Saturday, April 21, 2007

"I Didn't Do It For You"

This morning I received an email from an acquaintance here in Florida who had just read British Author and Journalist, Michela Wrong’s book “I Didn’t Do It For You”. One of the chapters in this book features me as the main antagonist. The title of this chapter is "Blow Jobs, Bugging and Beer". It is a well written work of non-fiction about the small African Nation of Eritrea and how the people living there have been screwed over and over again.

My friend said that she was “rolling on the floor laughing (ROFL)” when she read Chapter 10 of Michela’s book. And that the portrayal of me in the book was “so unlike the person” that she knew. Another comment that she made in her mail was “you actually have a human side”.

I have a lot of human faults and have always had them; however I generally do not let the people here in Florida know about by sordid past. The persona that I have here is different from the persona that I had in Maryland (where I had lived for 30 years), different from my younger days in Chicago and definitely different from the time that I spent in Eritrea in the mid 1960’s.

A former lover once called me a Chameleon and said that I changed my facade to suit the current situation. This was a clever observation that she had made. She asked me why I couldn’t just be myself, as I was with her. I told her was that there is a public me and a private me. She retorted that she enjoyed the private me much more than the public me. But which is the real me? Only my children and sister know the answer to this question.

I am an empathetic person by nature, but I have learned that you cannot allow anyone but your inner circle of friends and family know this fact. Therefore I disguise myself with the facade of the other me. It’s like a dual personality or an alter ego. Just like the Chameleon, I adapt to my current situation, looking for self-preservation.


I can’t lie about my past but I have learned how to skillfully evade questions about that past. I’ve become very good at telling half truths and dancing around a subject. The only time that I have a problem skirting the issues is when I have been drinking alcohol to excess. I often do this with family and friends, but rarely with acquaintances. In Vino Veritas!

"I Didn't Do It For You" by Michela Wrong is available on Amazon.com - there is a convenient link to Amazon on the right sidebar of this Blog.

The Beach Bum

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9 Comments:

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Sat Apr 21, 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Sachin G. said...

I have to go back and have a look at Chapter 10 of the book to see what she said about you. Funny thing about interviews is that they are captured in a particular moment in time but the book is published many years later. The people in the interviews have changed and moved on yet the book cycles this old frozen image of people.

And sometimes people only put things in a book which agree with their view or with an agenda they are trying to push through. Very hard to write an objective summary about events.

But I will give that chapter another look and get back to you :)

Sun Apr 22, 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Sachin G. said...

Thanks for letting me know. I am still amazed how you found my blog comment about the book as I posted that more than 2 months ago.

Sun Apr 22, 11:35:00 AM  
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