Friday, August 8, 2008

On Court St. or in the Courtyard, amongst the Various Groups, a Man Will Speak to You

In either place, Court St. or the courtyard, one will encounter groups of people. These people, none of them at all pleasant, all know one another, but none of them, not one, knows you. At first this is upsetting, hurtful even, but over time it develops into a source of pride. None of these people, you exclaim proudly to yourself, know me! As is the case with all sources of pride, this one has developed out of a profound insecurity. In any case, in either place, Court St. or the courtyard, people can be found.

One day, though, you will either be walking down Court St. or walking through the courtyard and a man, a not very tall or attractive man, will summon you over to his modest little group. Say there guy, he will begin, using a sort of affected language you find both charming and repulsive, we’ve noticed you walking through (or past, whichever the case may be) here a number of times and wondered to ourselves – why isn’t that guy ever with anyone else? Not knowing how to respond you will nod your head, confident that this response will be sufficient. You are wrong. No seriously, the man will continue, why is it that you’re always by yourself? Don’t you know anyone in the courtyard (or on Court St.)? Haven’t you anyone to be with? Recognizing the futility of a nod you will shake your head No, hoping that that will be sufficient. It is not. Look! Look at him shake his head! The guy can’t even talk! No wonder he hasn’t a person to chat with in the courtyard – he can’t even mutter a word! The others in the group will all chuckle at this, finding it strange that you will not speak to their happy, comfortable group. You, desperate to retain some dignity, say, No, I can talk. I can talk. The group will stop chuckling. They will all stare at your still, sullen face. The man will say:

He can speak! Look at him – all of a sudden he can speak! Well then, please, what else do you have to say for yourself? After he asks this he will look around at the other smiling faces of the group, all anxiously waiting to hear what you have to say for yourself.

Well I don’t know that I really have anything to say for myself, you will say, looking down as you say it.

The group will no longer be smiling. The man who had summoned you over, realizing finally that he has made a mistake, will scratch uncomfortably at his face. Well then, he will say with forced amiability, I suppose we won't keep you any longer.

Ok, you will softly say, ok thank you. Turning from the group you will continue on through the courtyard or down Court St., thinking to yourself what an awful lot of groups of people there are around here, and about what it might be like to be a part of one of them someday.

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