The Calamity of Conscience

51 Minutes 55 Seconds

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About This Episode

Trapped in my own home with the LAPD parked on my front doorstep, the door wide open and the entire community gathering on the driveway.

One heinous lie called in to the authorities lit the emotional fuse and ignited a nuclear family war. One lie, purposed to assassinate my character and annihilate my reputation.

Episode Transcript

Trapped in my own home on March 5 th 2015, with one of my best friends, preparing dinner for my sons upstairs, with the LAPD parked on my front doorstep, the door wide open and a gathering of onlookers in the driveway.I had nowhere to go. Life was leading me by the hand for the first time in my life. I didn’t realise it then, but I was letting go. Releasing the pain of my childhood. It had become a burden too great for me to bear.

Embrace and evolved cerebral plain.
Ingrain the civility of attitudinal stability.
Platitudinous irradiation.
Quantumplate illumination.

My own brilliance I had supressed for the need for others to see me. My wife of nearly 20 years had never met Jonny Rees. She only knew Greg Ellis. Jonny Rees had never found his authentic voice. I had supressed it when I left home at 16 with the name Greg Ellis. Authentic voice once found must be honoured implicitly and never silenced for fear of diplomacy and civility’s offence. For therein resides the essence of fear itself.

As a force of people assembled outside my home, all who cared about my well-being. Some I knew, some I had never met. I had ensnared myself in my own mind trap.

The calamity of my conscience.
The cerebral paradox.
The illusive obvious.
The letting go of holding on.

Finding by not looking.
Unearthing without disturbing the ground.
Going to pieces without falling apart.
Accepting answers without question.

I had moved from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence through conscious
competence and arrived at the vortex of unconscious competence.

The paradox of love. When you get what you desire and you’re not prepared to nurture it, desire will desert you. You’ll get what you deserve and lose what you desire. Lack of love for self inhibits compassion for others. Lack of love for others supresses self-esteem. I knew not how to esteem myself.

My childhood experience was bleak. Every time I journeyed back in my mind to my childhood,
digging the mine of my mind for some jewel, some sparkling reminder of a happy memory, I found
myself in darkness, alone with my own thoughts. My own memories.

The people that came to help me that day, on March 5 th , cared for my well-being. Tended to my emotional state diligently, empathically, honourably. Nursing me through my own personal

The clouds were shifting, I could feel the sun. I was investigating my soul.

Give gratitude.
Take not pleasure away from others.
Lift your own spirits and others will be spirited away with you.
Allow another to drag you down and all manners of yesterdays will haunt your tomorrows.
Your path will become clear only when you look into your heart.
Investigate your soul.
Who looks inside, awakens
Who looks outside, dreams.

I was unable to let go of my childhood memories. Grief is love’s unwillingness to let go.

After around half an hour’s conversation with Patrick, as we prepared dinner for my sons, I was curious. My curiosity led me back into the foyer of my home. The police had now entered the house. The two policemen had now been joined by a third. The stripes on his arm revealed his rank and status. He was older than the other two, a gentle face – affable in nature – he enquired as to whether I was doing ‘ok’. I expressed gratitude at his enquiry and continued my proclamation that my sons were fine. Playing in their room upstairs. Being children. There are no terrible children.

Let tears of joy be windowshield cleansers to the world of wonders,
Let them bake and cake and remind of souls of every naive breath we took,
Every move we make of innocence at once lost
All at once tossed on the unfettered scrap heap of the primitive machinations of my shame based wastelands
For thine eyes have seen the wonder in terrible children.

Lived the pitiful journey to a lifetime’s suffering of being a human man being,
Only after tomorrow has passed onto the pages of pain will the rapture of the forgotten full force of naturalist parental humanity re-write the lessons un-learned.

A kindred spirit for the welfare of the state of affairs,
Treasure trove and re-chested for the least invested.

It was the worst of times,
It was the moving spectacle of crimes,
In the most recent of relational primitive prime-times.

My windshield to the world has wiped,
cleaned the less-mourned memories,
of terrible children.

After another 10 minutes of cordial exchanges with the now three LAPD officers on my front
doorstep, I moved back toward the kitchen where Patrick was seated at the kitchen counter. I
expressed more of my incredulity of the situation. I couldn’t fathom what was going on in my own home.

In my peripheral vision, I saw a figure in the living room. I instinctively moved through the dining room and in the living room I saw the two police officers standing to greet me. Non-threatening in behavior, they welcomed me into the living room and invited me to sit on my own sofa. I obliged their invitation. It was around 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon. I sat in my kingdom and prepared for my life; Greg Ellis’ life to implode.

