07 May 2016

Pedestrian reminiscences

Dear diary,

I once walked past a bush that was chock full of tiny birds, and they were all chirping at once. It was an overwhelming noise, like a globe of glass breaking continuously. Except it wasn’t jagged like shards; it was slippery, oily—like a star being eaten alive by gooey droplets.

Another time I was walking around the lake near my apartment (our state is nicknamed “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” because there are many lakes here) and I heard a birdcall that sounded like an old computer alerting you that you pressed the wrong key.

T-shirt and shorts. That seems to be the dress code around here. I wish it were different. I wish that everyone wore suits and hats, like that photograph of pre-1950 Guatemala that I spoke of in the fifth paragraph of my so-called cinema riff from yesterweek. But I prefer not to look too chic—I’d like it best if I could find a type of suit that is just dowdy enough to pass for, say, an accountant or low-level clerk.

I’m a fan of the nondescript, of the visible that is invisible because unimportant.

This reminds me: I got the heck scared out of me the other day while walking on a paved path near the woods. I looked over my shoulder and saw a man in full camouflage—boots, pants, coat—just standing in the forest, blending in. He was about a stone’s throw away. My sweetheart was with me, and, after I spotted the man, she and I kept walking for a little way; then, when it seemed safe to do so, I said: “Did you see that!?” And she answered: “See what?” And I said: “Look back.” And she looked back and saw the man standing in the middle of the path; for he had stepped out of the woods.

That’s all that happened—we didn’t get murdered by the man (as far as I could tell, he was not armed); so, as usual, my fear profited me nothing. Someone should do a scientific study to measure how many times in my life anxiety actually HELPED rather than hindered me.

But, still, it seems strange that a person would put on camouflage from head to toe and then loiter in the forest near a public pathway. I repeat: even his boots were camouflaged.

In conclusion, I argue that we should revamp our dress code to favor light brown business suits. With ties and hats. Also bicycles. And maybe half a mustache.

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