Tuesday morning I couldn’t wait to get out to storage and see if the TV’s had vanished the same way as the ring. It was the moment of truth. After Donna’s shrieking denials before leaving for Oregon, I had concluded that she was in fact the culprit. Randy was just stupid, in denial, and irresponsible. I had concluded with 99% assuredness that Randy was not the liar in this ordeal. (I always leave myself 1% to allow for the extraordinary or miracles).
I couldn’t get the lock on that storage unit open fast enough and slam that sliding door open. The sofa and recliner were gone and I had an open view of the goods remaining to me. TV’s, TV’s, where are you? Ah, iMac there you are—-miracle! TV’s, TV’s where are you? Son of a bitch, he took them! That son of a bitch DID take them after all. My god! I was absolutely floored to realize he stole my two flat screen TVs at least $500 a piece to replace them and now, who knows what else. A couple of weeks ago I asked him if the TVs were still there and he gave this cryptic answer, “whatever you had in there is there”, like saying your guess is as good as mine. I came back to the U.S. for the ring and the two TVs thinking those were my most valuable things to a thief and that they might steal and sell them (pennies on the dollar) if they knew I was coming back. I felt rage swell into my heart. I had finally gotten to where I was going to let the ring go and felt settled that I also finally knew it was Donna, and not Randy who for some reason I had so much wanted to believe. The TV’s knocked everything askew. All truths as previously conceived were shattered like a precious, delicate crystal vase into a thousand splinters, all bets were off, once and for all. There was only one person who had the key to the storage unit, one person who knew the TV’s were there, one person who had helped me move them in. It was Randy! I give up trying to understand Donna’s part in all this—-I didn’t even care any more. All I knew now, irrevocably, once and for all, was that I was dealing with a pathological liar and his counterpart, Donna, no matter what her involvement. Some horrible fantasies flashed through my mind how I was going to deal with the likes of Randy. Donna I could take care of later. A pathological liar….had I ever dealt knowingly with a pathological liar before? It was a new, profound experience. At some point I had contacted Gordon Olson, my go to guy, younger father figure, wise man, my stable outer ego. “Gordon,” I told him. “I don’t think I have ever dealt with a true, pathological liar before”.
“Neil, Neil…” (as though Mr. Wizard was speaking to Tutor Turtle, reassuring him that he could come home—-from his fantasy any time he wanted), “What about Clarissa? You paid for the birth of her baby and she had not even given birth? You didn’t realize she was a pathological liar?”
“NO!” I insisted, “that was different! She would smile, when she lied to me! She knew I was just a soft touch and couldn’t say no! She knew she was lying. Randy and Donna didn’t; it was a truth to them that they did not steal the pesos, the ring, the televisions—-that’s the difference between a pathological liar and simply being a consummate liar in a world where a handful of pesos makes the difference between food for the week in a warm, but dry dirty little room and walking the corridors in the rain thinking about milk for the baby. In fact when I caught Clarissa in her biggest lie she never denied it—-she just responded, “you lied to me. You told me you were not taking Mikee to Sablayan with you”. (Her reasoning being, if I lied, she could lie, although her lie was a real stretch). Granted it was bullshit if you went into the whole convoluted story, but my point is, she didn’t turn it into a new reality to deal with her guilt; she just threw it back on me like a bucket of rotting crabs with her rationalization.
“Oh,” Gordon replied; I could feel his smile on the other end of the phone and his warm empathy. My humanity was crying to crash its walls.
But the bottom line to all of this was my worst fears that had begun swelling into an elephantitis infection while in the Philippines came true—and the two of them had beat me to the punch, were cleaning me out before I could get back and surprise them. All this time it has been Randy: the 65,000 pesos, the ring, the TV’s, and I am sure there is more I just have not had time or opportunity to examine. He (or they) have cleaned me out. And what is absolutely so mind boggling, was his innocense and naivety and shock whenever I had mentioned anything (pesos, the ring, back bills, back rent, debts, everything). He had been so sincere. Every muscle in his face and atom in his sad eyes were saying, “oh, my god neil, that’s not right, (that someone is stealing your things); I am mystified what is going on”. And I wanted so badly to believe him! It was more important that I believe him than save the merchandise. What illness in me has made me want to believe in him as I believe in the human race. Was I afraid for general humanity or my own humanity, that I might grasp him, jam a funnel down his throat, pour gasoline, and flick a Bick. It always appears that tears will be rolling down his cheeks in his bleeding sincerity. If there are Hollywood actors who can convince you in a movie of the part they play, why not someone on the street with the same skill? Someone so good at playing a role in life that they truly do become that character because as crazy as it sounds, I think he means what he is saying, therein lies the pathology— he believes it! Is that possible? And the faith shattering truth is that the world is full of people like this—it’s not just thieves, it’s lawyers, political leaders, actors, neighbors, corporate CEO’s—-they are everywhere and it is up to each of us to discern the truth and reality of it all and provide our own solution to bridging the gap of untruth between ourselves and God. We all lie to varying degrees, but some lies are dangerously unreal. Are these lies not some kind of profound defense, making us so unconscious, ultimately every man learns how to live with himself, his own separation from God because is that not what guilt is—-the membranes that separate us from God? I have suspected for years that the greatest danger in lying is coming to believe our own lies even at the expense of forcing ourselves into unconsciousness in order to bear the pain of our own guilt. Lying shrinks the soul! Hell is moving further away from consciousness or “God”; it’s not a place; it’s a state of consciousness. Is THIS how species evolve and devolve, they follow their collective consciousness!
