My adult self is fascinated by the way my returning memory of the entire thing is affecting my perspective, my evolving judgement of Fred and who I think he my have been.
The brilliance of how Fred dealt with that situation. How he’d behaved (performed) for that rich kid AND for me… was how it ended up with neither of us really knowing what Fred was capable of. My adult self now realizes how the successful con man is always in control. He does this by keeping his mark both off balance and yet also believing that he is anything but off balance.
The mark is made to believe he is aware of exactly what is going on while actually being completely unaware of the whole truth. I was one of Fred’s marks just as much as was this “rich white kid from the suburbs somewhere”. Fred had an interest in my believing he was an expert in marshal arts, so he made sure I believed that. Whatever Fred needed the kid to believe is something I’ll never know and I don’t need to know.
For the purpose of this story, the important thing is that I believed Fred was not only an expert in marshal arts, but that he was far more dangerous than he appeared to be. That he could kill quickly and stealthily, with just a few of his fingers. Whether or not Fred could actually do this was unimportant. What mattered was that I believed he could.
I saw Fred only sporadically during those three months between that evening in which he’d performed his marshal arts expert demonstration, and the afternoon in which Maria fed me beans and rice, tortillas and hot sauce, and asked me to help her “get rid of Fred”. I don’t recall any conversations we might have had and I didn’t really know anything about his situation until Maria told me about it.
As I said in Tuesday’s post, Maria told me about the despicable actions of this lying predator that I had seen as so very cool, not so very long ago… and I was hot with anger. I wanted to kick Fred’s ass and I was NOT even considering his apparent marshal arts expertise.
And then… Fred came home.
To be continued…