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Sunday, August 26, 2012

looking up looking down


Whether you know it or not, my family has a small breakfast restaurant…the menial labor which I perform there is how I maintain my paltry excuse for a life [it certainly isn’t photography at this juncture] …after the rush today, I was on my hands and knees just inside of our doorway scraping some egg that someone had dropped a few hours previous from the carpet…the restaurant was empty and as I set myself to this vile task I began to think about what I was doing…at first, my ego gnawed at me and I asked myself “what kind of man would do this for a living?”…well, I don’t do much living anyway, and I have always loved the way that seemingly thoughtless “grunt” work frees up my mind to think of other things…I began to think about the chemistry of the egg-carpet bond…good lord, its strong!...the proteins of the egg and the nylon of the carpet fiber are extremely similar in their chemical structure…perhaps that was why this mess was absorbing so much of my time… I considered the physics of the situation, how the energy associated with the lateral force of the scraper must exceed the energy of the chemical bonds between the polymeric structures of the protein and the carpet…the tourist-shaped shadows that flashed across the mess from the sidewalk just outside forced me to ponder the part that each photon of sunlight played in strengthening the egg-carpet bond...i began to think of the endless toil of sisyphus, and camus’ assertion that he was a happy man not in spite of his labor, but because of it…one of the shadows paused and lingered on the egg mess…I became aware of a very expensive pair of birkenstocks housing beautifully manicured male toenails giving me audience…the sandals were connected to something that, at first, appeared to be a man…he was wearing one of those expensive baseball caps with the miniature belt buckle in the back…on it was written the name of some obscure vacation paradise that only a select few could afford to experience…as the man looked down at me and offered a stodgy and condescending squint of pity, I could feel the single, lonely thought in his mind…it gave him the illusion of power and he felt himself a better man for it….from my lowly position my mind was still moving, thinking a multitude of ethereal and esoteric thoughts to  the single mundane decree of his mind…As i looked up at him, i looked back down at him with a different brand of pity…i think he felt it….he frowned at his now less-than-satisfying shoes, and walked along…

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