Mental Movies

Mental Movies

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 in time.

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 battle scar!

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 loud,

"Hey dummy, next time you walk through a door, try opening it first!"

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