Monday, October 19, 2015

Man Down

He was sitting on what might be termed a grassy knoll, not far from the arboretum. Sitting on a patch of grass between the curb and the sidewalk. A man with a dark beard, and glasses. Maybe in his forties. Or fifties. Or sixties. Who can tell anymore? Sitting, almost reclining. Not looking ill but possibly so. Not looking anxious; but possibly so; looking tired. Looking like someone with COPD who can only take so many steps. I was driving by. I was on the way to the bank, already late for an appointment scheduled after my stop at the bank. (Actually, my appointment was scheduled for 10, but I was late by virtue, or vice, of squeezing in this bank visit, a visit later deemed beneficial owing to the fact I paid with cash.) I gave a glancing thought to stopping, at least to ask if Man Down was okay. He wasn't writhing. He looked almost comfortable. (What do any of these ludicrous adjectives or perhaps a participle mean or imply? And who is to say?) Still, I fought back feelings of guilt. I even sternly lectured myself, in imaginary, half-comical fashion: "Sure, if it were a lovely damsel in distress you'd stop, wouldn't you?" Would I? What would I say or do? I drove to the bank and conducted my bit of business. I then drove up the hill, in the same vicinity where I had spotted Man Down. This time, however, he was sitting down, almost reclining, looking tired but not injured, on a grassy knoll on the golf course, meaning he had advanced, perhaps a quarter-mile at most. He had seemingly progressed in his journey (was it a purposeless stroll? or a challenging walk toward a destination?), leaving me with a half-ounce less guilt.

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