called him over. I asked him if he knew the two couples at the booth, or, if he at least knew their names. When he said, “No”,
I asked him to please go over to them, & explain that I thought they looked familiar to me, & to ask them if they were possibly, the Tates & the LaBiancas.
Diligently, he went over & innocently explained about how they had seemed familiar to me, & if in fact, they were the Tates & the LaBiancas. They had been in 'after dinner' mode, but that quickly changed into, 'let`s get the hell out of here' mode. The man who had brought up Charlie Manson, quickly came over to our booth & apologized profusely & that he was so sorry he had said what he had. I explained that it was quite unfair to characterize me as a leader of killers while I was peacefully enjoying a meal with my daughter. I also told him that the lesson I wanted him to learn was because of the fear ingrained in him, by the ignorance of his tutors, he might one day, miss recognizing a great person, one, maybe maligned, because of deformities, or race or any other perceived affliction.
I apologized for being so cruel to him & his group, but that if I had not, he would never have learned a lesson, from someone so habituated to his kind of remarks. I asked him to please reconsider judging the next person that might be different & even better, to acknowledge that person with a smile, like I was doing now.
All this time the waiter, was keeping busy close by, hanging on every word I said.
The man shook hands with me, apologized again, & left.
As I was taking care of the tab, the waiter came up & explained that he only understood what I had asked him to do, when they reacted.
He told me, “That was too cold, man, too, too cold. What was so cool was how you talked to him, good on you.”
The man, opened a coffee shop at the other end of Malibu a month later & we became good friends.
If you take a card or envelope & hide half of the image above, [left or right] you will see how easy it is to picture the face as a whole. Now do the same with the opposite side & see that it is very easy. You may see two different faces when you do that but viewing the image without the hiding card, it is one face, one person. When you see someone try & look for the other side of what you are perceiving while at the same time trying not to keep a hidden side of yourself.
This image, a composite of a bronze of William Shakespeare & of my reprobate brother, was inspired by something dada sent me.
Keep them coming, dada.