This whole month that I have been back, I have oscillated between my most human emotions, anger and fear, and a higher understanding. I was so devastated yesterday afternoon. I don’t ever remember feeling so helpless and violated. Maybe it was akin to being raped. The value of everything that has happened to me because of them can’t even be measured, so many boundaries does it cross and overlap. And as my friend Liz said, they will never understand or know how they have affected me—-it is beyond their capacity. Really, getting them out is going to exceed $10,000 in total if I take into consideration air fare back to the U.S to deal with them, rent while trying to get the house back, renting a car. There are so many expenses. Paying Felipe what Randy owed him, storage, lost rent, on top of stolen goods, etc, etc. It is an endless line and I am not through with this kawawa yet! It gets more interesting as I begin rolling the iceberg over on its side. There exists cold parasitic life on the underbelly of an iceberg. And the saddest, most devastating thing of all is that Randy and/or Donna would never ever admit, even to themselves that they had anything to do with the multitude of my losses, both material and emotional and how it has affected me as well as those who have listened to my story and thoughts. They would deny it to their dying breath because that is what people do when they finally have to become what they can’t bear to believe, until the reality of what they have done becomes so distorted in their minds that it takes on an entirely different meaning. They will pick this story of mine apart and find some contradiction, some little place where they may actually be innocent, and highlight it as though it is the core of truth underlying this whole ordeal to their friends and families, (and they will believe them because that too is a part of dense human nature!) and I am just a self centered, demanding landlord. Because that is the way the human mind works—-it is capable of creating a hell of lies and distortions. That is the danger of of this world. My faith in mankind took a torpedo in the starboard side and the ship of my understanding of who or what God is, tilted seaward, ready to go down.
I cannot emphasize enough that there is no shame, no self consciousness, no guilt because they have found a spot within themselves where they don’t consciously experience these things. How could they? Their guilt would eat them alive. Donna suffers extreme pain and cancer, so she claims or seems she claims, every day of her life and the need for surgery after surgery, she has ruined her car, and has great debt. Randy is emotionally connected to Donna, dependent on her in some perverse way, and she is in full denial that Randy has done anything wrong other than being irresponsible. When she is with me, she attacks Randy, when she is with Randy, she tells everyone what an evil landlord I am. He has lost his job because of his own bad choices, totaled his car (I have heard said because he may have been drinking), suffered injury, depression, is on the verge of being homeless, and he’s still broke! I think they are mostly unconscious beings, not understanding why they suffer so much—and they truly do suffer—and project to the world that they are victims!. It is the consequences of choosing to be unconscious, always reacting to disaster, never understanding cause and effect, always moving slower than time around them, unable to move out of the way of disasters. No one could ever explain this to them any more than a schizophrenic can understand he is schizophrenic when being schizophrenic or the immature can understand their immaturity when they are acting self centered because the two of them are beings of deflated consciousness. I emphasize this so much because I believe so strongly that this is what “hell” is, separation from “God” created by our own choices. Why is truth and honesty so important? Because unconsciousness is the alternative—“Hell” to someone who discerns the difference.
I’ve had to go deep within and make a connection with “God” or my higher Self in order to let go of this nightmare. Last night, in the middle of the night, I came to a place that gave me some hints as to how to deal with it all, on which I may or may not elucidate. In attempting to meditate on it, I experienced some glimpses into fascinating perspectives. The experience has involved my total being, my deepest beliefs, and how committed I am to what it takes to going beyond this and finding peace. If I take nothing from this experience but understanding the only thing I can do to keep from getting violent, or going out of my mind for the concomitant frustration of it all, I know more clearly than ever before that I must let go. That means detach emotionally. It does not mean I don’t care; it means I can’t care if I am to be a whole being. I must accept that this is beyond my understanding AND I have had a part in allowing it to unfold. I set them up for this failure. Maybe this lesson is more for me than for them because after all, it is what we take from it that distinguishes the value of any lesson. You cannot let go of anything you value more than true peace of mind. We all want peace of mind, but we all want comfort and “security” as well, and believe on some level that with comfort and security comes peace of mind. But that is a mistaken belief. That is only true until some disaster presents itself and comfort or security is shaken, at which time, peace of mind vanishes down a rabbit hole like a red racer trying to escape some mammalian maw.
If I thought filing a police report would do an iota of good, I would consider it for insurance purposes, but I am pretty sure my insurance company could find any one of a dozen loopholes to circumvent my claims. My choices: take the law into my own hands, resort to the law for justice, or go within for answers. But the least any of this is going to extort from me is time, money, or a new direction I turn to cope with the extraordinary contradictions in life currently beyond my understanding. And the temperature to all of this has not yet peaked, putting me still deeper to the test of my faith. Every day I have had to ask myself when will this begin to relent?