Friday, March 30, 2007

Some crazy stuff I heard last night

You meet some strange people on the Lower East Side of New York, and they all seem to have a story. I was out very late last night and I met one of these characters outside a bar. He told me something striking that I recorded early this morning. I paraphrase a bit, but this is pretty much what the old guy said:

I once walked into a room that was full of light. There were people there I knew and they extended themselves to greet me. “We’ve been waiting for you,” they said. “How good it is that you have come.” And they smiled and I smiled and we embraced each other as brothers. They said to me “it is good that you are here, for we are just about to eat.” Then we ate from the table and told our stories and shined upon each other. They asked how I had come, and how my journey was. I told them I had been outside, wandering the halls in darkness. They despaired and said “how awful,” and kept on eating. “Yes,” I said. “It was, but I did not know it. I never knew there were such places as this, with brilliant light and marvelous food, and friends; and just when I thought I would wander the halls forever, I found this room where you have all been.” And everyone cheered and sang and someone passed the wine and we all drank- just as they all had done the day before and the week before forever back until the room first lit up so all could see. But after a while, I pushed back my chair and slipped away from the table. I walked around the room, admiring the walls and the ceiling and all that was there. Someone approached me and asked if I was enjoying myself. I said I was, and thanked them. “It must feel much better to be in here than it did to be out there.” I nodded, and clasped my hands behind my back and circled the room in contentment. After a while I had circled the entire room, and seen all that was there, and finding myself back at the door, it occurred to me to go. All my brothers were still singing and drinking and I predicted that I would miss them greatly. I opened the door and stepped back into the corridor from which I came. I stood outside the room and listened to the singing as I closed the door and sealed it off forever. Since I could not remember in which direction I had been walking, I chose one at random and started on my way. It was very dark in the corridor, but I did not mind. “I had always walked this corridor in dark before,” I thought. “Why should it matter now?” And so I walked and thought and walked, occasionally stumbling against the wall. Eventually I came to another room and walked into it. This time, there was no one inside, and the light was very dim. I could not even see the walls from where I stood. I could not see if there was anything in the room at all. I walked into the center of the room and sat down in the muted light. That is where I stayed. I never left that room.

Bizarre. I'm not sure I have the faintest clue what the hell that old guy was talking about, but I thought I'd pass it along.

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