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Friday, November 21, 2008

Scamming

Hey dude, lookit what Tara emailed me: "i was just looking at your profile and wondered if you might like to chat Email me back". Yep. Tara. From tara@thefriendshipnetwork.info. Sounds hot.

Yeah, I'd love to chat. I'm a lonely middle-aged man.

But I'm sorta wondering what profile she's talking about. What's the friend ship net work dot info? And how come her email is addressed to csalaman@hotmail? And why when I click on the email message source does her address show up as jfdhgksjrt.com? It's kind of confusing. But intriguing too. She's a mystery woman.

Why can't people be honest.

Imagine setting up that sort of scam. What do they want? How would they entice money out of me? What lies? I know someone who knows someone who lost all his money to the Nigerian scam. He was stuck in Africa for a while -- didn't have any money left to get out. His son lived with my brother's family over the summer. And my brother, apparently, almost fell for it. Something for nothing.

It's like those "modeling agencies" -- we'll make you famous, just give us $967 for a portfolio of headshots etc. And then they email you perfume girl jobs in department stores. Well, it would be nice to make a lot of money just for having your picture taken. It's like finding oil on your land -- you can sell what you didn't actually earn. But that's not a ripoff -- there is some value involved.

Why do people lie? Three reasons. Fear, spite and greed. The fourth reason is that people lie for no reason. Sociopathic or irrational. I understand the fear (don't punish me) and the greed (give me what I haven't earned). But spite? Dripping poison into someone's ear just to cause harm? I guess I'm too direct for that sort of thing.

I suppose it comes down to need. Why would "Tara" lie to me? -- I have no profiles up. But if such ploys didn't work they wouldn't be used. Indeed, I'd like some Tara to like my profile and contact me out of the blue. Blessings out of nowhere are, well, they're blessings -- the flipside of those unmerited curses that emanate like kabbalistic sephiroth from the tree of evil. What did I do to merit the attentions of some demonic spirit? Well, I neglected my prayers. And I expect that ancient entity divides its time among my various family members, living and long since dead. Some blessing? -- to provide a little balance?

Sad thing is, when I check my email there's a little upswell of hope, before reality reasserts itself. Maybe someone's been thinking about me, and wants to communicate. That's the hook that Tara and her kind pull on. Sex? Well, yes, but sex, as hardly anyone seems to understand, is about intimacy. You know this is so because there's always someone else involved, even if only imaginary. The feelings and the instincts are drives, but the object is some other person.

There are two things in the universe. Love and loneliness. That says something about our having been made in God's image.

I look back at my childhood and am astounded at the almost systematic effort to cut me off from my humanity. Now I'm like a man trying to carry a haystack. He gets nowhere. Just buried in hay, and no one can get to him, and no one can even see him. He can't move. He's stuck. Stuck. You know, sometimes they find mammoth skeletons in flood debris, standing. Encased in mud that hardened to stone, and the flesh rots away and the bones still stand.

The reason I've been going on about God recently is that God is the only one who can make a difference. I don't think of it as faith. It's obvious. The degree of my dysfunction is beyond your comprehension. And I'm such a great guy. I won't cheat you, I'll do what I say, I'll be stupidly loyal to you -- I'll love you, secretly. What's to hate, in me? I'm as obnoxious as the next guy, but that can't be overlooked? I overlook it in others. Well, yes -- in others. Not in myself. I was just thinking of the last lie I told, sometime in the early nineties. And I burned, absolutely burned with the shame of it again. Wrote a poem about it years ago. And here it still is.

I said I'd put my faith in God. I didn't. It wasn't a lie. It was just human weakness. It seems I crumpled again. That's why I've been going on about God. All I can do is stumble and fall, or stand like mammoth bones in fluvial detritus, or smother under a haystack. I need rescuing, and I need rescuing from myself. Generally we only need to be rescued from our enemies. How did this happen. The enmity is so deep, I fear, that it's a genetic mutation by now. Thus my need for God. He wrote the code -- he can fix its corruption.

I've been doing my workouts at the Y this week, making a spectacle of myself, and a guy I've known since he was a skinny teen with bad posture -- now an overly loud, sort of bloated bodybuilder -- came up behind me and grabbed my shoulders. A friendly gesture. Too friendly. I asked him not to do that. You see what I mean? I wasn't wrong. He wasn't wrong. But that's how I am. Distance. It's off-putting.

Ah well. I should spend the next few hours begging God for gentle intersession. Because sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between refining fire, and hell.


J

3 comments:

Ms.Green said...

Why do people lie?

There's a fourth reason.

Pride.

I'm wonderful, how are you?
Oh yeah, my business is booming.
Of course I love my wife.
My kids are all getting along great.
I never doubt God.


Pride causes one to lie. The truth is often too embarrassing for us.

Jack H said...

I think pride is covered by fear -- fear that we will be seen as less than we want to be seen as ... fear of that embarrassment. It comes from insecurity -- and it is, really, a lie in itself, isn't it. Satan supposing he was like God. But these sorts of lists are always iffy.

Jack H said...

Oh, and pride would fall under greed as well. (I looked at the post again.)