Dinner with Brain
It was time to make my trek towards the Carnegie Community Center, thanks to the man who gave me the $5 bill this morning. Without his money, I wouldn’t be able to have dinner here tonight with Brain. I went upstairs. When I entered the cafeteria, I saw Brain sitting at the table by himself. I greeted him.
He was well-known and well-liked in this building. Many would come up to him, greet him and share their current life stories. Brain would later state that the reason why people liked him here was because he actually listened to what they had to say without “making weird faces.” I went to the cafeteria, grabbed myself two bananas and a veggie soup and sat down with him. Dinner was served earlier; I missed the cutoff time.
When Brain was in elementary school, he started asking questions his teachers were not able to answer. Questions like, “who gave the founding fathers of Canada the right to claim our land and then sell it back to the people at a cost?” The teacher, who was not trained to think outside of the curriculum, could not regurgitate a memorized answer. This did not satisfy Brain, so he dedicated his life to understand the world around him. He wanted answers and he wanted them at a very young age.
As we started to discuss economics, Brain claimed that capitalism is the only solution to any economic problems we have today. In his life, he helped pioneer the personal computer, designed headlights for submarines, and sat across the table of Imperial Oil’s CEO. He claimed to have worked with many large corporations in his life. And according to him, the people who are in charge of these major corporations were very intelligent people.
His idea of success and happiness was to “to run his fingers across a Porsche while having a large amount of money in the bank.” Today, life was certainly not as grandiose for him. We didn’t talk about how he ended up here, but I believe it came from his deep questioning of the system we live in today. He was detained in grade 12 for being very outspoken against the government. I could feel the anger and resentment within him. Maybe he was just too smart for his own good.
When I started talking about my views, Brain downright rejected my romanticized peaceful God-loving view on life. He continued ridiculing most people’s beliefs here in the Eastside. According to him, they all shared a mystical belief towards God, which he did not subscribe to. Brain was a strict atheist who based all of his understanding on logic and reason. His world consisted of Science only.
I sparked some curiosity in him by talking about Religion, especially Gnosticism. I asked him why the church was so violently oppressing Gnostic scriptures for so many years. The witches who were burned for heresy may have actually been speaking the truth in some cases. It was pretty clear that the church was punishing anybody who spoke ill against the existing establishment at the time.