When the world weighs me down I go to the park. I watch people walk their dogs, steal kisses on the lawn, play football, or talk of days too long ago to remember. Some are lost in their own battered minds and mumble incoherently to themselves trying to chase the bats from the belfry. Others are care free and alive in college life. People fascinate me.
I have seen so many happy toddlers ride the swings and slides while their parent used this time to meet their lover. The kids are too young to know one "friend" from another and never think to tell the other parent about it. Subconciously I think the children do know and repeat that behavior in their adulthood. It would explain the cycle of misdeeds instead of relying on "sin", the Devil's temptation. Religion is only a salve we use to shuck off moral responsibility. Marx was right about the opiate and the masses.
But other parents are devoted to their little anthropomorphic answered prayer, and dote on their every step. I find a quiet contentment in these moments. I know that the kid will one day feel smothered by all the attention, and lash out to find freedom. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Parenting must be the hardest gig.
In the park my senses ache as I cruise the jogging paths and smell violence in the bushes where I know some passerby was snatched maybe an hour ago, somehow I know the poor man is wondering if he'll make it out alive. I feel nothing for the mysterious dark deeds just beyond my line of sight. It's none of my business. I guess there is a pheromone that one monster such as I can whiff off another which causes us to keep our distance. I haven't heard of a predator of the predators in the jungle of humanity, but I know it's only a matter of pressure and time.
I keep moving.
I do not agree with senseless violence for need of money or sex. I do not have this lust. No, I am a voyeur peering into a living science experiment of abnormal psychology. Life is precious because it astounds me. If I was bored with it I'd burn it all to the ground.
I park myself on a bench which is easy walking distance from my apartment. An oriental lady is walking her dog and fidgeting with her jogging pants. She is frighteningly slim but obviously appears to think she is overweight due to the nervous tugging at her sweatshirt. Her eyes dart around and she won't look up at men. When they pass the dog smells freshly washed but she reeks of vomit; a delicate functioning psychosis.
On inclement days I travel to shopping malls to see similar faces void of the sunshine and trees. There are far fewer eccentric types, if you can believe it, but the teenagers are thick enough to block every fire exit. Still believing in fairytales, the young couples, holding hands for the first time attempt to get comfortable in their own skin. They cast quick glances at each other and blush on contact. Youth is precious for so many reasons. Their counterparts, the elderly, hold hands too. Many, though no longer spring chickens, are in love as if love had found them only yesterday. Although, a few cling to the other out of sheer terror, their eyes wide to catch the villain certainly waiting right around the corner. In the world, now scary places where they feel alone and detached, they wonder why life can't just slow down. Fear is the fruit of old age.
The solitary, self-abandoned ones are the most tortured. The invisible are mousey members of this Theater of the Absurd who dress so drab they blend in like motel curtains and seem to be in constant prayer to avoid all attention from anyone who cares to look. Yet others, the Ignorant Undead, are equally as weak and self-conscious. These pretentious, motley men and women pass me in the corridor like spiteful ghosts with intentionally pasty complexions, wearing pitch-colored eyeliner and lipstick (the girls and the boys!).
Terribly shy, they both want to swirl alongside everyone else in this indoor pulse of civilization. Yet, so terrified of rejection they strike first, deeming themselves "outcasts" before the status quo has a crack at it. The eternal wallflowers will more than likely never come out of their shells; I just let them wisp by like the lightest of summer breezes. As for the second group I want to tell those reject cast members from "Dawn of the Dead" to get their heads out of their asses and stop hiding behind a pathetic "gothic" façade . They scare no one but the elderly and that is not a difficult feat by a long shot.
But I say nothing. I just watch. It's what I do.