We call others idiots for fear that our own worlds be compromised if we admit to our own faults and the victories of others.
Keith had been working away at building his own home for quite some time now. Building it: brick by brick; laying out the carpets; painting the walls; grouting the tiles that lay on the kitchen floor; every task there and in between. People had called him an idiot for undertaking the project. Saying that living in a tent as he was, was a ridiculous endeavour that would earn him nothing and do nothing but cause him pain.
He had come to enjoy the spectacle of living in a tent. As the house was being built, he had to make sure that he did not cause mess within the building. Over time he thought of the other idiots who had called him an idiot. Those other individuals who had spent their years hiding themselves in the bottom of a bottle. Drinking themselves to oblivion, so that they didn’t have to deal with the competition that the world around them created.
You could see these type of people. Sitting outside on the balconies of their houses. Their homes that had been handed down to them, generation after generation. These people would call out to Keith as he went about building his home, living in his tent, “Whadd’ya doing that for? Ya goin’ to make yourself a millionaire or somethin’?”
Keith did not respond to their questions. He went about his work in silence. Silently laying out the carpets that lay in the bedrooms, silently undertaking each individual task, knowing that one day it would all be completed and then he could claim his cookie.
The cookie that lay in the cookie jar. That cookie is beyond most people’s reach. In the end, is that cookie worth all the effort?
And still he laboured. He laboured day and night to complete the task. He was not working to anyone’s specifications. There was no deadline. There was nobody telling him what to do or where to go. He was simply toiling on his own principles.
Then the work was completed. He stepped back and admired all the work that he had done. He was looking at a house, a home, something that he had built with his own two hands. And for that he admired the fruits of his own labour.
After all the work was said and done, he didn’t know what to do next. So he just looked at the building that he had created. This three bedroom house that he had toiled on for oh, so long. He drunk bottle after bottle of beer.
After eight or ten beers he started to get angry. He didn’t know why he was angry, just that he was. He should have been happy that he had completed all this work. But for some reason he wasn’t. He looked at the house. The house that he had built.
And then, with all the empty bottles of beer that he had drunk, he started throwing them against the wall of the house. They smashed against the walls. Blew apart upon impact. Smashed to pieces. And he started calling out to the night sky, “Where’s my cookie!? Where’s my cookie!?”
Nobody answered him. Not even the night sky. Nobody understood it, not even him.