Early this morning, REM sleeping, I had a dream about Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. It seemed I was some sort of youth journalist, in a D.C. room with the man right after a press conference where he spouted uninterrupted baldfaced lies.
The other youth journalists left, and I was there with him, as he leafed through some documents. He asked me some kind of question about what I wanted to do in life. "Well, so far I've been a student," I said. "I'd like to teach or work in writing, publishing, and media."
"Don't waste your time, Kid," Alberto said. "There's only two things real in this world. One's wealth."
"What's the other one?" I said. After a pause, I realized what he was alluding to. "Power," I said, with a ferocity and enunciation that scared me to my bones, as I looked sideways into Alberto's knowing eyes -- he knew how this interaction was going to go before it started. The breath that left me when I spoke the word "power" filled me with a mix of hate, cynicism, and triumph.
Alberto Gonzalez left me in the bland government room. I had to sit down. I knew then that I sat on the precipice between a world of evil -- self, wealth, power, control -- and good -- service, unity, modesty, and submission.
I knew then that the men that rocket to the highest levels of influence in our world are little more than the satanic ghosts that whisper Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown along to the vile ceremony in the woods -- and his life of fear. Goodman Brown does not become an evil man, but in witnessing evil personified, he never again returns to the halcyon naivete of youth.
"You know I hate, detest, and can't bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavour of mortality in lies -- which is exactly what I hate and detest in the world -- what I want to forget. It makes me miserable and sick, like biting something rotten would do." (Marlow, Heart of Darkness)