Friday, November 20, 2009

how like people

The worms had risen again in the rain. They were strewn across the pavement. To the unsuspecting eye they might look like long, slightly swollen pine needles, or some other tree relics; mostly inert, merging with the twilight, they showed only in faint relief, except for that one that undulated purposefully across my path and tipped me off to their coming.

I stepped gingerly through them, hoping to avoid contact, wondering how there could be this many, and how it was that they performed this trick, this act of levitation, rising through the earth and then somehow through the concrete, to make the world a worm mine field.

I didn’t want worm guts all over my shoes. I just wanted to get by and not be hemmed in by all these beings who couldn’t shout a “look out!” to me, who aside from that lone go-getter, seemed resigned to stay in the place where they miraculously appeared and trust to fate that they would not end up a smudge in my rubber tread.

How modern of you, I thought. How like people. I was glad that it was dark, that i did not have to take responsibility for their deaths, and I wiped my feet vigorously on the mat when I came back to this place while everyone else slept.

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