Wednesday, August 31, 2005

morning saunter

Actually I should have said 'morning ride to work' but some days I just don't feel like hurrying up or striding through the crowds, but just taking it easy and enjoying the unequalled experience of strolling in a leisure gait among the busy head-in-chest bagel-munching colorful people...

Today's highlights:
- in the bus taking me to work this morning there was a young cave man, homeless-looking, barefoot, toenails as black and as long as a polar night, bushy wiry Tarzan-looking hair, Methuselahic beard, probably sweet home of all parasites sucking human misery dry and reeking of dumpster no. 5. I placed myself strategically next to an open window, ever wondering where do such people go?! Do they have any idea of their own whereabouts? I always remember in such circumstances what my mom told me once about a dog she saw frequently while going to work. It got up the tram always at the same station, curled under a seat and got off at always the same destination. And I am thinking, what does a better sewer make? How is the subway station at the University better than the one at the train station? Well, while I was pondering of the theory and principles of begging and being homeless, the troglodyte changed his location, and with him the empty 3-feet wide circle around him. The lady whose chair served as a prop for the smelly dervish was innocently unaware of the stinkbomb behind her. And then, suddenly the wind probably changed. Her head started to tilt (probably her nose too) and she cast a detached look over her shoulder then turned her eyes back front. After a second or two she jerked her head back at him, with a horrified disdainful look (I wonder if she was scared of his appearance or only appaled by the stench) Anyway, she looked ready to scold harshly the social faux pas of not bathing in the morning and emanating fumes of brimstone and hell. After a short while of piercing looks which encountered a totally impervious cave boy, she dignifiedly thrust her head back and... did not get up. Her offended nose was probably overcome by her tired behind.

- finally off the bus, everybody happy and allowing their lungs to run at full capacity again. I slalom slowly through the masses and head to the office. Next to a church a guy is making the sign of the cross.. three times, like most of the people (which reminds me once that once I was standing in the bus next to a gypsy woman who was probably also saying some prayer, and she kept making the sign of the cross for about 5 minutes, until she was probably 1 mile away from the church. I was keenly expecting the next one, only one bus stop away, to see if the story was to repeat, but the reverence moment of the day was probably over, so she sourly made one single cross while staring blankly out on the window). Anyway, coming back to this guy, I noticed for most people it's an automatism, see a church, cross 3 times... as you feel like it: half crosses, shyly insinuating, wide ones, from shoulder to shoulder and down to the middle dan tien, in the solar plexus. This guy I saw made the first one quite ok, with slight veneration, the second one was a bit distracted and the third one gloriously ended in scratching his crotch. Amen!

- still smiling after this one, i headed to the centre of the University Square and one old white-haired Santa-looking man carrying a basket full of bagels tempted me "Come, young lady, I spent all night baking them, come get bagels for your morning coffee!". And still smiling, I answered the dumbest thing I could ever think of: "No, thank you, I don't drink coffee any more!" . I honest to god hope he did not hear me :(


  1. That was a very descriptive narrative about the man on the bus, full of interesting adjectives and analogies to describe the man (particularly the comparison to the dog), and his unfortunate effect on his more "civilized" neighbors.

    Sadly, though, I found myself less sympathetic to the people on their way to earn their wage -- renting themselves out daily, hourly -- to help make some larger corporate entity even more bloated and richer, all in the secret hope of avoiding the fate of this man.

    I wondered if maybe it was his first day like this, or maybe his last. I wondered who turned him away when he needed help.

    And I wondered if he wasn't having the last laugh: maybe, just maybe he was truly free, and we were the prisoners.


  2. You are a Dreamer without remedy :)

    It takes indeed a keen spirit to see a dervish or a sanyasi in a beggar. I do see where you are aiming at, but may I point out that it takes will to become free of material life and posessions. Being caught in an accidental loop of fate (not by far accidental, but let's stick to this expression for the sake of underlining the involuntary character of the circumstance) does not make a person free. Unless he grabs at the chance. I appreciate more a man who keeps his mental and personal freedom despite -and from within - the screeching wheels of the system.

    I also wonder what is it - in real life i mean - that throws people in such circumstances. My literature teacher, who first told me about the metempsychosis theory, once said that people who suffer of handicapes or are placed in bottom levels of 'society' are those who have been demoted after the previous life.

    On the other hand, I remember that the same teacher told me once that in Eastern views the most valuable matter hides in the most ignoble, common forms, such as.. a beggar ;)

  3. a new breed, the man from the bus...