The Price of Engagement

At some point, it becomes obvious. “I’ll get back to you” becomes an unfulfilled promise. Sure, there are reasons. But they’re never especially strong. Certainly not strong enough to merit trust. Believing them. Accepting them. And, so, you move on. You find someone else worth your time. Eventually. Or you don’t. If you don’t, you come to realize what you thought were trust and friendship and dependability are just myths. And you harden, if you can. And you withdraw into the shell that has been your protection for so long.  The only thing you can count on, really. The only dependable, but tolerable, pain is recognition that the old camaraderie is part of a grand show, an elaborate put-on designed to follow a script written as a ruse. The rehearsals for this spectacular production have taken place over the course of a lifetime. Every day is practice for the next, each scene carefully crafted to slide flawlessly into another act, as if the entire farce were designed to manipulate the audience, of which you were a part, into believing. You are not blameless, you know. You engaged in that time-worn undertaking, the willing suspension of disbelief. The ticket for admission comes at a cost; the pain of knowing, in the end, that deceit is just part of the plan. Everyone has his own pain; but not everyone has to share it so freely. Or is that the price one pays for engagement?

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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