The Things That Are Vs. The Things That Were

"Things being what they are," he said, "creates a quandrary. For he who states this, wants something.  He wants to speak it into existence. By saying 'It is what it is,' he is trying to say 'Tis,' or 'Yes.''

"But," the boy replied, from the depths of a large red chair, "why is 'no' better than 'yes'? Isn't 'no' an avoidance of responsibility?"

"Yes," said the man, who had thin grey hair and a supercilious air. "But an avoidance of responsibility is also an avoidance of ownership. And ownership is the death of dignity. Ask any slave of love."

"I don't know what it is to be a slave of love," said the boy frankly. "I'm just not there yet. And I don't think that you know what it is. I don't think that you've ever loved anyone better than yourself."

"Who does?” asked the man, as he waved a full brandy snifter beneath a long and vulnerable nose. "People usually don't have that sort of thing put to the test.  Except on TV, notably the show 'Lost.'"

"I don't get to stay up that late," said the boy, "So again, I don't really know what you mean."

"You are a dear and skeptical boy," said the man. "I am almost as jealous of you as I am fond."

"We don't know each other very well," said the boy. "I appreciate it, though."

"Someday, my boy, you too will be a slave of love. And that will be a lousy day."

"But not today," said the boy, as he threw a ball through the open study window, startling a flock of pigeons.