I couldn’t. This was almost painful to watch. With all the Whatever’s Got Talent out there all over the world, we’re already collectively inured when we hear the sad strings strumming up some melancholic tune, which is our cue that a sob story is about to unfold. So we’re pretty much prepared, and to a large extent, even hardened to it. But there was something about this guy’s story that rang true to me. It’s the pain of aloneness. Not necessarily loneliness or literal solitude, but the all-encompassing feeling of being alone. Sometimes we are literally on our own, but sometimes we are surrounded by multitudes, and yet we feel utterly and irretrievably alone. He literally had to fend for himself all his life, first as an orphan, then later on as a runaway. Of course it’s a bit hard to believe, given how showbiz has this tendency to create stars, when there are none to discover. But if he is the real deal, then his is an amazing story.
I guess I can identify with this pain. Some days you just feel so alone. Like I said, you can be deluged with all sorts of company, merry mixes of motley crews, but inside, a cavernous gnawing abyss. Some thoughts only you can face; not that no one wants to hear, but sometimes you just don’t want to tell. Some age-old emotional chronic aches and pains that come by as reliable as the seasons. We don’t have to be alone to feel alone. Some days you feel like no one understands. Some days you feel as far removed from everything around you as you’ve ever felt. And some days, you just don’t really care.
So is this guy a modern day miracle? Is he like those priceless paintings worth millions that are just gathering dust in some thrift shop, waiting to be discovered and rightfully appraised? Or is he some savvy creation by media magic, a prefab concoction built to create exactly the response that he got? Whatever he is, he touched a raw nerve. It’s a hopeful tale. When you feel invisible, when you feel abandoned, when you feel insignificant, there is the hope that one day, something happens that substantiates you, then people will take a second look, maybe even a first look, and understand, and appreciate, and love. Hokey as these talent shows may be most of the time, every now and then a genuine moment pops up. Like I said, even if in the future he is revealed as a phoney, the moment had its place in the sun. And for some people, an extra thread to hang by.