Home > Uncategorized > My morning with David, the philosopher.

My morning with David, the philosopher.

This Sunday morning, my wife had a Board Retreat at the Delta hotel in downtown Toronto. I drove her to the hotel and then went to the lobby to enjoy a quiet morning reading and surfing the web.

While reading my book (an 858 page tome called “Swan Song”), a gentleman approached me and asked if I were going to the Melissa Etheridge concert. Mildly offended but polite as usual, I told him I wasn’t but that friends were seeing her in Kitchener.

He asked if he could sit down and join me. I offered him a seat on the lobby couch beside me.

He introduced himself as David, 55 years of age, and asked me my name. (He would ask me four more times during the conversation.)

During this conversation, he regaled me with tales of his work. He was in “international sales of recreational pharmaceuticals”. His work took him throughout Europe and South America. He’s been to Argentina 22 times (incarcerated there for 6 years).

He was a very entertaining storyteller with a degree in Philosophy. He made notes for me in my book explaining the three important truths in life:

1. What exists?
2. How do we know?
3. So what? (or in his words: so f-ing what?)

The first concept then breaks down into three axioms:

1. A = A
2. Either/or
3. Non-contradiction

I then asked him how those three are different as they seem redundant to me. His eyes lit up with glee as he said “Yes! Exactly!”

He further described the Either/or concept as “you can be one thing or another” using several examples such as “you can be heterosexual or homosexual” (trying to speak to me as a queer person, I suppose). After several either/or examples, I said “so you’re saying everything is binary?”  (I know all my more enlightened readers are cringing at that conclusion.) To which he replied, “Yes! Exactly!” and wrote that down in my book. “Everything is BINARY”

The “so what” further breaks down into art, ethics and politics of which he only described art, which is a selective presentation of reality according to the artist.

Over the course of the 90 minutes, he stopped only to take a drink from the mouth wash bottle he had up his sleeve  –  he was a self proclaimed “alcoholic and drug addict” (he had the nicest breath) – and to say hi to a young woman who entered the hotel. After his exchange with her he turned to me and apologized for “mowing on my grass” – I assured him that as a married woman, I am not interested in other lawns.

All of David’s stories whether they be about getting held at arrow point in the rain forest, held at gun point in Newfoundland, skiing in Switzerland or going through immigration in Brazil with several “kilos” strapped to his chest, were themed with his “favourite F word: FUN”… oh and “keeping an eye on his perimeter”.

The only times we deviated from FUN was when the subject of his wife (deceased) came up. He would tear up, apologize and say he needed to be more of a tough guy. I told him that tough guys cried. He said that was brilliant then wrote it in my book. “Tough guys cry.”

So now I have a pocketbook covered in David’s wisdom. He filled about four pages before hotel security escorted him out. 

I wonder what I would have learned if he had a flip chart to write on.

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