Author expressionsSAC. — SYNDROME OF THE AWKWARD COMMITMENT —: A condition similar to the Fifth Amendment.

SAC. — SYNDROME OF THE AWKWARD COMMITMENT —: A condition similar to the Fifth Amendment.

Autor: ©2024 William Castano-Bedoya


I went out for a walk with a purpose, my brow furrowed, feeling vexed. This time, I chose to head south. I aimed to clear my mind by briskly navigating through the vehicular traffic. I desperately needed a dose of adrenaline, a sort of shock therapy. That’s why I headed south, as that route tends to stimulate my instincts unlike my walks to the east, which bring me a sense of peace. Heading south, the density of passing vehicles, almost brushing against my arms just meters away from my body, becomes so dangerous and aggressive that it keeps me alert throughout the entire walk. 

I needed to diminish that toxic animosity with which I left, those urges to kill and feed off the dead. The idea of explaining the reaction that the presence of the SAC. — Syndrome of the Awkward Commitment —,’ caused me had me irritated. Justifying that syndrome required adrenaline and a few deep reflections.

The objective of my walk was clearly identified and didn’t require reflection but rather direct solutions. That’s why I left my Alter Ego alone and didn’t take it for a walk. I had been doing the analysis and consultations for years, months, and days. My goal was to turn uncertainties into tautologies, into absolute truths, truths that would allow me to condense the raison d’être of many reasons into one idea, of dissuasive, insecure, and doubtful reasons, and so on. Today I need to be certain that life is resolved as if it were a tautology, like… ‘circles are round’; ‘water is liquid’; ‘a triangle has three sides’; or… ‘fire is hot.’ But the frustration that it causes me, the difficulty of resolving life, of moving forward because everything depends on VIPs, that status that comes from the English ‘Very Important Person,’ which is used to refer to someone who receives special or privileged treatment due to their role, social position, relevance, or contribution in a certain field. VIPs usually receive exclusive attention, preferential access to events, personalized services, among other benefits. This term is commonly used in the entertainment industry, politics, business, and other areas where the importance of certain people is recognized and valued.

However, when you need to approach a VIP, most of the time you have to start from the principle that you are not a VIP but a simple aspirant to become one of them, and that you seek one of these privileged beings to grant you some appointment, or approve a credit for you, help you with your own initiative, almost always without any success. Generally, VIPs are not found when you look for them, but they find you every time they need you to help them magnify their stature.

But… what vexed me today and has me walking south? That discouragement that causes me to see so many messages that I have sent and that have no timely response, or that have no positive response, Will I definitely not be a VIP and am I not aware of that? Anyway, to be a VIP of a bank, you must already have money saved in your account or in the form of assets, and… what happens if you don’t have it? You’re simply not a VIP. That’s just an example, Everything is a façade.

Today I had an appointment with a considered VIP whom I sought to activate his enthusiasm for a project that I want to promote and that has to do with literature. It’s a VIP who had studied and from whom I figured I would get the most benefit from that meeting. When I greeted him and broke the ice, to get him to relax, he said rubbing his hands together and with a mocking smile, ‘Well, tell me, what does it feel like to be a great poor writer?’ I didn’t answer because I wanted to process that unobliging question disguised as sympathies. I replied with a fake smile because I noticed his haughtiness, and the desire to twist his neck, I kept inside me. By the question, I understood that he, from the start, was forewarned, rejecting my intentions even though he didn’t know them yet. ‘The instinct of the conjurer,’ a defense mechanism he wielded so that with his loquacious psychosis my intentions would crumble. Then I understood that that character was surfing in the turbulent waters of a condition that I invented from facing it so many times and that I baptized as the ‘SAC. — Syndrome of the Awkward Commitment —‘, (SCI),’ because, as such, his messages and subliminal postures pointed to that imperative need to let go with evasions of what could be a commitment, so he wouldn’t even know what it was about. The truth is, his attitude managed to disarm my enthusiasm and process in microseconds where the animosities were going. So, I gave up commenting on my ideas and opted to enjoy a cappuccino that we ordered as part of the protocol and in celebration of our meeting. I concentrated, as a way to rescue the meeting and harmony, on making him talk about himself, his successes, his joys, and his professional achievements. I discovered that the poor man navigated in those waters of one who, without being a VIP, has also spent his life at the service of VIPs, buying everything they want to sell you because they never buy you anything of what you sell. I discovered that my VIP friend tried by all means to justify himself as a happy man despite the unhappiness that denigrated his pedantry. That indicated to me that one shouldn’t seek a VIP who has never experienced hardships but merely appears to lead a monotonous life full of happiness.

I deduced that that VIP knew a lot about tautologies. So, I replied: ‘Being a poor writer feels good, it’s the result of a less materialistic vocation.’ That is, he greeted me by holding onto a proven tautology: Being an independent writer in these times means being a poor writer. Well, this comes close to tautologies although not 100% because some writers, being independent, are not poor. With that consolation, I remain. The world is designed for VIPs to be more VIPs and those who are not, we continue before their eyes being ‘shit-eaters’ evoking that beautiful expression of Cuban exiles that defines with a philosophical framework all those beings who in the world are not VIPs in any circumstance.

For some reason, I associated the SAC (Syndrome of the Awkward Commitment) with the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution of the United States and with the novel ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley, because of how dystopian it is to project oneself. In the amendment because it establishes one of the best-known rights, the right of a person not to incriminate themselves in a criminal trial. This right is known as the right against self-incrimination. When someone ‘invokes the Fifth Amendment,’ it means that they refuse to answer questions or provide information that could incriminate them in a crime. It is a fundamental protection to ensure that people are not compelled to incriminate themselves in a legal process. In the same circumstances of freedom to invoke the fifth amendment, one is to resort to the SAC. — Syndrome of the Awkward Commitment —,’ to avoid having to give impertinent explanations or to expose one’s own human condition.

I returned home calmly after walking three intense miles south and then back north. It took me an hour to clarify my mood and understand that life only guarantees us existence; the rest is up to us to solve.

William is a Colombian-American writer who captivates readers with his ability to depict both the unique experiences and universal struggles of humanity. Hailing from Colombia’s Coffee Axis, he was born in Armenia and spent his youth in Bogotá, where he studied Marketing and Advertising at Jorge Tadeo Lozano University. In the 1980s, he immigrated to the United States, where he naturalized as a U.S. citizen and held prominent roles as a creative and image leader for projects with major corporations. After a successful career in the marketing world, William decided to fully dedicate himself to his true passion: literature. He began writing at the turn of the century, but it was in 2018 when he made the decision to make writing his primary occupation. He currently resides in Coral Gables, Florida, where he finds inspiration for his works. William’s writing style is distinguished by its depth, humanity, and authenticity. Among his most notable works are ‘The Beggars of Mercury’s Light: We the Other People’, ‘The Galpon’, ‘Flowers for María Sucel’, ‘ Ludovico’, and ‘We’ll meet in Stockholm”.

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