Monthly Archive for August, 2009

Killing Time

We were out goofing around today. Going from place to place, just having fun and killing time (as if we have time to kill…)

At one point, while the others were either trying to find something to eat, or some new clothes, or both, I wandered over to the courtyards. Over to the one with that shallow pool in the center. I always forget the name of it… Ba… or Ber-something-or-another, but it’s where all those lame people go to hang out or whatever. You know, the ones with legs that don’t work, dying from some kind of disease or other serious health problems. That courtyard was more crowded than I’ve seen in a long time. Of course it’s been a while since I was there last, but there were definitely more people today than this place usually draws. Hundreds more.

Every time we go near there, I always look for that one old guy. He’s always sitting on his blanket. Well, sitting is the wrong word… that seems to imply he has a choice to not sit. He’s been there as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I’d see him there. Always trying to get to the water. I guess there’s some kind of special power or energy in the water, but only when it ripples or moves or something bogus like that. I’ve never actually met anyone who was fixed or healed, but these people stay there… waiting for their chance to get in. That’s pretty intense hope or faith or belief in who knows what, if you ask me.

Anyway, I came up to the courtyard and looked over by the east side where he always is, that old guy… yep… still there. Hollow and sunken-in as ever and slumped in his spot like a shell or suit someone took off and just dropped there. I don’t know if he even has hope anymore and if this is just what he does ’cause it’s what he’s always done… I guess he’s been all lame like that for like almost forty years or so now.

Man. I can’t even imagine sitting in the same place for a whole day and this guy’s been hanging out there since before I was born. Wow. I think I’d rather beg someone to kill me and put me out of my misery, but he stays there… hoping I guess that one day he’ll get his chance. Crazy.

I’ve always felt bad for him. I wish I could help in some way but I have no idea how. I’m actually kind of afraid to talk to him and most of the others who stay there as well. Are they crazy? Would they even hear me? Or would they just try to beg for my help? I don’t know. But my parents have always told me to keep to myself. “Don’t get involved in other people’s business… you’re just asking for trouble when you do that.” they’d spout.

Ok, so on with my story. I saw something today and I’m still not sure of what I saw. I mean, I know what it looked like but I don’t understand it. I saw a man walk up to that old guy and ask him something. Now this man.. there was something about him… a way… I don’t get it yet… I mean, the people who could walk just followed him every where he turned. I don’t think he was like famous or important like the authorities. I’ve never seen him before, but he just seemed to have a sense of authority oozing from within.

Later on, someone who was close to where the old guy was sitting, told me that the man asked him if he wanted to get better, and of course the old guy said, “Yes!” I mean don’t we all want to get better? And this is the part that still blows my mind. The old guy started complaining about never being able to make it to the pool before everyone else when it gets stirred. Then the man told the old guy to get up and take his blanket with him… AND HE DID! It was like his legs regenerated and his body filled back up with whatever it is that we’re full of that makes us work. He stood up. STRAIGHT UP! With no help from anyone.

I think he tried to thank the man but he just left… like he lost himself in the crowd.

I don’t remember anything from the rest of that day… I couldn’t tell you when my friends came to get me or where we went from there. I … I don’t know. All I’ve been able to think about is what the heck I saw. And what that meant. I hope I get a chance to meet that man. I don’t know what I’d say to him… but I’m dying to know what he’d ask me.

Original post date: March 8, 2004 in a galaxy far far away. This was an exercise I wrote as an immersive study for a story.