This short vignette represents a combolation of the man I hope to be, and the man I'm afraid I will become.
The interviewer strode confidently into the room where Timothy Sexton sat, waiting patiently. His legs were crossed, and his hands were folded in his lap. He bore the blank expression of someone who knew everything that was to happen. He watched as the interviewer sat down in an adjacent chair, adjusted her blouse, pulled her blond hair back behind her shoulders, and gestured to the camera.
“Are you ready, Henry? Got both of us, ok, and three, two, one… I have the pleasure of being here, sitting next to a man who transcends introductions, Mr. Timothy Sexton.”
“You’re not the only one getting pleasure from sitting here, Miss Garven.” Timothy replied, a half smile at the side of his mouth.
“Many an interviewer would go through chronologically and discuss every achievement of your life, but I believe that the full effect of your accomplishments can be felt in a summary of everything you are, and all that you have done. May I?”
“As you wish, Miss Garven.”
“You have been in the Olympics, you were a U.S. Representative from your home state, you have put on three massive exhibitions of your own artwork, you have climbed El Capitan, three of your nine books have been on the New York Times bestseller list, you were an ordained priest, you have studied with Tibetan monks, you spent time in the Army, you have gone to medical and law school,”
A pause for breath.
“You are fluent in five languages, you have discovered a new comet orbiting our solar system, and you have worked on an oil rig. Am I forgetting anything?”
“Would you like to mention the two software companies I founded?” Timothy said, completely modestly.
“This isn’t Forbes magazine, Mr. Sexton.” Miss Garven said, smiling.
The interview went on for an hour, with burning questions popping up about the many facets of Timothy Sexton’s life. After sixty years, few people could have gotten as far as this man did. But as the interview drew on, Timothy began feeling increasingly apprehensive for the question that bound to be asked. The very question that haunted him so much that he had refused countless interviews, and only accepted those that were to focus on small aspects of his life.
“All right, Mr. Sexton.” The interviewer asked, with a gleam in her eye, “the ultimate question. The answer to all the riddles...”
- oh Lord, here it comes –
“… what could have possibly driven you do so much with your life? What force kept the whip at your back to send you so far across so many subjects, interests, and disciplines? Why did you keep going so far beyond the point where most people would be content to admit they have reached the peak in their life?”
It was an anticlimax, Timothy Sexton admitted to himself. The truth is frightening, but the response isn’t. The world has a right to know. So he steeled himself for the emotional impact of the spoken truth, and just said it.
“I couldn’t stop.”