SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 75: The Master Of Confusion

“A positive plus a positive is a positive; a negative plus a negative is a positive; a positive plus a negative is a positive or a negative.”

“Keep your eyes up.”

“Even when I’m looking down, I’m looking up”

“What you see in life is a lie.”

“Do the first thing that comes into your mind, because the second is what you are thinking and the first is what you know.”

“Exercise patience.”

I can barely keep up with the philosophies of Matthew, a man I meet while (I’m here again) at a shopping center.

The dude is an introverted extrovert, a speaker of little words and an orator of many, an engaged communicator and a distant conversationalist, a master of controlled confusion. But his confusion is not by chance, it is by choice.

Unbelievable, Here I am, at a mall again, my less than favorite place on earth. No worries, it’s the holidays, I’m glad to dig deep in engaging with my shopping spirit.

Luckely the mall is not too crowded, and with my family at side, I head towards Macy’s. Almost there when I am stopped by the Hickory Farms girl, “Would you like to try our Farmhouse Cheddar?” Sure, why not? Free cheese? “I’m in.”

No sooner than I have tooth pick of cheese in hand, a voice emerges from behind by back, “Yeh! the Farmhouse Cheddar!”

It grabs my attention and I turn to search its origin. There he is, backgrounded by Christmas pine and shifting from huge smile to solemn face, Matthew.

Somehow I feel like I am part of a social experiment and I am being tested for a response.

Not wanting to feel like a lab rat, and figuring he is my 365 friend for the day, I approach him to see what’s up.

With business card in hand, I tell him about 365. His response, “Yup.”

That’s it, “Yup” and “Yup” only. So with “Yup” floating in the air and Matthews eyes scanning my business card, I continue. “Do you want to be today’s friend?”

You guessed it, “Yup.”

Challenge on… “May I ask you a few questions?”

Yup (now I’m saying Yup) his answer, “Yup.”

OK, now that we are all sufficiently confused, and on the same page in this experience, let’s move on.

Matthew and I manage to get through our “Yups” and move on to a fuller line of conversation.

Turns out that there is more to Matthew than meets the eye. He is very articulate and passionate about life and the journey he is on. The guy is deep, almost poetic. Thoughts and phrases rain from him at a pace that is impossible for me to accurately note. He truly is a viewer of the world, involved in it with his own unique confusing way. “I’m looking for response,” He says.

And response he get. He drew me in and as I get to know him, I see that he is a kind of like a chameleon. Shifting his words and body language to draw and direct people to him, even changes his shirt three times during our photo shoot (I later see him in a fourth jacket).

He is a shape shifter, not in a “See me” way, but more like a “How will you react to me experiment.”

Matthew speaks with respect of his fellow-man. Yet another contrast. “Then why do you work to confuse people?” I think to myself.

“Why” A question that continues to resonate with me.

“Simply Why?” I’m still not sure we even addressed “Who”, but “Why” is enough for me with Matthew.

Bottom line, it appears Matthew changes morphs to evoke curiosity from those passing by.

What leads me to this conclusion is something he says, “Figure out how to bring society to you, or ‘It?'”

Oh man? another point of confusion, “It?”

Matthew talks of society as “It.”

I’ll be honest, I am confused by this thesis and am trying to grasp the concept.

Here is the best I can to communicate his explanation. “It” means an energy, a magnetism of sorts. Like attracts like. If “It” is dark, “It” will find dark; if “It” is light, “It” will attract light.

But whatever “It” is, “It” makes sense to Matthew. And that’s alright by me.

In some way, my eyes have been opened, I have met a philosopher: “The Master of Confusion.”

And the last part of the dizziness, after an hour of surreal discussion, Matthew leaves me with this sign off.

“Keep it real!”

?*?!?*!???, “I’ll try.”