Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The yarn and the old folk

All this editing is taking its toll. Sometimes, after work but before I can lay my head to rest, my mind wanders some. Hard thing, to have a deadline and to know the clock is ticking, but to have the muse—that delightfully mischievous even sexual ghost, just as she was sculpted so perfectly as that avatar in Rodin's sculpture—play games when there is no time for it, well, one grows weary, but one must abide.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time playing, but also absorbing what the old folk around me had to say. All play is serious, as they say, but I sensed then that what the older folk were doing was much more serious than what we were doing, even if they were playing with each other. But this isn't a lamentation for a lost time when kids listened to the adults, for I understand that which makes one obedient to adults in ones area has less to do with the person or generation and more to do with learned and useful memes.

But I'm getting sidetracked here; there was a day when I came across two people, as old as dust, arguing over something in a way that struck me then, and even now, as odd. Under the shadow of an awning, with mud leaking pushing into the building, as it's wont to do during the rains, the woman and man argued over a ball of string. Oh those rains! And the corresponding smell of kerosene hurricane lamps lit for the dark cavities of houses.

I can't remember the sides being taken, but one argued that the ball was just that, a ball, while the other claimed it was nothing more than string made to look in that shape. The first one countered that there was nothing to this kind of thinking but madness. That when it was taken apart one would have a string, but until then it was a ball. 

There were passersby, other adults, who chimed in that it was a ball. Everyone sided on that account. In the end, the other one let it be, calling everyone an imbecile. I wouldn't see them again, but I would see the ball of yarn again, as I can see it now in my mind, and I wonder what they could possibly have been arguing about.


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