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. It isn’t his fault, he was raised by a couple of pieces of shit who thought the world was shit. “If you don’t know that you’re a piece of shit, then you haven’t been told.” It’s your obligation to tell the world they’re shit. 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 they’ve attained, the advice they give, and the wisdom they pass on. 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. 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.

“You’re so full of shit,” they will say to one another.

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

The con game is the secret dance of the shits. They feel each other out in it, and it’s how they learn to respect one another. When they are done, they will rest, and talk about their history with the dance nonstop. “There was this one piece of shit, the other day, who tried to sell me a boatload of shit,” one will say with laughter. “I called him out. I told him he was so full of shit! He knew it too. You should’ve seen him squirm.” They’re onto one another, and they’re proud of this fact, and if they don’t become fast friends, they will at least form 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 great while. If they’re lucky, they will find someone who is naive enough to believe that most people are good, until they find out otherwise. The piece of shit contingent cannot believe their ears when they hear this. 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 are good kind-hearted people.” And their laughter is not mean-spirited, nor cynical, it is the genuine guffaw of someone so confused by a new piece of information that they genuinely don’t know whether to laugh or cry, and laughter is their go-to.

“You don’t really believe that do you?” the ask “C’mon?” They tell your inner circle about it. They tell their friends and family, and anyone else they can find. You don’t understand why they repeat this story so often and either do they, but they consider it one of the funniest jokes they’ve ever heard. Their audience won’t think it’s as funny as they do, but the audience will chuckle at you. They won’t think it’s as funny as he does, because they don’t know you as well as he does, and they can’t know how much you mean it.  

If you then further humiliate yourself by saying that you believe people try to be good before resorting to doing anything bad, or evil in some manner, your audience’s chuckle will grow, and the last words you may hear before suffering your final humiliation is:



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