Vol. 6, Issue 8, September 23, 2008
The Imponderable Self, or: Why Another Bailout?
It is a Well-known truism that our Conscious minds comprise but a Fraction of the teeming actions within our Heads; our awareness bobs along on the Surface like a Dinghy sailing over the roiling Deeps and Currents of a great and mysterious Ocean. Though some of us have Peered over the edge of our small craft, or even - for the more Intrepid among us - gone for a brief Swim in the depths, none can say they Truly master the entirety of the sea. Now and then, the foam-capped waves manage to Drive me to a course I would not have Dreamed of taking had I a compass, or a Sail, or a sense of Direction (mine is Notoriously poor; I have gotten lost on the way back from the Wash-room at the Club at least Thrice, once occasioning an impromptu Safari on the part of several retired Colonels to effect my Return).
I found myself tossed hither and Yon the other day when my ne'er-do-well Nephew, Ephram, found himself in need of Succor once again. I went to Visit him at the local Gaol, where he was occupying his Usual cell and bore an air of Innocence so contrived that he very nearly injured his Face.
"You Scoundrel," I said sternly. "You have been here so Often that they have carved your Name above the door."
"Uncle Zeke, I swear: I was completely innocent this time!" insisted the lad, coaxing a most Lugubrious expression from his face. "It was all a Misunderstanding about some Finances I was managing on the part of a Friend."
"Was the understanding that your friend would have anything Left by the end of the Day?" I inquired. "For if so, I can see how he would be Sadly disappointed."
Ephram waved his Hand insouciantly before him, as though to brush Away the pesky truths buzzing about him. "I merely offered to invest the funds on his behalf," said Ephram. "I had a line on an excellent goose distribution business, you see..."
The details followed, and were both Convoluted and, as was Usually the case, involved some Improbable circumstances, including a Horse (how Ephram manages to include a Horse in most of his schemes is Beyond me). Suffice it to Say that, when all was said and Done, the geese were in No danger of being Distributed in any manner whatsoever, if indeed they ever Existed, and the Funds with which Ephram had been Entrusted were somewhat on the Missing side.
I peered at my nephew with one of my Trademark glowers, the one which causes my Beard to bristle ever so Slightly and my Jowls to quiver in Annoyance. Bailing him out seems a most Unwise course of action: I would doubtless enjoy a very Quiet day were I to allow him to Remain here in the comfortable care of the Constabulary. Just think of it - a news-room with no Dice games, or Cards, or spurious Papier-Mâché creations crafted from the News-Ticker Tape. Further, I am reasonbly certain that I could come up with a more Constructive use for the money in my Wallet, such as grossly over-tipping the Shoe-Shine lad, or purchasing a hundred pounds of Tobacco at a go.
And yet, to my own infinite Surprise, I find myself Sighing in resignation, drawing out my Wallet with a sadly practiced motion, and posting Ephram's bail. We are both standing outside the Police-Station before I have even come to my Senses. Why on earth did I do that?
Perhaps it is because the news-room would be somewhat the Lesser without my nephew's Antics, illicit and Annoying though they may Be. Perhaps it is merely a question of fate, although I would be somewhat miffed to learn that my Purpose on this Earth was to pay for Ephram's peccadillos over and Over. But the truth is, even I am not sure Why I have once again bailed this fellow out of Trouble. Some currents in our subconscious run too Deep to fathom, and I suppose that This is one of them. I just Wish that it did not Cost so much.