Telling Tales

I saw a man on the corner wearing no shoes and one sock. He had screens for eyes and when you looked at him all you saw was yourself reflected back at you. He swore he wasn’t blind. He swore his feet were not cold. He swore he was still human.

I tried to talk to him. I said, “What are you doing here? Why are you here?” And when he looked up at me, I saw the other guys. The guy who got jumped on the bridge. The guy who got shot. The guy who died. I didn’t have questions for the other guys, so I started walking away. As I walked away I said to myself, “Why are they they doing this? What is this supposed to mean?”

It may have something to do with giant predators chasing tiny prey. It may be related to being hunted by a man with screens for eyes who is trying to find out what is life. It may mean like what’s happening in the world that you can never forget.

They may be doing this so as not to simply chase the prey – but to try to get the prey to chase them back to the edge – to give the prey something to hope for. To lead the prey to a slaughter.

They’re in our head, and they’re watching. And you don’t want to be right in the middle of that, doing the thing that you’re doing, chasing the invisible predator you call enemy.

For there will come a moment where the thing will end the way your children do not want the thing to end, not only by telling your story, but by providing a single and absolute interpretation of what was going on in your life. Your children do not want a single truth. They do not want a complete story told.

Talk to the eyeless man. Say to him, “What are you doing here? Why are you here?” Talk to the other guys. The guy who got jumped on the bridge. The guy who got shot. The guy who died. Do not walk away. Ask the guy who got jumped, “Why did they do this? What was that supposed to mean?” Ask the guy who got shot, “Why did they do that? What was it supposed to mean?” Ask the guy who died, “What was this supposed to mean?” Listen to their answers and tell their meandering stories to all the little children.

Telling Tales