A Silent Negotiation

He does not know what sort of man he would be. There is truth in action and it is this truth he keeps from himself.

He imagines, he grows the fear in his imagination. He imagines what is as yet unknown and is frightened by it. He imagines terrifying scenarios.

–Cus D’Amato

28. There isn’t any training necessary for a life of fucking around and expressing your domestication. There isn’t any training required to be a part of institutions. Institutional life is untrained life. You are born into it. Training is something else entirely. You train for life outside institutions.

40. The only truthful action is that which reveals his character. It is action that is beyond the expectations of institutional life. It is action that sets him apart from other men.

42. Only institutionalized men say there is no truth. What they mean is there is no truth for all of us.

67. In training a man begins to express his character. His character will appear most forcefully when he is without the protection and anonymity of institutional life. It is what is true and only he will know it.

70. Men live within institutions because they fear themselves. They do not wish to examine their characters. They do not wish to be exposed.

85. And so he begins a silent negotiation with himself. The silent negotiation is unknown to other men, but its results will be clear. He will have settled. The pain, and uncertainty of more pain, have overwhelmed him. And with himself he negotiates a way out: “But I feel a little sickness today. I will abort this last bit of training. I do it for my own good. Surely it is for my own good that I stop. Yes. Yes, it is.” Then afterwards he deepens the lie: “And I will be stronger tomorrow for being so wise to stop today before I injured myself.”

96. The smile he exchanges with the boss he disdains to curry favor for a promotion. The nagging woman he quietly listens to on account of the child he is raising with her. The drunk at the bar he backs down from when challenged for fear of injury or arrest. Such are the tiny treasons that whittle away at his character. He negotiates with himself until he is flimsy and weak and easily swayed, until he is capable of any kind of whoring. It is how a man becomes domesticated and defeated.

109. His silent negotiation will go one way or the other. He will go the extra set, go harder, go faster; or he will come upon the excuse that relieves him of his obligation. He reasons away his failure, he makes it acceptable and thereby renews his confidence. He may even call his failure a decision made in the best interest of his future.

112. His days are more and more composed of little failings, often repeated, and he grows accustomed to them. He assures himself that when it really matters he will make a stand. Or perhaps he tells himself the world is worthless and instead attempts an escape of transcendence.

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