As he’d come to have grown older now, losing most of his once shiny long black hair that had now turned gray as though a spider’s web hangs off an old crumbling ceiling; he wondered in times what his legacy might have been.
Of how it all could’ve gone very differently, viciously wrong; when he’d made Public Speaking his profession of choice. Much to his parents’ remorse and dismay, he’d pursued a career he chose for himself which would distance himself from all the things that he’d grown to resent about life; one without the misery and hatred that he’d been witness to for the earlier parts of his life. Growing poverty and parents that were repulsed by one another, and so this once young man had made the decision to never follow into the footsteps of his ancestors — pursuing a life that he knew, by design, would be perfectly crafted out for him.
As lay before him a red-carpet he once walked on, proud as he was, surrounded by the flashing lights that blinded his eyes to stand beside a podium where he would preach to a crowd — likeminded and unaware as he viewed him, blind to the life they could enjoy resembling the flashing lights of fame that had blinded him.
It had been years since he’d spoken publicly and wondered often, when he sat upon his balcony to view the beautiful sunset that would lay upon the ocean; sinking in slowly as the ocean swallowed the giant globe of light.
He wondered what his legacy would become, now an old man; and how many lives he’d saved through the course of his career.
He expected nothing but solitude from life as he walked through his mansion filled with all the delights life had to offer and money could allow; as he’d devoured every pleasure his career had allowed him.
At the end of the night, lying in his king sized bed; he wondered how different all of it could’ve been, had he really been honest with himself and the blinded crowd that he’d preached to throughout his life as a Public Speaker.
He wondered what his parents would now think of him, as he thought of their bodies laying six feet beneath the grounds of what was once a coffin of his upbringing.
He’d been requested, to deliver one last home run — to honour his legacy and all those that he’d helped over the course of his career.
For this would be the act every one would remember him for.
No subject matter was given to him and no requests were made as to how he should conduct himself; he were to receive no financial compensation as he’d been reimbursed enough throughout his career for all the moments of ecstatic bursts of energy he had harboured from behind his podium through the crowd that provided him with the greatest aphrodisiac of all.
His greatest challenge was not whether the crowd would be pleased of the subject matter, but rather of his unsavoury appearance now as an old aged man much too over heavy than the weight his knees could endure.
But he would stand behind the podium once more as this would be the moment he felt he shall be most remembered for.
As he was driven to the palace of what he imagined would be a crowd much closer to his age, coming back to return one final breath of gratitude, he realised he had no words that could encapsulate the weight of what he’d been carrying throughout his life.
One of shame, One of Regret, One of Debauchery, One of is Inner Horrors.
He’d come to realise now, as he stay seated in the back of his limousine surrounded by all the liquor he would once empty into his stomach after a show, of why it all had seemed to lost its’ numbing appeal.
He stood now on the stage as he stared down a dimply lit ocean of leather chairs, on which the crowd would be seated, but with his deteriorated vision and the bright spot light of the stage as it surrounded him with an eerie halo he could not make out the crowd that he would be delivering his legacy to today.
He stood there, breathing in deeply as he could filling his lungs with recycled air-conditioned oxygen.
Today, he could not make out the crowd as they were all invisible to him; he looked down at the bright lights and wondered to himself if this were the moment he’d been searching for all his life — the moment, a recollection of his finest speeches delivered to a cheering crowd.
He couldn’t find the words he’d come to master throughout his career and the linguistic craft of getting the crowd to rejoice.
As he stood behind his podium, he heard nothing but deafening silence.
He wondered for a moment what the crowd was expecting, a chant, a clap, or a simple moment of brutal humility.
He turned his vision away from the bright lights and faced towards the podium he stood behind, looking at a blank piece of paper that reflected back nothing but emptiness.
Tears would soon start to paint an abstract picture of gloomy haze on the paper as he realised, if not for this moment; his legacy would be one of a once courageous man who stood up on stage and breathed life into countless souls.
He finally began, truthfully as he could to reflect upon the glamorous life of excess he’d been able to enjoy.
He spoke, for once, from his heart and mind, truly revealing his humble beginnings, his life of poverty as a child, and the countless bickering of his parents that still haunted him to this day.
It was in this moment he would realise that if not for him his parents would have separated earlier than death would free themselves of the shackles.
His voice, now resembling a croaky broken horn instead of a glamorous rhythm he’d taught himself to imitate, he spoke to the crowd of how big of a sham all of it had been; the life he’d always wanted was nothing but an unfulfilled dream of what he’d once imagined.
He looked at the crowd, not visible to him at all, as tears further blurred his sight; he uttered the only words of wisdom that he knew to be true.
“I’m not your saviour, I never have been. I’ve preyed upon the souls of brittle people and endured a life of what I imaged was of great pleasure. But as I stand here today, an old man; barely able to stand on his feet, I now see the irony. Souls that I claimed to save had only corrupted mine and life is nothing but this blank sheet of paper that lays in front of me; soaked with my tears. I wish for there to be a better message, one of happiness, one of simplicity. Oh God, if I’d only known just how blinded I’d been as I chased through life to end up at this very moment. This stage that was once my gateway to success would now be one of reckoning. I cannot see the audience today, for I am too blind and too old. I do not know what words I can possibly say that could usher that one final dose of aphrodisiac that I chased throughout my career, the roaring sound of applause of a crystal eyed sea of people. Life, for me, has been nothing but a trade of exchanging words spoken with hatred and misery masked in honey. I am, the perfect fraud, an illusion, an act, to maintain a distraction of what life truly is; a long stretched out empty piece of paper which only decays as time passes us by.”
And with those words, the stage lights would dim to reveal a sea of empty leather chairs; resembling the emptiness of the life he’d chosen for himself.
Deprived of happiness and unconditional love.
As the lights faded away, so would the man’s life. The podium that had once been his saviour would now be his final resting place, as the soaked empty piece of paper would befall upon his body as a reminder of just how hollow and rotten he too had become; in the life that he’d chosen for himself that would now come to decaying end never to be remembered and never to be thought of again.
As the crowd that he’d once happily endured his words of wisdom would now fade away too, remembering nothing but contempt for the man whose entire life was built on preying upon souls through what he called ‘Public Speaking’.