FROM SCRAWLINGS FROM LIMBO
A Dark View In General
By David Arthur Walters
MY JOURNEY MAY SEEM somewhat gloomy to an innocent bystander. Someone remarked today that I have developed a dark view in general. Well, a gloomy outlook is normal even in paradise considering the news lately.
Impeachment of the President of the United States; Campaign Contributions from Red China; Transfer of Nuclear Secrets to Red China; Bombing of Iraq Continued; Kosovo Massacres; International Air War on Serbia; Columbine High School Mass Murder-Suicide; Yosemite Serial Killings; Freight Train Serial Murders; Kennedy Tragedy Continued; Atlanta Mass Murder-Suicide; Jewish Nursery Shooting; Turkey Earthquake-Estimated 20,000 Dead.
Reality is even worse than the violent movies nowadays. I’m just another man, but sometimes I think the world is out to get me. In other words, I have been feeling a little paranoid.
Something happened late last evening that shed some light on my paranoia. I had put aside my Scrawlings to take a stroll. I encountered a local woman at the intersection of Walk and Don’t Walk. “Walk” lights are accompanied by a loud clicking sound for the benefit of the blind. She was not paying attention to the lights. When she heard the clicking sound, she mistakenly stepped out into the traffic, not realizing that the clicking was meant for pedestrians going the other way. Fortunately, she saw the cars rapidly accelerating toward her, as if they were drag racing, and hopped back on the curb just in time.
“I’ve made that mistake myself,” I said sympathetically, as she seemed embarrassed. “And sometimes I’ve misread the lights, thinking green for the other way is green for my way.”
“I should watch the lights,” she responded. “We’re lucky we have lights at this intersection. Did you see the news about that old lady killed in the crosswalk? The City said there’s no money for lights.”
“Yeah. They showed that guy crying in his car right after the accident. Do you know he’s the same man who ran over and killed another old lady in a crosswalk? I don’t think he’s been charged with anything in either case. He’s like the Grim Reaper for old pedestrians.”
“No!” she exclaimed. “I’m not really surprised. Pedestrians are almost extinct with all these cars around. People are really going the wrong way everywhere as far as I’m concerned.”
“I saw a woman down on the pavement, right over there.” I pointed down the street. “She was bleeding badly. The ambulance had just pulled up. A boy said she was hurled up in the air over the car, and that she tried to get up and run away on her broken legs.
“You have to be really careful around here,” I continued as we proceeded to cross the street together. We had taken only four or five steps and the light suddenly changed back to “Don’t Walk.”
“You can say that again,” she angrily declared, shaking her head. “People today would rather kill you than look at you. They’re in such a damn hurry to get somewhere or something. They think people are just bugs, if they notice them at all. They’d squash you in a second,”
“Gee, I thought I was paranoid,” I half-joked.
“You’re not. It’s true!”
She presented her view on the “elite” as we strolled along.
“As far as they’re concerned, we’re just a bunch of nobodies. The bottom line of it is they can do what they damn well please, we can’t, and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
“How about the politicians?” I tried to change the object of scorn while reinforcing her general attitude, just to be agreeable. “What about the most popular candidate, who so far has no program at all, except to look presidential. What does that say about the voters?”
“It says they’re nobodies. We don’t really count. As for him: like-father-like-son. They’re all the same. As far as everyone else is concerned, everybody is out to take advantage of everybody else, and if anybody gets in the way they’d soon as kill you if they could get away with it,” she proclaimed. “I’m going in here.” She pointed at the health food store.
“I thought I was paranoid,” I offered a coda to the conversation.
“You’re not. It’s true. Everybody is out to get you, and I kid you not. Nice talking to you. Good evening.”
She disappeared into the store. I continued into the gloom.