Wednesday, March 14, 2007

An Awfully Unimportant Entry

It’s one thing to be sitting in a corner café listening to some bloke twanging a guitar and wondering about the meaning of life, and quite another to be confronted with life at a busy crossroad when you’re trying to get home and there’s a protest afoot. Vehicles have stopped, people have temporarily been transformed into gaping simians, and the traffic policemen seem very preoccupied with their fingernails. You suddenly realize you’re but a youngster, and a girl at that.

And you have to cross the street.

There are of course three courses you can resort to now, which (oh, surprises) will determine the sort of person you are. You can:

a) Be the rebel and cross the street, defying the world and looking rather like a hero. Unless you trip over something and fall.
b) Be the bystander, and, well, stand by. Wait for the protest to get over, reply to all the pending text messages on your cell phone, and quietly walk into your house an hour late.
c) Be the escapist. Retrace your footsteps, walk the other way, find a side street and make your way through a concrete labyrinth and emerge unscathed on the other side of the protest. Then you’re the trickster.

And when you can’t do either of the three because in case of a) you’re simply not the rebel, or in case of b) you don’t really want to stand by and watch a protest, or in case of c) you have about as much sense of direction as a dysfunctional weathercock, you look for an alternative.

Because you have to cross the street.

As it turns out, there are different forms of escapism. You look leftways and rightways on the street you’re on, and spot another café. You walk in, thanking providence and consumerism for café chains. You sit down and order, knowing that an hour spent consuming a legal addictive stimulant and pondering about the meaning of life is better than anything else.

And there’s always a bloke with a guitar.

0 kindred spirits have swallowed my rambling: