Albert never got along with people - family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, or otherwise. As odd as his relationship was with the outside world, it was never intentional. In fact, he refused to judge anyone, in any way at all.  He refused to appraise, evaluate, or condemn the human condition or indifference of the universe.  His disassociation was, however, a flawed apperception of 'intentionality', because he did in fact actually connect with one human, and ultimately fall in love with her… A woman named Beth - a woman transparent and translucent of all mutual beliefs and dogma systems.

Albert was uniquely enamored with the girl from Singapore, and joked with her at how he believed her to be the true eighth wonder of the world… She'd cackle shyly, and hold her breath…

They dated, courted, and got married.

Increasingly, he became more captivated and connected with Beth on a spiritual-cleansing level, which broke away any skeptical reductions of Xenophobia, or insolvent experiences, or even solitary deconstruction.

The two love-birds lived their lives together, enormously in love, without any children, until a day came when an infant was left at their doorstep.  They took the baby girl in, and cared for her, and loved her, and lost their breath with her for several months, until Beth died.

Albert refused to judge the indifference, but his intentions were clear: he could no longer take care of the baby.

Albert never got along with other people.  The baby girl wouldn't be any different.  Young or old, awkward or disciplined, the child could not stay with him…

… Terminally, Albert gave the baby to a local orphanage and retreated home.  The trip back echoed his internal musings of, "Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Beth…"  The phrase repeated in his head, until he gave in to the differences - the variations, divergences, discordances, and distinctive discriminations.  He felt discarded. 



As soon as he returned home, his front door rotated like a greased turnstile; and echoed; and he ventured out again, significantly dedicating his life to helping others.

…Waiting in doctor's offices, he would arrange the magazines nicely on the tables and sometimes in alphabetical order, and sometimes at dental offices (if he was daring).  Sometimes looks and glances would follow from the awaiting patrons, and sometimes only mutterings.

He began robbing banks after a while to help security guards feel important.  He imagined the guards sitting there all day with nothing to do, would gain a meaning of purpose and a sense of accomplishment with his charitable efforts.  In return, he never received a pat on the back or a shuck to the shoulder - only stares, and gasps.  (And even more gasps and stares than usual when helping customers at a parrot-only pet shop).

Among the gawking gazes and curious-induced gapes, he continued his helping hands by rearranging pebbles and boulders, dutifully, in other people's Zen rock gardens.

When his neighbors left for work during the day, Albert would mow their lawns, paint the houses, deliver their mail, and wash the cars.  Occasionally, during the nights, he would serenade the women to sleep.

In a few instances, Albert would break into the post office to sort out the mail, and sneak into museums to retouch up the paintings.

On weekend afternoons, Albert would hang out at photo studio parking lots, hoping to catch a family missing a member; and when he noticed someone absent he'd interject politely and offer to sit in for them.

His proposals never took.  There were only charged gasps and glaring inspections.

Albert, always dedicated, maintained his helpful years opening doors for ladies, offering to shine shoes for men for free, and initiating explosive snowball fights with little children.  Just before school days started, he would heave a sharp-encrusted volley of blizzard-balls at the unsuspecting kids and laugh till it hurt. 

With even more dirty looks looming over, Albert continued to offer sitting in for musicians at drum clinics, help bus drivers with their transient routes, adjust techniques for jugglers at theaters and shows, assist professors in physics classes, and propose his aid in Lion Dances at and Chinese New Year celebrations…All against strange, bizarre, and bewildering looks from his community.

After some time, Albert's guilt remained the same - concrete and solid, but translucent.  Even so, he decided to upgrade his dedication.  He chose to bring improved joy to the hearts and minds of the people in his community by electing himself as the 'fall guy' around town.  In the mornings, he'd walk around the local commons, tripping and falling in front of people making them laugh; and during the evenings he'd delivered his best mishaps of slipping and sliding.  He knew there was something about 'a man in trouble' that made good comedy... But no one laughed. 

He soon set out to take the 'painful attention' away from the handicapped and disabled with his (deceptively) comical prat falls and destructive trippings.  His ultimate goal then, became to take the awkward 'social blows' away from them all and superimpose it on himself.

In sequence, he gathered even more awkward glances, and soon realized the communal stares erupting into glares, and complaints, and accusations, and indictments.  Albert felt the people around him, crushing him with their eyes, scoffing him only as an 'attention getter'…Even swearing he heard a lady around a handicap parking space say something about, "… Center of attention…"… Even swearing he heard rumors of, "Baby hater", "Baby dropper", "Baby Dumper", and "Baby killer".

Albert felt the condemned integrity.

In an instant, the futility of Albert's helpful apperceptions accelerated into paranoia, and then finally isolation.  As he retreated into his home, alone and dejected, his mind numbed into intentional submission.  The dirty looks accumulated.  The bizarre stares solidified.  The obvious agenda caught his attention, and he knew… He understood… He realized that they were trying to poison him.  They were trying to get rid of him…And what better way than poisonIt was crafty and stealthy... Unpredictable... No one would get caught.  None of them would blame or accuse the other.

Albert could feel impending doom - or what he translated to himself as 'Transparent Intersubjective Intentionality'.

He smacked his tongue against the roof of his mouth and then out of his lips, panting, tasting the dry poison already.  The quiet hum of the house stunned his ears; and then he swore he could hear the poison.  When he paced the living room he felt the surrounding air blister with toxic gases, foaming into boulders of judgment-clouding paranoia.  But he knew he wouldn't give in to the indifference… He would not be poisoned… Not over my dead body

Albert huddled in the isolated comfort of his home for several days until a phone call jarred him from his squatted perch.  He flew to the telephone and rasped a dry, "Hell-o?"  The woman's voice on the other end startled him for a bit - it was lispy and snake-like - and he recovered, snapping the phone back to its roost with a flap of his wrist.

When he hung up, he abruptly felt guilty again, and reminded himself at how he used to help people; but he couldn't leave.  He couldn't journey out from his home into that poisonous stare of the outer realm.

Then Albert's paranoia grew.

And his longing to help others enhanced… He remembered the abandoned baby girl, and never even giving her a chance.

Albert resumed his tripping-man-in-trouble routine for the insects in his home out of rote muscle memory.  Then to cheer himself up, he began flopping and dropping in front of his bedroom mirror.  After 'false trippings' on his couch without any mirrors and insects, he gave up.  Nothing worked to make him feel better.

His solar plexus fidgeted.

Albert's paranoia grew a little more.

His neck bucked and snapped with an uncomfortable nervous jerk as he consulted himself. Albert just knew someone was trying to poison him…

… Then what would be the best protectionIf the outside world wanted to use stealth and be crafty and silent about it, what would be my best defense?  His scalp molted with sweat over the questions, and counteractions, and shed a few gray-streaked hairs as he winced in pain - thinking - surmising - propagating - diligently deciding -


Of course... For Albert to prepare for a poison attack, he thought his best protection should be detection: like a canary in a coal mine.

After some considerable thought, he concluded that to properly detect poisonous gases of some kind, he would have to begin studying exactly how canaries detected toxic fumes with such great sensitivity, and then incorporate it as his own physiological make-up.
Ralph Puglisi