I woke up at 4:48am.
The people next door woke me.
Shaking the bed.
Shouting. Or at least talking loud.
They’re still talking loud.
They woke Jennifer too.
I asked her to tell me what they were saying.
She said she didn’t want to.
I asked her why.
She said she just didn’t want to.
She went back to sleep.
The trains are wailing.
I can feel their engines throbbing.
Today is Day 4.
The astrologer said that after three days, good things would begin to happen.
He said that the first three days were about clearing out the old cosmic rays from my body, and allowing the good cosmic rays to flow from the air into my lungs, from my lungs into my blood, and from my blood then into my brain.
And to allow good thoughts to come.
No good thoughts have come.
Maybe I should have breathed deeper.
I have a work colleague in Australia who is a very dear friend. She has a sister in Dallas. I haven’t seen the sister in a long long time.
She is a strikingly beautiful woman.
She has a son who was six years old the last time I saw him.
Now he’s twenty.
We talked last night, and I filmed it.
It was an extraordinary conversation.
The young man was articulate and intelligent way beyond his years.
His mother called him an “old soul.”
Interesting term, that.
It implies he’s been here before.
I believe so.
I believe his mum has been too.
The young man said he would really love to follow his dreams – to act impulsively and intuitively – but he couldn’t.
Life wouldn’t let him.
He said his generation was under so much pressure. The kind of pressure our generation never had.
He envied us, our freedom.
He said he didn’t have that freedom, and possibly never would.
But I believe he will.
The world is evolving, not devolving.
The man next door has raised his voice again.
He’s walking around the room, agitated.
Jennifer said that she’s not afraid of staying here, she’s only afraid of violence.
Through the walls.
That doesn’t scare me.
It just makes me question what I would do.
Would I like here and allow it to happen?
Or would I get up out of me bed, knock on the door next door, and try to stop it?
What would I do?
Would I be brave?
Some people say I’ve been brave coming to Dallas.
I don’t think that’s bravery.
I think bravery is getting up at 5am and trying to stop someone in the room next door from beating up someone else.
My first inclination would be to pull these thin sheets over my head, try to block out the sound, and ignore it.
Pretend it wasn’t happening.
But if I search in my heart, deep within my heart, I really couldn’t do that.
I think I would have to try to stop it.
I couldn’t lie here, listening to it, and allow it to continue.
I would be complicit in the violence.
As though I was hitting the other person myself.
I’m not saying I’m brave.
I’m not trying to elevate myself in your eyes.
I would be scared.
This occurred to me the other night, in Los Angeles.
I’d stopped at a traffic light under a freeway in a very bad part of town, and there were two people on the sidewalk in the dark under the freeway, having a conversation.
It could have been a drug transaction. I don’t know.
One was male, the other female.
As I sat in my car, watching them, I wondered what I would do if the man began to beat up the girl.
Would I call 911 and drive on?
Or would I get out and try to help the girl.
I came to the conclusion that I would have to help the girl. Even though there would be risk to myself. And there would be a strong possibility I would get beat up, or worse.
You read about that in the paper all the time – Good Samaritans, coming to the aid of someone else, and getting killed.
When I read these stories I ask myself what I would have done in that situation. And invariably I regard the question as being too hard, and I forget about it.
But as I watched these two under the freeway having this conversation, I asked myself: If I went to the aid of the girl and I got killed, would it be worth it?
What about the family I would leave behind?
My beautiful wife?
As I sat in that car, thinking about all this, I figured that really, I have nothing to lose.
My life means nothing.
Or at least, this body means nothing.
It’s just a shell.
Shells get crushed, eventually.
Jennifer would understand that.
My phone just rang.
I answered it.
It was Dr. Bimal Bhatt – the Indian Astrologer, calling from Bombay.
I haven’t heard from him in ages.
I told him it was 5am and he said he would call back in 3 hours.
And he hung up.
He doesn’t like to waste money.
The shouting next door has died down.
If they’ve been living there for eight years, then perhaps their relationship is like any relationship that lasts eight years.
Full of ups and downs.
I just wish the downs wouldn’t happen at 5am.
Getting back to bravery –
I didn’t say that stuff to make myself look good in your eyes.
I don’t care what you think of me.
That should be obvious by now.
I don’t care what anyone thinks of me, anymore.
It’s not important.
I only say I would feel compelled to knock on the door next door because I would have no choice to do otherwise.
We each have to live in this world and feel good about ourselves.
If I allowed violence to happen I wouldn’t feel good about myself.
So it would not be an act of bravery, it would be an act of selfishness.
Pure selfishness, on my part.
I hope that makes sense.
It’s Day 4 today and I hope something good happens.
There’s a lot happening on the periphery – people circling me, telling me good things will happen. Wanting good things to happen for me.
And for them.
But so far it’s talk.
I’m still in this motel. The Shady Oaks Motel.
I won’t move – I CAN’T move – until something good happens.
The man next door is shouting again.
Shaking my bed again.
The trains are wailing.
I think if I left this place, I wouldn’t miss the noise next door, but I would certainly miss the noise of the trains.
He’s moving again.
I haven’t heard him urinating yet.
But the shouting has got louder.
I think I will pull the thin sheets up over my head and try to go to sleep.
The door just slammed.
Maybe he’s going to work.
Yes I hear a car door slam.
The car has started up.
He’s driving out.
Good – I can go back to sleep.
And hope that Day 4 delivers me some good news.