the man who fell into a well

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” ~ Marie Curie

Once upon a time, before time was collected by government agencies and shredded into suffocating regulations, a man fell into a well. His name, Bob,  is unimportant because before he fell, he never discovered, mainly because he wasn’t looking, what gift he brought into the world on the day he was born. Presumably, he is still falling because nobody heard a splash.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that he grabbed for the old oaken bucket, a viable hope to be sure, but it failed him because he never got around to replacing the old, frayed rope with a sturdy new rope from the seed and feed. Other than his falling into it, nobody had used the well for years. New ropes cost money. So did covering over the well or even placing a sign that said: “watch your step.”

Calls to his cell phone go directly to voice mail. “Hello. Your call is very important to me. I’ll get back to you as soon as I hit bottom.”

His wife, Grace, told police he was falling before he fell into the well. Never could get a handle on his purpose or his life’s story because–truth be told–his fields were always too wet to plough and he had proven on numerous occasions that he couldn’t dance the dance, much less walk the walk. “I felt like I always had to push him to do anything,” she said.

After the prescribed amount of time, she had him declared dead, inherited the mule and his forty-acre farm, both of which were sold to a developer for $267,613.40. He transformed the wet fields into a mall for the rich and famous who never bothered to show up.

The epitaph in his tombstone reads: “He fell from Grace.”

I knew Bob before he fell into the well. He had hopes and dreams, all that stuff. As the Asian bar girls said of many sailors in liberty ports during the Vietnam War, he was a “butterfly man,” going from flower to flower before falling away into a new desire or vision. I suggested many things when he asked for help. He didn’t like them, swore up and down he didn’t need them even though he said often, “Life is nothing but falling without a parachute.”

One might say Bob’s true gift to the world was falling into a well. If so, perhaps he will serve as an example to others who are prone to fall into wells. I doubt it since there aren’t many books about people whose primary accomplishment if life was falling into a well. What a paradox: those who need to hear his incomplete story will never know about it.

“Well,” somebody says during a pause in the conversation. “That’s a deep subject,” somebody else replies.

If they only knew before it was too late.


Malcolm R. Campbell

Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing


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