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Black

Stories and the city of man

...and Heaven have mercy on us all— Presbyterians and Pagans alike— for we are all dreadfully cracked about the head and desperately in need of mending.

—Herman Melville, Moby Dick


Watched the pants on the man walking ahead of me gradually fall down, a little more with each step. He seemed to take little notice, though it was clearly not intended as a fashion statement. His walk didn't slow, though it was barely more than a shuffle to begin with. By the time I reached him, they'd nearly reached his knees. He didn't release the five or so bags he carried in his right hand to catch his pants, though he did step off the sidewalk to readjust once walking became unmanageable. This converged mercifully with my need to pass, and I tried to extend him grace and dignity by not giving a glance as continued onward. What else could I have done?

Watched as another man, seated in front of a café, ripped pages from the front of his paperback book in clumps and stuffed them into his bag. I can make no sense of this.

They are the end of a continuum, these men. I suspect the other end is no less mad, driving sport utility vehicles, talking on mobile phones, drinking from Starbucks mugs, working to meet needs which may not exist and looking for some system (preferably with bullet points) to make living understandable, successful, rewarding, meaningful.

I am also on this continuum somewhere. I don't know where. It doesn't make much sense to move toward either end, at least not without a purpose. All these stories are still my story, too.

Sometimes I just want to turn it off for a little while.

Comments

I absolutely love that quote from Melville. I started reading Moby Dick a little while ago, and I'm finding Melville highly amusing. :-)
:O two banzais.
Fascinating journey with you. Part of me is thanking the Lord that we never made it to Seattle. haha I suppose you could have helped the guy pull his pants up. And hey, at least the other guy wasn't littering all over the sidewalk. I wonder what they wrote about you in the journals of their minds. It's a mad world.

Mad World

Within the hour in which you left this comment, "Mad World" from the Donnie Darko soundtrack came on. It sums up many things pretty well:

All around me are familiar faces, worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
The tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very very
Mad World
Mad World

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
And they feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen
Sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me
No one knew me
Hello teacher tell me whats my lesson
Look right through me
Look right through me

And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very very
Mad World
Mad World
::snorts:: How true!