Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Myths and Stories

I notice a rather bedraggled man sitting at a table with a cup of coffee. He's not typical for that coffee house. Most of the customers look as if they can afford lattes and $7.95 sandwiches.

At one table a man types away on his laptop, at another table two men conduct a business meeting. Two coffees and muffins.

Four women converse. Four lunches and four drinks.

I am reading and enjoying a hot cup of herbal tea. Soon we'll order a sandwich.

This is the second day I've noticed him. He's stooped, unshaven, shuffles. It's snowing today and he is wearing layers—each layer worn and threadbare.

Usually I see him walking outside. Sometimes he's sitting on a bench staring at the ground.

It's cold and he has the money for a coffee. No one looks his way. It's almost as if he's invisible. He doesn't linger over his coffee. Uses the bathroom and then leaves.

He contains stories and a name.

We're all reams of stories. Occasionally the fictive and the real become twisted together. Did it happen that way? Is there another way to tell the story? Why do we tell two different versions?

To release one version and look at a story with a different lens means upending myths and standing naked. Then to put on a different garment—perhaps one that is a bit threadbare.


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