Making the most of it
By Parson Thru
It took a beat-up, pungent tramp passing through the Metro this morning to remind me that a healthy life is one of distraction – denial of one’s true situation.
It’s what parents and betters refer to as a normal life – one of sociability, harmless good humour and backslapping, sport, noisy conversations in bars where no one can really hear what’s being said. It doesn’t matter that we can’t hear each other above the noise. Meaning is largely irrelevant – all that matters is that there’s conversation and noise. Banter. Don’t dwell on things.
Things. I once digested a small sliver of Sartre. I may even have tasted it as it went down. I’m told the flavour is derived from a much older corpus. It doesn’t matter. I’d tasted it before anyway. We are merely filling in time. Almost everything beyond food and shelter is a distraction – mere amusement to keep our minds from dwelling on the fact that the reality of our existence is a tragic one. Distraction / amusement / team-sports / sociability provide comfort to individuals in a collectively lonely existence.
What the stinking soul with the battered face was lacking was some comfort. We all ignored him. His cup was as empty at the end of the carriage as it was at the beginning.
Linea 6: Circular. All day long, and into the night, the train will run around its track. At the twenty-eight stations, thousands will flow in and out of its doors – the same tomorrow, the same the day after and the day after that. Life just going around. Normal life: it’s all normal. The difference is comfort. Some find it, some don’t. The tramp reminded me that, either way, all you can do is make the most of it.