One of the officers explained to me that a smart team from the department of children and family services was on their way. ‘A smart team’, I remember thinking. I’d best keep my wits about me. As a matter of protocol, they would have to handcuff me before the smart team arrived. Hearing that one would have to be handcuffed in one’s own home in preparation for a team of smart people from the department of children and family services is not easy to accept. And thus, I called out gently to my friend Patrick
‘Patrick, what should I do?’
Patrick appeared in the living room doorway.
‘I’d go along with what they’re asking’ he said.
I nodded my compliant response. I turned to one of the officers and nodded.
‘Go ahead’.
He asked me to stand. I remember glancing out of my front window. The sun was beginning to set. The moon was in full glow. The curtains wide, the lights on full, bright. Neighbors passed in their cars, walked their dogs. Free admission from the street to witness the death of Greg Ellis with police officers gently manacled the handcuffs around my wrists. Mercifully there was a bar between the two cuffs to afford me some comfort.

They sat me down on my sofa. A prisoner now, in my own home. I sat alone with the terror in my
own mind. There would be no escape from myself.

Should we traverse this mortal coil,
Powered by the rhapsodic wonder of wind?
Amped up by the solo solar-power of eclectic electrical trickling currents of wonderment.
Or the slick efficiency of oil?
Delving deep into the rich, cavernous complexities of industrial restitution and fatalistic individualistic absolution,
Titans of industry must be obscene to be heard.
Divinical retribution.

Forgive the squinting rapscallion his miscreant nature,
Until he crudely pollutes the sea of our humanities,
with the oily slick bottled up forgotten love notes to self,
that feel better off dread and very much a-lie.

Mr. Oily McSlick, sell me another tabloid glory-hole,
Lose me in the morning story of your board rooms of boredom.

Make me pine for that fresh I wanted but never didn’t need nor make sense of.
My propensity,
For something a lot less shallow,
And little more density.

Oozy smarming, charmless alarming,
Currying flavor with Prince charming of shameful greed.
Confusing wants with breed-ing,
Needs with convoluted unheralded un-heeding,
Bleeding from the un-corporational wounds re-seeding.

Sub-verse, re-abuse, Re-cyclone,
Now is the Winterfell of our discontent.

Supplant then recede back into the arrested ‘TIMBEEER’ of the forest foliage of uncamoflaged
inequitable futures,
A mutual-fund of inequality,
A pensioner’s unrealized allowance of a frostbitten ‘sea-I- told-you- so’ of hope.

Paralyze the petroleum seagull of my blind man’s bluff,
On the beach of shame-fueled industrial restitution.,
Out of reach from lame brains,
Drained by a needier, ever-greedier media.

Nature will go public on your greasy exchange of stock Mr. Oily McSlick.
You greasy naive globule of inhumanity,
Epitomizing vanity,
Trading in sanity,
You dirty, gooey, greasy oily pin-prick.
Should we traverse this mortal coil,
Powered by the rhapsodic wonder of wind?
Amped up by the solo solar-power of eclectic electrical trickling currents of wonderment.
Or the slick efficiency of oil?
Delving deep into the rich, cavernous complexities of industrial restitution and fatalistic individualistic absolution,
Titans of industry must be obscene to be heard.

A quiet calm had descended in the living room as I sat shackled in my own home, waiting patiently for the department of children and family services smart team to arrive. I knew not what their plan was. This wasn’t a premeditated operation drawn up with foresight, although every player in this suburban drama of the assisted suicide of Greg Ellis played their role perfectly.

I asked Patrick if he would check on my sons. He dutifully obliged. The sun had set. Darkness cloaked the window to my notoriety I was forming within the neighborhood. Word was probably already spreading fast; that Greg Ellis was losing it. And I was, quite literally. I was losing it all. Willing to give it all up for an authentic life. Letting go of the authentic lie.

A strong man acts in that which constrains him. A strong woman intimidates boys and excites men. I was firmly constrained. I had suppressed the boy inside and acted out since I left home at 16. The stage was set the price of admission had been paid and as the spectators gathered outside my house, I sat alone with my own thoughts.

If you carried the bricks from one relationship to another, you build the same house. I’d had enough. My home life was crumbling. I was the heretic of my own kingdom. The prince had come to save the boy and coronate the man to be king of your own kingdom. I was ripping the crown from my princely head, absolving myself, abdicating all responsibility and trusting the system. The delicate and complex nuance to nature of how that system worked on March 5 th fills me with a sense of awe. I am grateful for everything America has afforded me. Gratitude is in the giving. America was giving me life after 20 years living here, it was affording me an opportunity of a rebirth.

A man and woman walked into the living room. They introduced themselves. They were the smart
team from the department of children and family services. They informed me that someone had
called anonymously and left a voicemail stating that I had threatened to harm my children. I had never threatened to harm my children. The mere thought is repugnant.

