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Saturday, June 9, 2012

the people


There are gentle people who inspire, who raise your spirits. They can reach into you and touch you where you are hurt. They have no fear of contact, they look you straight in the eye and if you let them, they will look right inside you, but never with a desire to “take”. In such an instance you could ask yourself if they are not seeing the same as you; you could ask yourself if they are not being you. There are very few of these people. I can count them on one hand. To me they are magicians, they are like Houdinis, but grander and more universal, not merely fiddling with knots and padlocks.

Of other types of people there are many more. Such people look at you with interest, perhaps they will exchange ideas with you peaceably and propose alternatives to your points of view. These are interesting people, mostly interested too, and they are good, sometimes even great, but they are not god-like. I like these people and when I am sitting in a train next to such a person I readily talk to him or her, and it may even be that I regret having taken a so called “bullet train” and not the slower kind, knowing the conversation will soon end. There are more of such people than the previous type, but far fewer than the following:

The following are precisely that, they follow: they look at you in expectation, they look at your “face” as a general thing –  that is, when they are not looking away –  and they do not really have anything to propose besides what is already at hand. On many occasions I have sat besides such an individual and felt quite comfortable. Generally it is preferable to sit quietly and converse moderately about moderate things and not look at them too interestedly or too engagingly especially if the individual is a woman; in such a case the conversation could suddenly take an abrupt turn one way or the other because of ideas lodged in the woman’s mind about what a man of my age might or ought to do (the latter case is the more dangerous).  But overall they are harmless and I can readily sit besides such a person and feel quite comfortable. However, I am then also satisfied that the train I am sitting in is not a slow one but a so called “bullet train”.

Finally, there are people who sit beside you – they may actually initiate this – but not to do any of the above, rather you will find yourself used as a kind of lever or foot piece to raise themselves up, compressing you in the process. You will feel sitting beside such an individual, suddenly and without any provocation, reduced or compressed in some fashion inexplicable to you, and you will ask yourself how it can be that only a moment ago, alone in your thoughts, you felt like an air balloon, and now, out of nowhere,  you are compact and pressed to the ground like a clump of dirt. Staring such a person in the face for explanation will be futile because such a person will ably wear a smile of any coloration while he is grinding his heal into your genitalia, or whatever else will improve his foothold. It is even possible that such a person will ask you if  “everything is ok?” Needless to say, you need not answer such a question in earnest. 

From there on down we have all manner of miscreants, molesters, pedofiles and so forth. I will not go into the whole cast of sub-characters or this piece will turn dark and become mired in language that would not pass muster. 

But these, in brief, are the people.