Inopinatum


Inopinatum (in-o-pi-na’-tum): The expression of one’s inability to believe or conceive of something; a type of faux wondering. As such, this kind of paradox is much like aporia and functions much like a rhetorical question or erotema. [A paradox is] a statement that is self-contradictory on the surface, yet seems to evoke a truth nonetheless [can include oxymoron].


What do I believe. What rings my bell? What gets me going? What turns me on? What rocks my boat? Was it the mile-wide river I swam across when I was fifteen, with my dog balanced on my back, fleeing the Pathet Lao and escaping to the US? Was it my struggle on the streets of New York and my resolve to make something of myself? I sold fake Rolexes and Gucci scarves. I was arrested ten times and paid heavy fines, but never went to jail. Then one day, like magic, I saw the girl I had grown up with. We loved each other. She played the guitar and I sang. We resumed our connection, and soon, became extremely popular among the refugee population, where we sang Western music in a club frequented by refugees and others. So, we got married and we had you.

I know I am rambling here, but I can’t believe how I got here. I can’t believe how lucky I am, going from a boy running for his life, to a wealthy performer. I can’t believe I actually saw your mother on the street that day. It was nothing but luck, or fate, or something greater. It’s about this: you need a partner, you can’t do anything great all by yourself. That, I believe.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu). Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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