Person 1: Pardon me. I think I'm lost.
Person 2: No you're not, I just found you.
~ ~ ~
Part One - Can You Get There from Here?
He stands alone. As the shuffle of the morning crowd hurries past.
He stands staring. Eyes fixed on a drawing taped to a storefront
window. He stands motionless. Paralyzed. His mind swims in a
flurry of images. Are they memories, or just an imagination
running wild? He stands unnoticed. People rush by and through
him. It is a state of being he has become accustomed to. Layers
of self peeling away day after day, until his disappearance was
complete. He stands in a world he no longer inhabits. Only his
Does anybody remember him? He has spent many sleepless nights
wondering. Isn't somebody worried that he hasn't come home?
Aren't there any agents of the law commissioned with discovering
his whereabouts? With the passing months of silence, where are
the friends who might seek him out? Nothing. Only absence.
Walking the shadow regions of unconsciousness. Now coming face
to face with the one person left he could believe in. What does
Couldn't leave well-enough alone. Could you? Or is that too
simple? Perhaps some other sinister force, more diabolical in
its intentions than 'well-enough' could ever aspire to be,
decided it couldn't leave you alone. In your current subterranean
state, it's not uncommon to cross the path of an invisible
malcontent or two -- rushing along surly paths with a momentum
you'd be wise not to disrupt. But that's what happens when you
go shuffling around town with your head down.
The key question is how this unwelcome sight is going to affect
his day. One doesn't simply walk away from a moment like this
without trepidation. And trepidation has a way of seriously
inhibiting the calm transference of being from one minute to
the next. Time begins to shut down. Thoughts become trapped.
Simple activities like walking home or opening a door become
monumental feats of heroic endeavor.
The morning started like any other. He arrived at the city park
before sunrise. It has become a routine. A calling. Something
to fill the time. A ritual of belief. A random collection of
tasks he senses is fundamental to the well-being and preservation
of survival. If not his, then of something greater. These are
not minor realizations. They belong to the core of everything.
And they are in serious danger of fading away without a trace.
. . .
A gentle fog mingles about the hedge as he crosses the threshold
of the park's east entrance. The clock tower strikes the hour and
he is filled with a deep sense of comfort. Some sounds become almost
holy in a world of neglect and destruction. The hum of a street
lamp. The gentle coo from a newborn baby. A train whistle. Waves
meeting a shoreline. Wind through a forest. The rustle of leaves...
dancing at his feet. He walks by swings that sway with ghostly
occupants. He views a teeter-totter balance in a state of suspension,
leaning one way and then the other, creaking slightly with each rise
and fall. He continues to walk toward the center of the park.
Emptiness surrounds him. It is the time of nothing, the middle hours
between the frenzied activity of the night and the clean-up crew's
first shift. The window of preservation. And with meticulous
attention to procedure he goes about his work.
~ ~ ~
Read Part Two
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