Sharks must be sharks


September 26, 2013


This is not a good thing, of course.

Perhaps the man deserves what he gets, but I can’t help but like him.

He was that naïve fish who swam into a shark’s den, and now is being devoured, not merely by the sharks he thought were his enemies, but those that had latched on early and pretended (maybe they were really for a short time) he friends.

Christ must have felt this way when facing Pilot. I felt that way when I stood before a judge who had the power to put me away from decades (even though my lawyer at the time assured me that that cash he had put in the judge’s pocket would lead me to probation).

This man, an otherwise probably good man, hasn’t yet come up to the worst, to that point where he must face the judge all alone, standing to hear the verdict and later the sentence – while those who helped get him there, dress up as if for a prom, showing up for a couple of hours to bear witness to this crucifixion, one more party to shine at, but never on the wrong side of the room.

Who can blame them?

They all latched on to what they saw as a good thing and in their minds, they blame him, not the other sharks.

Sharks understand each other too well to cast too much blame. After all, they all need to feed and if someone like this man is foolish enough to wander into their waters, how can a shark resist?

In the end, he will do his time if convicted and his life along with his son’s will be altered forever, and he will travel through the rest of his days still dazed by what happened without fully understanding it.

Only the most savvy learn from these mistakes, and often, those of us who have the least to lose to start with walk way relatively unscathed.

Sharks will be sharks, and these sharks will move on to new feeding grounds after they have finished stripping away what flesh this poor man has to offer.

It is natural; and nature at its core is blameless, since it is survival of the fittest.

It is only the most civilized that are shocked by these events, and the most civilized who find sadness in it all, not just for this guppy of a man who didn’t know what devoured him, but for the sharks that must keep feeding and will never find satisfaction, feeding and moving on, feeding and moving on, until they decide they’ve had enough or become the victim of bigger and more vicious sharks.

I feel sorrow for them, too.

Guppies are generally too dim-witted to understand what is happening to them, let along to avoid the inevitable. But the sharks, they see it all, and understand it all, and know how trapped they are in their own way of life, and it is tragic beyond my understanding for how little they get for all their effort.

But there are some for whom this tragedy is even more tragic, fools like me who come to love some sharks, and bear witness to it all, as helpless as the shark is to change anything, frozen in place, testifying to nothing.


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