His eyes are cold with untold stories of struggle. His face is ugly with wrinkles. His arms are cut with scars. His hair is thinning. His back aches with pain. His teeth are rotting. And I envy him.
He turned $10 into a multi-million dollar business. He is the greatest man I have ever known. And his life made me realize that my life is destined for turmoil and heartache. The car of my life is driving towards it and I can’t do anything about it. I might crash and burn and die before I reach the end of the course. But if death doesn’t take me, failure surely will because the end is failure and nothing else because…
As I stand next to the greatest man I have ever known, a feeling of inferiority takes over my senseless body because his greatness reminds me of my mediocrity. The feeling stays with me. It stabs me and cuts me deep and leaves a scar worse than any knife or machete could ever inflict. It leaves a scar that only the heart can feel…and it buries me…in the pitfalls of regret and sorrow. But my mediocre body does not lie alone in the dirt full of regret. It lies with the thousand dreams I never took action on, the thousand ideas I never raised, and the thousand creations I never brought to life.
It lies broken and full of untapped ambition. Because you see, unlike the greatest man I have ever known, I am not very great…
The greatest man I have ever known turned $10 into a multi-million dollar business. I burned money with almost every business I started.
The greatest man I have ever known slept three hours each night for seven years straight. I complain and bitch and moan every time I’m inside working while my friends are out having fun.
The greatest man I have ever known attacks life with relentless abandon and climbed out of welfare. I let life attack me like a helpless widow and some days I don’t even want to climb out of bed.
The greatest man I have ever known views life as a blank canvas and he paints a few strokes each day so he can one day have a beautiful painting that he can sit back and call, “a full life.” I traded my paint brush for Netflix and a few cold brews.
The greatest man I have ever known slept on buses and the side of the street and wore rags for clothes so one day he could live out his dream. I have thoughts of giving up and settling for a life of certainty every single day.
The greatest man I have ever known is a fighter. When his brother died of cancer and his father suffered a stroke. He stood up tall and put on a brave face for his family. I squirm and faint at the sight of my own blood ha-ha.
The greatest man I have ever known is a believer of man and he is a believer of me. I don’t believe in much and at times…I can’t and don’t…even believe in myself.
But no matter how dark the clouds get and how stormy the sea becomes, I always believe in him because he is the greatest man I have ever known. And as I drift away to sleep that warm summer day, the last thought I have is…
Fuck. I wish I had a piece of a piece of a piece of his character.
But as I wake up the next morning and I look into the mirror, I see him. I see him in me. I have his eyes and his nose and his hair. But more importantly, I see that I have the unseeable. I see that I am made up with the same blood that he is. And I will use that very same blood to bleed my way to the top.
I no longer have a choice, but an obligation. I must get to where I am going. No matter how dark and lonely and scary it seems, I have to pick myself up and continue into the darkness that will soon be full of light.
So when my day comes to go and they throw my ashes to the wind, they won’t be throwing with me all the dreams I had for myself when I was that little boy who used to look at the world with eyes full of ambition…as I sat seated on the lap of my father…aka…the greatest man I have ever known.