Return To The Hookah Man
A few months back, I wrote a fictional story about a selfish man seeking the meaning of his life. I have decided to revisit this story. If you would care to read the original, please click on the link below-
It has been over a year since I have returned from my journey to see the figure on top of the mountain. My life has changed. I am no longer the selfish being I once was. But I am more troubled now than before I went on my quest to find him.
It is because of these troubles that I am returning to see him in hopes of finding answers.
Reaching the 3 paths at the base of the mountain was much more difficult than the last time. The jungle surrounding had become overgrown, almost completely hiding the opening.
Faced with the same 3 choices as before….I chose differently this time.
I picked up the candle and headed into the mountain. With just this single light as my guide I weaved my way through the darkness. It was a difficult trek with many obstacles but my persistence and confidence carried my to the top where the temple awaited me.
Upon exiting the mountain, I walked up to the temple, sat Indian style in front of the Hookah Man and placed the remainder of the candle in front of me. As I looked up he began to speak.
“Seeking me a second time does not increase your chances for enlightenment. Taking the harder route to see me, does not increase your chances for enlightenment. Why take the journey when I have nothing else for you? Trying to fill the void before death?”
He exhaled a large plume of smoke with a smirk, and waited for my reply.
I obliged with more honesty than I knew I had in me.
“No. I accept my fate. I have changed my selfish ways but do not deny your truth. I am here to ask of others not of myself.”
“Very well. Ask. Then I will decide whether it deserves an answer.”
“Will there ever be an end to the horrendous violence that occurs?”
“The human race and violence are like the wet part of the ocean…they go hand in hand. Look at the history of mankind…rarely is there a significant event without violence. Your question is too broad for a specific answer.” He flippantly answered.
“Ok……but the violence in our schools? Ever since Columbine it has gotten worse…now children in elementary schools are dying…”
“Columbine?? You do not know your history. The ripple of Columbine did not begin that wave.” He interjected.
“Ripple…wave….you lost me. I’m not a riddle guy.” I replied.
“Imbecile. A wave does not start out as a wave. It begins as a ripple that grows. …a pebble or small stone dropped into calm water creates a ripple that creates another and another, the farther the ripple carries the larger it gets, creating the wave that has to crash somewhere. The Columbine you speak of was a large ripple that created the wave that crashed in Connecticut. NOW your kind is fully aware. But the pebble that started the ripple was in Bath, Michigan in your year of 1929. Learn your history…your kind keeps repeating it.”
The Hookah Man retorted.
“So God is teaching is about guns by repeating history?” I confusingly asked
“God, government, guns, games, movies, laws….all symbols of blame for the human race. The ripple works for good as well….not just evil. Placing blame is easy….creating change is not. Look at another mark on your country…segregation. Tell me the ripple there.” He asked as he inhaled.
“That’s an easy one. Rosa Parks. She refused to sit at the back of the bus. She ignited change.” I confidently replied.
He smiled and exhaled…. Then spoke.
“You know the one who got the recognition….but she was not the first ripple…..the first was Irene Morgan in 1946, then Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, them Claudette Colvin nine months before Rosa Parks…..one pebble….3 ripples, then the wave crashed and created positive change. The change is not complete….even today in your world, but the ripple effect still grows. Know your history….your kind DOES learn from it.” He kindly answered.
I looked at him. Things were a bit clearer but the fog of his answers remained. He saw that in my gaze and added to his last statement.
“Your kind feeds off 2 things. Fear and change. You must be able to face the fear and create the change. Be the one who creates the ripple. If your effort is worthy, another will follow. And another. And another. Soon your small ripple will create the wave of change that will help to solve the problem.”
With that he reached into a small bag around his neck. He pulled something out of it and dropped it into my outstretched palm. He then placed his hands upon his lap and turned to stone.
I opened my palm and looked at the single pebble he placed into it.
I looked up at the stone figure, smiled, turned and made my way back down the mountain.