Sunday, April 7, 2013

bona fide wowsers

I don't know.
I don't know either.
indeed.  either's strange.
a little too strange, if you ask me-
well... I don't know if I'm asking you.
I don't know either.
he's that dude that's always at the bus shelter on charter and johnson.
the one who always wears black?
yeah, that's the one.
I don't know him.
well, keng- you can thank your lucky stars for that!
he tried to recruit me once for his theater company.
same here.
yeah, I heard that he tries to recruit every person he meets.
and does he ever meet with success?
success doesn't ride the bus much anymore.
but when she did... didn't she wait for it on johnson and charter?
how did you know that?
I used to work at the geology museum.
oh... and success worked at union south...
either used to live somewhere on campus, allegedly, but nobody was precisely sure where-
lots of nooks and crannies on campus...
lots of drunk people on campus.
guess it's always been that way, though.
the pressure of student life...
and imminent professional life...
and juggling family life...
and trying to maintain a personal life...
lots of people falling down drunk on the weekends...
on the weekdays as well...
true enough.
(long pause)
do ya think we should we follow him sometime?
you mean either?
yeah... either.
I don't know, calv... I'm not sure I really need to know about his other hangouts... if he still has them...
information you could pretty much continue to live without, for the most part?
for the most part, yeah...  you?
I'm not sure.  I'd have to think it over, I guess.
well, think it over then!
you mean right now?
why not?  what else have we got going on?
true... ok, then... I'll think it over for a couple of minutes...
you do that, keng.
thanks, calv.
don't mention it, buddy.

(45 minutes of silence)

yeah, I think it's the sort of information that I don't really need or desire.

good call, keng.  curiosity can be a dangerous thing.
but I thought you liked to live dangerously.
well... only in a manner of speaking.
but that's all you ever do anyway, calv!
wow.  is that really your image of me?
you mean somebody constantly talking?
talking, listening, reading, writing, whatever...
remember what you told raymond about reading, writing, and nothingness?
of course.
say it again for the people who may not have been there-
uh... ok.
(long pause)
anyways, karl told his class once that the only things in life worth the trouble were reading, writing, and nothingness.  when they asked him to explain, he said ok- reading about reading, writing, and nothingness, writing about reading, writing, and nothingness, but mainly reading nothing, writing nothing, doing nothing, being nothing, except for occasionally reminding oneself about the trap door in nothingness.
wait- are you sure that's what he told them?  I heard something way way different from that.
well, he probably told different classes different things.
lots of different approaches one can take toward reading, writing, and nothingness.
fun and games down at the old train yard...
there's an antique depot there now, I heard.
not sure, keng- haven't been back there since around the mid-nineties.
yeah- a lot has changed in that area.
you mean east of downtown?
yeah... starting at maybe jasper and all the way down to 22nd or so... the train yard and factory belt to the north, and then all the way south to the lake.
good times, then?
well... only in a manner of speaking.
hey- check out this little piece of graffiti I found scrawled under the interstate overpass- copied it down here in my notebook. (takes out notebook) ok- "if waters are placid, the moon will be mirrored perfectly.  if we still ourselves and pipe down, we can obliquely mirror the so-called 'divine.'  but hark- if we engage solely in the frenetic activities of our daily involvements, if we seek to impose our own schemes on the natural order, and if we allow ourselves to become absorbed in ridiculous or self-centered views, the surface of our so-called 'waters' becomes turbulent.  as a result, we will probably not be as receptive to tao..."
is that it?
no, there's a little bit more.
go on, calv.
ok.  "there is no effort that we can make to still ourselves.  true stillness comes naturally from moments of solitude where we allow our minds to settle.  just as water seeks its own level, the mind will gravitate toward the holy.  muddy water will become clear if allowed to stand undisturbed, and so too will the mind become clear if it is allowed to be still."  that's it.
yeah... it's a bona fide wowser...   
fun and games masquerading as simple graffiti?
well... I'm not sure I'd go that far...
either probably would.
well... that's because either has all the time in the world.
at least until he starts to fritter it away on nosegays, rhymes, gauds, and trifles.
he would never do that.
I thought you just said you didn't know him!
I don't.  only that he's that weird guy in black at the bus shelter.
well, that's all anyone knows!  that's why I want to follow him sometime.
but I heard somewhere that he never leaves the shelter anymore... ever.
uh... the authorities let him just live in the bus shelter, you're sayin'?
pretty much... he pays a few college kids to bring him food and books on an as-needed basis.
and then when the food has been digested?
apparently he's got a little curtain he can set up...
oh... and I suppose the college kids help out with that also?
again... I think it's on an as-needed basis.
yeah, it's a bona fide wowsers.
what do we do next then?
maybe we just start taking karl's advice.
I'm too young to go down that road, keng.  I've still got too many unfulfilled dreams!
that is precisely why you should take karl's advice!
I don't wanna.
I don't either.
well, maybe we'll actually get what we want this time around, friend!
there's always that chance, calv.
slim... but rumored to still exist somewhere.
(laughing) out beyond 22nd street, probably.
oh no, I think it's closer than that.
you're an optimistic fellow, calv.
no need to apologize.
so you're not kidding about the old train station being an antique depot now?
not kidding at all.
yeah, another bona fide wowsers.