to the man who shouts into the storm drains of downtown

We have failed you. It’s difficult to gauge in how many and in what specific ways we have failed you, and at what exact points of your life this failure manifested itself, but we have indeed failed you. The other night I watched as a Downtown Partnership pseudo-cop insisted you cease and desist your storm drain shouting. You grew aggravated and moved away from her, only to lie down once again on the opposite side of the street and bellow with urgency into yet another storm drain. I sighed and threw my leg over the handlebars for the thousandth time, to ride home through moving blocks of steel traveling at light speed. Reflexes on autopilot, I dodged and parried on two wheels, my lungs sucking down exhaust, my eyes fixed ahead, my mind a tundra of thought.

Apparently my role is not to shout down the storm drains, despite sometimes feeling only a fraction of a moment away from hurling myself prostrate on the pavement, pressing my face close to the cold steel, and screaming into the gaps between those bars, sending all my rage and frustration into an inky oblivion. But is it wrong to covet this role? My own role has been elusive from the start. Inside I am nebulous, my drive and ambition porous like cheesecloth. Raw passion flows through, never anchoring in the tangible, leaving only chalky residue in its fast-moving wake.

I should be helping people like this man. But what is a better life for him? I do not even know. Would he thrive wrapped in the comfort of stagnant normalcy? Where would come the former release of storm drain shouting? How do you change a lifetime of fringe living and what are the consequences? Are we all meant to be doing the things we are doing, living the lives we are living, or are some of us moving by default? The answers, like my role, are elusive.

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3 Comments

  1. I really like this post. It echos some thoughts I have been having lately. I really don’t know what the answers are, or if there are any.

    Reply
  2. I’m guessing you feel as I do that writing on platforms such as these often feels rather like shouting down storm drains, only mercifully – miraculously even – at times there are folk with their ears to the other end. I’m not sure I have any answers either, but the questions register.

    Reply
    • Thanks for stopping by. It does feel like that at times, so it’s definitely nice to hear a voice calling out in return every now and again. Reminds me that I’m not the only one out there wondering and wandering.

      Reply

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