The repugnancy of this thought chills me with sorrow. I enquired
‘What? Who would say such a thing? What did they say?’
‘A message was left that you had said specifically “I’m sick of this shit. I want to harm the children.”’ I was later informed the identity of the anonymous caller and I forgive them for their lie, in stating an untruth, for they did what they had to do, what they felt they needed to do, said as much as they needed to say believing it would help me. That they had to lie causes me sorrow. I forgive them. I do not want them to feel any pain.

Pandora’s Box was actually a large jar given to Pandora which contained all the evils of the world. Pandora opened the jar and all the evils flew out leaving only hope inside once she had closed it again. So is the myth of Pandora. To open Pandora’s Box means to perform an action that may seem small or innocent, but has severely detrimental and far reaching consequences; usually negative ones.

All the evils of my life. All the demons that had been trapped inside were now free. Leaving only hope.

Hope, a knotted rope
Hang not your reality
Scope out the currency of your life
In your life
Spread it wisely
Feel your fear
Overcome it
Embrace it
For it will provide you solace today, now, always, ever.

Honor the matriarch. I could never honor the matriarch for I always felt my mother never honored me.

It’s funny how someone who was a stranger to you last year can mean so much to you now. It’s
terrible that someone who meant so much to you last year can feel like a stranger now. I felt like a stranger to myself, shackled in my own home. The man and woman from the department of children and family services sat on two chairs opposite me, beside the fireplace of my living room and started to question me about the day, about my behavior, my actions, the answers I provided revealed to them that there was nothing out of the ordinary, although looking back, it was an extraordinary day.
They arrived at a question:
‘When was the last time you took drugs?’
‘This morning’
‘Which drug?’

The right to remain silent is only useful if you shut the fuck up. This question from the department of children and family services with the illuminating lights on full glow in the living room, my life on full display to the neighborhood community, this question was met with the truth and it must have caused them concern. The fact that I had not felt concerned enough about my children’s security and safety and well-being to take drugs when they were in my charge. The lies, the pain, the suffering I was feeling in this period of my life; I was desperately seeking relief from myself, for myself. I knew not how to afford it to myself. Who could I turn to? Who could I share my pain with when I couldn’t trust myself.

The lies we tell ourselves

A lie withheld has already been found out within.
And conduct becoming a gentle man engenders melodious civility – the antitheses of an orchestrated event produces ethical harmony.

People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos, my world was in chaos, was because I was in love with things and using people. It was Thoreau who said If you advance confidently in the direction of your own dreams and endeavor to live that life which you have imagined, you will meet with success unexpected in common hours.

It will chase after you if you begin to feel it. I was beginning to feel it. Although I didn’t realize it at the time.

The man and woman from the department of children and family services explained that they’d be
leaving the living room and their supervisor would come in and talk to me. Moments after they left, a woman walked into the living room and sat down beside me. It was comforting to have someone sit beside me. She asked me about my name.

‘Who’s Jonathan Rees?’ She said
‘That’s my real name’
‘And who’s Greg Ellis’ she said
‘Greg Ellis is my stage name. The name I picked at 16 years old to escape living as Jonny Rees’
‘I’m going to leave now’ she said. ‘The other man and woman will come back and talk with you.’

When the man and woman returned, they placed three objects in front of me on the coffee table. To my right was my wallet containing my credit cards and cash and driving license – my financial world encapsulated. In the middle, my phone – my communications device connecting me to the outside world. And to the left a three-inch by three-inch square drinks’ coaster with a picture of my wife as a baby with the inscription ‘mom’ beneath the picture. I had ordered a set of four the Christmas previous. One with a picture of Charlie as a baby with his name inscribed below. Another of Smith and his name, one with mine and one with my wife’s.

The woman said ‘I need you to pick one of these three items to take with you’

I sat, paralyzed with the choice before me, but only momentarily. It was clear to me what I would take with me, wherever I was going, wherever they were taking me.

‘The picture of my wife’ I said.

Everything I always thought I wanted was nothing I ever needed. I was being stripped of my dignity and the ultimate indignity was being visited upon me. I had no idea that the man and woman who sat in front of me were about to remove me from my home and take me on a chilling, somewhat dystopian nightmare through the system. Away from my life as I knew it. I had judged Greg Ellis and found him guilty. Guilty as charged. I was broken, a broken man. I had to break myself. Shatter the pieces of my life. The shards of self-reflection were too painful to bear. I didn’t like the guy in the glass.

Broken, unspoken, mixed up messages
Last vestiges of hope sunk,
My love drunk and broken.

I’d boarded up the heart shutters,
Bruised in the stagnant morning gutters,
I was laid bare, truth awoken,
My love sick and broken.

I will not run, even though I chase me away,
I will not hide, even though I ignore the truth,
I will not fear feelings left in the unspoken,
My love is strong,
Lasts long,
I know in my heart of hearts where I belong…

I see you. I hear you. I feel you. I sense you.

Read Less Transcript


Harbor by Kai Engel

All music sourced from and used under attribution license
Modification of the original compositions may have occurred.