I don't think I actually understand the Tao

This is the moment that I’m supposed to cast my gaze to the floor or fall to my knees and beg.  I’m supposed to listen carefully to the things I’m being told, to absorb the lessons that I’m so generously being allowed to hear.  I am supposed to understand that I haven’t earned the step up the ladder that I’m trying to take, that I’m still a pile of dogshit that, at worst, can dirty the shoes of my betters.  That’s the Japanese version of the movie, the version that everyone else in the room is watching.

But I’m in the American version, and I stand my ground, clench my jaw, stare him down.  It should work.  In Hollywood, I’m the individualistic hero in the world of homogenized badasses.  But I only see the faintest smile on his lips, and then a dozen of his men crash onto me from behind and my world goes dark in a sea of black polyester suits and flashing silver batons.

Just to be very clear: he certainly didn’t a need a dozen guys to handle little old me.  But he was very interested that I understood the Tao, and that in the next situation he and I would be sitting in the same cinema.


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