Every now and then, on the busy street where I live, they’ll be a person who seems to have profoundly lost their way and has found a way to give voice to that. They might be sitting on the bus stop screaming swear words at the top of their lungs. They might be shouting upward toward the enemy sky with a tone in their voice that indicates their intention to rumble. They might be sobbing very loudly just to remind the rest of us that they are still alive.
Mostly, though, they sound desperately full of anguish and so far, far, far off course, as if they have purchased a ticket that will take them down into a nightmare and they have voluntarily chosen to participate fully in losing their way.
Last night, as I was making dinner I thought I heard someone yelling. I asked Mister Cupcake if he heard it and he said no but something in my stomach told me that someone was out there, hurling their pain out into the atmosphere. I opened the porch door and, sure enough, I heard a man that was loudly rambling on in detailed rage. Something about Fuck them and Fuck you and I Hate and They’re Wrong and Cremation.
I wished that I could have crossed the street and sat down with him. I bet I would have related to at least 3% of what he was feeling. I bet I would have recognized that snapped feeling in his eyes.
Because I know we’ve all snapped. But aren’t there some of us that have snapped so severely that there is no sign of snapping back into our bodies. No sign of snapping back into our regular breathing in and out. Just a black, confused, screaming, wild hideousness that resonates throughout the neighborhood in a way that guarantees our solitude. In a way that reminds the rest of us that, no matter what you tell yourself, this could be you.
I listened to the Cremation Man for quite a while. Part of me hoped that someone had called the police to come and take him away to a place where he would have shelter. But I did nothing. I just listened and felt sad and I said a prayer as large as the universe that there is some reason that any human should be standing on a sidewalk, wailing in pain, without a single person to approach him, asking him what is wrong.
Yours In Absolute Ponder,
Otis Oh How I Wish