When I was flying back from Cancun, the inflight movie was Life of Pi.
Without getting too deep into it, it's a guy explaining his belief in God by telling a fantastical story of how he survived being shipwrecked with a tiger in his lifeboat, and near the end of the movie when he gets to shore, the tiger runs into a jungle and he's rescued and the insurance guys from the shipping company are asking him what happened since he's the only survivor, so he tells them the whole story with the tiger and the insurance guys are like, “are you fucking joking?” so he tells them another story that's full of pain and suffering and no animals and then the insurance guys buy it.
The theme, at least as I understood it, is that in matters of faith, whether religious or just taking someone at their word when there's no other witness, we can believe whatever we want to believe and in the absence of proof, no one can claim to be speaking the truth more or less than anyone else. In a case like that, why not tell a great and inspiring story?
I arrived home late Monday night to a message from a friend asking if I hooked up with any women while I was in Mexico and I was struck by the parallel of the situation – after all, it's not as if people have passports for their junk, so in the absence of any proof I wrote back “I fooled around with a real tiger in the bedroom.” He wrote back, “Nice metaphor.” but he got the wrong metaphor. In order for the metaphor I was trying to present to work, the tiger had to be literally A REAL TIGER, regardless of the fact that its reality is unprovable. The goal as a storyteller is to inspire, and where the inspiration to do so comes from, we may never know. As a person the goal is to love and support those we care about, again, the source of that and how it operates is a mystery to me.
But damn, if you meet someone and care for them and want to keep them in your life... later is not the time to act on that.