Saturday, December 08, 2007
PARALLEL BUT MOVING
Was Thoreau right? Do the mass of men truly lead lives of great desperation? Watching the salarymen on the train each morning, you might think that this is the case. Is this where they want to be going, these men? Huddled together, smashed together, riding through the darkness to the anonymity of their offices, where they can sit side by side for hours on end, staring at blank screens with flashing cursors. Too early to be standing for so long. Too long, beginning and ending each day. Wearing suits that cost too much, and ties that tie too tight. Leaving little room to breathe. The small veins of the neck slightly but persistently bulging against the starched collars. Green against white. And the destination of this hurtling rocket? A financial core that masks the hearts of the men and women, and only demands their humanity in return. (Only!) Let us travel this train as for as it will go, to the end point, and see what we get in return. Endless days and nights that wear out their welcome. Downing alcohol in the billions of pubs that Tokyo has branded. Leaving children barely seen, lives hardly lived. Living room carpets whose colors they cannot remember, bearing stains hardly glimpsed. And up again, tomorrow, before the sun. Rewind. Repeat. And yet here, too, on this train, at a different time, a different day, there is a child, with his mother, staring out the window, pointing. At what? At another train, parallel but moving in the opposite direction. Hinting at another road that may be taken.