It was during one of my
lunch hour chats with Greg. Parking by the office,
I took note of a vagrant loitering at the adjoining bus
stop. This specter immediately set me to talking about
"crazies", many of whom choose to inhabit our urban
areas, talking to themselves, and involving complete
strangers in bizarre conversations having no logical
starting point, or sane direction, and then darting off
to some obscure mental cavity. My comments to Greg were
about how these "types" always had a "movie" playing in
their heads. Looking at them, you never knew what the
movie was, or where in the movie they were at any point
They might be running from Satan, or in the
midst of an attack by vicious street thugs, or even in
the process of being rained upon by falling bombs just
as you cross their path. Perhaps you are headed to a
newsstand to pick up the evening paper. Suddenly, you're
in the script. You're an evil spirit! A malevolent
brother! A remnant enemy from some festering mental
He approaches, talks to
you. What's your line, quick, the script! Think
man! All the while, your hesitancy brings a look of
suspicion, distrust, even malice to his gaze. As you
ponder your response, you slip into Catch 22, whatever
you say or do, you're at risk, you're being written into
his scene. An unseen hand fine tunes your part, even as
your concern to escape grows.
Most people from the
inner city develop radar against such types. That's the
recognized first line of defense. I boasted to Greg how
these "types" always targeted me, and how my radar
warned and helped me avoid the encounters.
I wanted for Greg to
witness the efficacy of my instincts, so I explained the
derelict at the bus stop appeared to meet the bill, and
certainly had some sort of horror flick showing at that
very moment. For Greg's education, I volunteered to
willingly expose myself to this man's script, and
proceeded to walk near him in such a way he could not
fail to pick me up in his field of vision, and quickly
drag me into the story line.
Only problem was this
gentleman was locked onto a nearby lady, also waiting
for the bus, both oblivious to me. They were discussing
the State of the Union Address from the evening prior.
Trying to save face, I
continued by, explaining to Greg I was apparently wrong
about the guy.
That should have ended
it, but my thoughts raced ahead, something about a
lesson I should have learned from the incident.
Nothing. Even as
we approached the door to the office, still nothing.
About to enter, I stopped dead in my tracks and started
laughing. Greg, puzzled, wanted to know what was up. I
laughed even harder at what had happened. In a flash of
revelation, I realized the only movie playing on this
occasion was the one running in my head. Despite my
every effort to drag the unsuspecting gentleman into
"the script,"my "script," he had escaped, unperturbed
and undisturbed. I looked back toward the parking lot
and for a moment which seemed like an eternity, the cars
blazed like jeweled melons in a carefully cultivated
field. There were sounds everywhere, but none I could
identify, everything was one sound, and as I looked at
Greg, his lips opened and closed like a bellows moving
in slow motion, following the cadence of the "one" sound
as though the life force were outside of him, moving him
in puppet rhythm, tuned to some cosmic harmony. The
incident between myself and the stranger played over
again until it had melded to my very being. Suddenly, I
was free of my body, and now part of the sound, or
should I say I had become the sound, and with that
blistering awareness came the realization that perhaps
in the past too, I had captured the stranger in "my
dream" and there really was only "my" dream, and even
"their" dreams had become part of my own, so good the
stalker I had become. But suddenly, a fear, what was
happening, where was I. Is this real? Am I awake?
This too had become a dream, only how to snap out of it?
A flash, a light, and Greg's voice cut through clear and
"Hey dummy, next time you
walk through a door, try opening it first!"