XVIII: Ben Amidallo

{Disclaimer: The name Ben Amidallo is arbitrary. I do not know a person named Ben Amidallo, and any similarities to anyone named Ben Amidallo are coincidental. This story Ben Amidallo is a work of creative nonfiction.}

Ben Amidallo is a piece of shit. Some would say it isn’t his fault. He was raised by a couple of pieces of shit. He was raised in a world of shit where if you don’t think you are a piece of shit, then you have not been told yet. It’s near obligation for those immersed in shit to inform all those around them that they suffer the same malaise. It’s the joke they tell, and the answer to their questions:

“The world is shit.”

It’s the controversial thing they say. It’s the knowledge that they use in every situation that arises. They know what’s going on in the world, because they know the world is shit, and if they are surprised by some goodness in the world, on occasion, then so be it. At least they’re prepared for the long haul. It’s better to be wrong some of the times than wrong-headed.

There is a certain comfort to being raised in shit. There is a certain consistency to it. If a piece of shit runs run into another piece of shit, he is prepared for the world of shit that this other piece of shit introduces to them.

“You’re so full of shit,” they will say to other pieces of shit, and the two of them will laugh with shared appreciation.

“You got me,” the other will reply, while in the midst of that laughter. 

They will respect one another in the moment. It’s the secret handshake of the shits to try to con one another and to feel one another out. It’s the dance that they enjoy, and they will talk about their history with the dance nonstop. “There was this one piece of shit, the other day, who tried to sell me his bullshit lines,” one will say with laughter. “I told him he was so full of shit!” They’re onto one another, and they’re proud of this fact, and if they don’t become fast friends, they will at least have formed a mutual admiration society.

There is one final plus to being a piece of shit: you know it. You admit it. Some won’t know it, or admit it, for much of their lives, but a piece of shit has all that guessing and worrying licked before they reach their teens. The world of shit teaches you that everyone’s a piece of shit, but at least you’re honest about it. At least you’re real.

When you’re raised in a world a shit, you cannot wait to get out in the world and realize all of your new found knowledge. You cannot wait for that first piece of shit to approach you with some piece of shit ploy so you can tell him that he’s a piece of shit.

Pieces of shit, like Ben Amidallo, do run into kindhearted people every once in a while, however, and they run into those people who don’t think another person is a piece of shit, until that person does something to prove them wrong. The piece of shit contingent cannot believe their ears when they hear such naiveté. They can’t believe that someone who considers themselves a decent student of the mind could conceive of such a thing. They laugh hard when someone says something like, “I think most people, by their very nature, are good.” And their laughter is not mean-spirited, nor cynical, it is the genuine guffaw of one that is so confused by a new piece of information they learn that the only reaction they can muster is a hearty laugh. If you further humiliate yourself by saying that you believe people try to be good before resorting to doing anything bad, or evil in some manner, the last words you may hear before suffering further humiliation is:

“DOG PILE!”

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