. elsewhere . . letters from the inaccessible .


21 December 2000
winter solstice

the very word itself

Indeed, there is something vast, ancient, and vaguely ominous about the word solstice. Perhaps its because the word itself comes from the Latin solstitium, literally, the stopping of the sun. It's 5pm and it's dark already. Days like this are beautiful.

someone to listen to stories he tells

From the Ragebomb:

Yesterday, while I was at work, my wife let two strangers into our apartment. Not able to see clearly through the peephole, she mistook them for the manager's two sons. When she opened the door, it turned out the two men were magazine subscription salesmen who had been let into the complex by a girl downstairs. The two were very pushy, and didn't leave when she expressed no interest in their products. Also, they somehow knew her name. But they were persistent salesmen. Several questions and sales techniques later, they finally left.

I found myself reacting very strongly to her story, on an emotional level. I told her "be careful" and as I spoke I found my warning and my emphasis changing toward the dramatic, the paranoid.

"Don't ever open the door for anyone you don't know. Ever. Make something up. This is our home, and the moment you open that door, you have no defense."

I heard myself talking, and was shocked. I took a moment to think about my reaction.

"I was mugged once. Did I ever tell you?"

She said no. I thought for sure I had told this story before. I don't like telling it, and so I don't do it often.

"When I was a kid I was in the park playing with my RC car. These two big white guys came and started asking us questions about our cars, telling us how cool they were. They were really nice, but sort of gave me a bad vibe, and I couldn't be rude to them and not talk to them. But next thing I knew, I was face down in the dirt getting beat up. Kicked in the stomach, humiliated. They took our cars. You never know about people. They look nice but you just don't know. You can never know."

"How old were you?"

"I don't know. About 15. And the worse part was being all alone. A neighbor had seen what had happened and called the police. The cruiser came by, and was only parked for a few minutes. The policeman never came out of the car, and by the time I realized he was there he was driving off. I will never forget running after that cruiser, waving and shouting hoping the cop would just look in his rear view mirror and see me. But he didn't, he left. I had to walk to the police station, tell them what happened, and wait for my mom to come get me."

That night, I went home, went into my room, and closed the door. Somebody had confronted the two bullies and returned my RC car to me. I put that car away in a cardboard box, and didn't look at it for some time. I didn't go to the park or anywhere alone for a while either. I just felt trauma, and unsafe. My mom tried to console me, to tell me something about how the Asians in our city weren't given the same treatment as others. I didn't care, it didn't make a difference to me.

That day, the world was different to me. I had some kind of anger in me that was unresolved. I put it on the shelf, so I could start my collection.

musings of señor prod.

Learning to say 'yes' reflexively isn't so easy, even at the Revolution. I should be careful not to make bricks out of marbles.


©2001 Timothy A. Clark -|-