Sometimes it seemed that Dan thought as much, though he'd never put it that way. Much of who I am and how I learned to think was influenced by the time I spent with him as a teenager, but much like my mangled interpretations of Buddhism, that influence doesn't exactly manifest in a way other people seem to recognize. It didn't manifest in a way he seemed to recognize. My mind puts a distinctly tortured spin on everything.
Way back when, it seemed he was starting to take me under his wing.. Something I desperately needed, growing up.. but that sort of fell apart. He pulled back. I was confused and kept trying to make amends for many years. Nobody wants to hear me say anything negative about him, but I was really vulnerable and that was really difficult. More recently, he'd commented on the darkness that was in me back then. I don't like the way he characterized mental health issues. He didn't understand, or try to understand, and that didn't seem particularly compassionate. His laid back acceptance seemed in those circumstances more a shallow defense than a healthy approach to dealing with adversity.
Over the years, I tried to piece together what happened and came to feel rejected by him. I was as welcome to visit as anyone else, but he wasn't going to take me traveling with him. He didn't want my help with the museum. I wasn't welcome to be a part of his life, after all. Maybe he thought I couldn't handle it. Maybe he couldn't handle it, or simply didn't want to. I remember him saying that he'd wished he'd had the resources to be more help, but that was a cop out. I didn't want anything material. It wasn't anything material that I needed. Eventually, I stopped looking up to him entirely. I came to think of him as incredibly fortunate, rather than admirable. To say this now, in particular, yeah.. I guess there is a darkness in me.
I think the truth can be very dark. Within darkness, there can be light. Within light, darkness. He was a beautiful person. Too bad we can't all be seen as such beautiful people, but we are who we are, unless we help each other become more than that.