A letter to a friend (Conclusion)

My dear friend, finally, your younger son after two nights of intense discussions and some revelations about how he really felt, he began to look upbeat. So I decided to stay on one more night, while we were going to leave together the following morning with the ferry boat. Your younger son had arranged some meetings with his friends and I had to visit my aging father. Throughout the day, that third day, everything brimmed with serenity, joy and creative communication, AS OLD TIMES!!!Those grey shadows that lingered, had disappeared from his eyes. It was only much later that I realised that this sincere and positive communication between your son and myself was stifling you, because you must have felt out of touch. I was then so very proud and contented with this positive turn of events, while unconsciously ignoring the vast amounts of egotism and insecurity you were carrying within your mind and your soul. I was really so mistaken!!!

At this very moment, something came to my mind, and it΄s a particular commentary which I have made to your sons when they used to feel frustrated with various aspects of their personal lives. I would coax them to pinpoint those human factors which would transform the times we spent together(and also with you and your husband for almost 20 years), into moments of happiness, intimacy and emotional escape. When we were all together, even during “the most difficult of times”, we behaved like loving youngsters. Your sons would never give me a precise answer, even though they knew the truth. They didn΄t feel it was to their interest to express this vital truth, and this is their great weakness, which is also the main weakness of their generation(always play it safe). I now also remember when your sons were very young, and they would urge me after our lessons to stay on and have supper with the whole family. Many years after, your sons confessed to me that they wanted me to be there during supper, because they could not cope with the tension between all of you. It affected them PSYCHOLOGICALLY!!!! During this “fatal” night, there were four people at your country house. There was you, me, your younger son and your lady friend who has an appartment house close to your country place. When we sat down to play cards, we decided that I would play with your son as a team, while you and your lady friend would be the opposing team. From the start of the game, I noticed an unusual nervousness and tension coming from you, but I didn΄t take it very seriously. Yet very soon, I sensed that this nervousness was gradually developing into an aggressive mood exclusively towards me. You were constantly commenting on mistakes I was making even though we were not partners. You criticized the way I was collaborating with your younger son, and you even questioned my accuracy in counting points. With persistence and forcefulness you raised the tension to the point that both your son and your lady friend tried unsuccessfully to put you in order. I specifically remember your lady friend trying to explain to you that the whole idea in us playing a game of cards was to enjoy ourselves and not to fight with each other. After a certain point, I became absolutely convinced that there was a premeditated effort on your part to make me go “off-the-wall”, exactly what your husband had tried during my previous visit there.

Your husband in front of your sons and their girlfriends, kept on asking me in a monotonous way, how much of financial aid I was receiving from my father. He aimed in a “supposedly” spontaneous manner but “essentially”in a dastardly way to demonstrate to his sons how their “idealistic” teacher was in reality a “dependent” person. He nevertheless made no “spontaneous” comment on how affluent my father is, on the simple life-style I lead, and of course on how he himself became so wealthy in such a short time span. WAS IT ONLY DUE TO HIS ENTERPRISING GENIUS AND HARD WORK???? The way you had been “acting”all night, reminded me of a “shoddy” reality show which you fully knew I couldn΄t stomach for too long. I became angry, and what was the “terrible” thing I said that “so offended” you???I told your son that now he knows that in order to win at cards, he would have to operate like a “shark”. Could this have so offended you, considering the 20 years that we have experienced all of us together”the most extraordinary and serious”family situations. Your reaction was so “theatrical”, that I truly couldn΄t take you seriously. As a matter of fact, at that moment, I wanted to laugh because I started getting images of all the latest greek television soap operas which make me feel like “puking”!!!You left the table and went and locked yourself in your bedroom, exactly like a “leading lady in distress”.

There was absolutely no way I could take all these theatrical manoeuvres at face value. The morning after, I saw you moving about on the beach with your son and your dog, and concluded that your plan was coming to its final completion. You didn΄t talk to me but your “brave”and “honourable” son suggested that I should ask for your “pardon”since I was a “guest”at your house, and naturally he told me that he wouldn΄t return with me on the boat. And of course I told him that no “guest” is obliged to put up with any type of “queer” behaviour from any “host” or “hostess”, and that there was absolutely no way I would ask his mother΄s forgiveness. I left your house solid and sound, allowing you and your son to put those crazy pieces together, the pieces of your “virtual reality”. I wished all the power to both of you!!! My dear friend, I can΄t really understand all the sudden concern of yours to protect your son from me. Where was that concern when you and your husband were pressing your son in an “inhumane” and “underhanded” way to study finance abroad, when you very well knew that he would face enormous personal difficulties coping with these particular studies;something I had already warned you about. What were the gains from this “erratic” and “self-centered” parental attitude???Your son, after 3 years abroad, returned a “wreck”, both physically and mentally. How many times did I not warn both you and your husband about the dire consequences of your expectations on your son???All those demands!!I even wrote a letter to both related to this matter!!! Now, both you and your husband pretend ignorance!!!Similarly, where were you and your husband when your sons were going through puberty and desperately needed your emotional support(not expensive consumer goods) to cope with an “unnatural” and “deranged” society, YOUR SOCIETY!!! Both of you didn΄t have the time then for such “trivial”details, since your priorities lay somewhere else. Even today, your husband΄s and your own priorities lie somewhere else, it΄s just that your sons have to be gradually”convinced”, using any means available to you, to evolve into agreeable “game pieces”in your personal “virtual”strategies.

My dear friend, during the last few years, you have been spending many hours every day, in front of a computer screen or a lap-top, recording songs on computer discs or playing computer games on the Internet. Am I not telling the absolute truth??And is this normal for a woman of your age???Or do you think that when you visit your hairdresser twice or three times a week, or when you constantly buy expensive clothes and massive amounts of household paraphernalia, you are able to fill the void generated by the “virtual”dimensions of your life???Let us now take a look at your husband, who by the way is younger than me!!!I know for a fact that for the last 15 years, your husband has had constant problems with his health. His spinal column is in bad shape due to the fact that at work(12 hours a day), he spends most of his time sitting in a chair, struggling with anxiety and tension. He had to spend 6 months in bed, completely immobile, so that his spine could be mended. He has had to remove all his teeth, he has problems with his prostrate glands, and naturally during the last few years he suffers from high blood pressure and obesity. As for the rest, everything in your lives is in”tip top shape”, and you and your husband continue adamantly on your “well”chartered course to wealth and glory. If this whole setting represents the true image or the real cost of “success”, meaning the ideal “virtual reality”of today, and if all these factors represent the dominant elements of our modern “civilization”, you can keep it, it΄s all yours!!!! é FINITA LA MUSICA, é PASSATA LA FESTA…… !!!

Good luck to all, Alexander