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Somehow, it looks like there are more stories than people! Perhaps, it is true, for each person has at least a few stories to tell. Some true and some inspired, if not totally invented! Actually, it seems that there is no end to the stories we hear even uninvited. And there are so many of those! On the other hand, a simple shake-hand was never good enough for me when, meeting a new individual, because I never know how many personalities may inhabit that person. One, two, three? If not many more... And that may be okay were it not for the big "IF..." leading us into the harms' way of an adventurous unknown! Hence, without hearing or telling stories, it does not seem complete to assess a possible short or long trustworthy relationship. For, empty words, polite words and even, sincere words, if not part of a story, do not seem to connect certain feelings we need to have when getting involved with just about anybody or anything we want to adopt, buy or get rid off, like trash which, let us face it, it is in the eyes of the beholder !

Stories, stories, stories…! I am not sure if I am blessed or cursed, but it seems that for me, every word or, second one, has its story to tell in so many ways! Some good, some so-so and some, we wish to forget as fast as we become aware of their existence! Or, not at all, given the insecurities we are born with or, do experience along the years... Let us face it... going to bed as children we wanted to hear a story. Never mind what was all about until our eye-leads close and in many cases, we were continuing to travel that dream. In the morning, without failure, we need to tell ourselves a short story, subliminal as it may be, to convince ourselves to get out of bed! With me, I adopted the way of asking myself: if I am in love with only one lead open. If yes - just with life, if nothing else - I open also the other one and get up. If not, I close the open one and turn on the other side. How else? Of course, there are good stories, unique stories, bad or repugnant stories and the weird ones that make you shiver or cry...! There are other many sub categories connected with incidents that people encounter or simply manufacture to attract attention. We know that absolute truth or absolute lies do hurt. Not so, if we adopt the half -truth or half-lies which seem to go a long way. Why not, if this can attract the humanity out of those who have insulated themselves? The way I experienced, humanity has a way to preserve itself even in animals. So why not in people? After a little while, if one pays attention, some of the stories are so incredible that they must be true happenings. Unless, of course, they are totally invented to the point that they could be credible! Some call this phenomenon talent and some call it the braggadocios' syndrome, which is employed in many ways by those with good intentions, mostly their own need to talk to someone and get it of their chest…
Oh, boy, do I have to tell you a story ! How many times did you hear that? Nevertheless, the curiosity in us coupled with good ‘manners’ is sometimes stronger than pure logic and we tend to listen to. And listen... and listen...until, spontaneously, we find an excuse trying to extract ourselves from losing more precious time that we could have with ourselves, if nothing else! On the other hand, rare as it may be, some stories are really out of this world. Sometimes they even become books and films. And yet, many of them are lost incognito within a world of their own or ours, according to each situation. I know, wisdom dictates to let things go and shrug if they do not fit our own momentary or, possibly, futuristic needs... That's life, I am told… Ha! And yet, we continue to crave for stories which are funny more than the others that we cannot do anything about to help. And yes, many people and even we need help at one time or another. But, do we have to whom to tell our story during those moments? Short of a dear close friend, who might be out of town or in a meeting, perhaps a barber or beauty shop people, or those are trying to sell us something awaiting their turn, who has the time to listen? Ah, even the social workers, a doctor, a teacher, a priest, a rabbi and other 'experts' meddling with people's lives like, perhaps, a judge or certain authorities you do not want to mess with and who really have not much time, given the long lines awaiting their turn to tell their stories. Wow! How reassuring and pleasant was to be tackled into bed and a parent, a nanny or others telling us a story until we fell asleep! Or, maybe we, being one of those people! And yet, few do recognize a story's impact on us as individuals or, as a group mesmerized by the charm of the story-teller, his or her voice and grimaces. Its implications and innuendos which, willy-nilly, leave an imprint on us that sometimes goes dormant and sometimes is awakening by the revolution outside the realm we live in. And what a story that is…!

By the way, what is your story? You know the one you do not tell everyone? Why me? Well, it is up to you to decide, but maybe because I am a good listener and might even detect something about you that you , yourself do not know! That's why! Would you feel more comfortable first, if I tell you mine?

Essays – Volume I
Editing: Ileana Matac Arco
Hollywood, California

by Ray Arco    3/27/2016


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