Quietness, If Not Here

souvenir

For over an hour he sat in the shade, a stone circle enclave tucked within the Fair’s heat, hub-bub, and craft vendors. Seated beside and around him were others on benches, just as relaxed and immobile as he was. During that time, as he watched the passersby pass by, he noticed no one of any particular beauty, and he noticed no one of any particular ugliness. His mind drifted to a memory in his childhood of returning to Play-Doh he had played with some time earlier in the day, yellow and blue and red clumps he had not put back in their cardboard cans to keep the dough fresh and moist. The clods left out on his playroom table were still workable, moldable, if a bit crusty. And the people he had seen walking by the whole while were, to him, much like that. He tried, while he was sitting, to imagine that some of them were remarkable people. He put his mind to it. But it was impossible. Though he must not have looked so different at all himself from them, he bore silent witness in the summer shadows that he felt no sense of belonging to the collective people among whom he lived, at least half the time; and while he had no strong repulsion, he certainly had no selective affinity for any of them either.

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