Posted by Jerry on July 18, 2005
That was the name he was given.
He never really cared much for his name; he believed names were so arbitrary. What is more important than a name is that there is something to be named. He had always had an indifferent awareness of his own life as important and as necessary, to someone, to something, or maybe only to himself.
Today, he stood looking out the glass door of the train at the evening lights of the city through which it advanced slowly. His one arm was bent at the elbow, resting on his hips, while his other arm gently touched the surface of the glass door of the train. He did not notice that his patrician posture betrayed a callous pride–in the way an emperor would seem as he surveyed his kingdom, satisfied with what he saw. He felt this was his kingdom; in fact, more intimately, he felt this was his own living room.
The deep rumbling of the slow-moving train did not seem to bother him as it gingerly navigated the spaces between tall towers. He thought it was only appropriate for the train to be so cautious in its movements, as if showing respect to the pantheon of gods standing proudly all around it, as if entering into the hallowed space of a cathedral and being overwhelmed by the large pillars supporting an arched ceiling.
Pasha got out onto the platform at Quincy. He walked down the stairs of the station and onto the street; he walked like he had a definite purpose and knew where he had to go and the place he had to be. But he had nowhere to go. His purpose was simply to walk the streets of this city that he loved so much. He took such delight in that simple purpose, like walking alongside his old friends and delighting in their company.
The last few rays of the evening sun reflected off of the glass towers and onto the narrow sidewalks, crowded with busy bodies hastily buzzing all around Pasha. But he gaily walked down the empty sidewalk, knowing that he was the only one at this moment walking through this city — it was a love affair that no one else knew about, and no one else could share.
His slender neck was slightly raised so that his eyes could meet the highest point of each building as he passed.
Nowhere else did he feel like the way he felt right now. There was no human interaction that could replace or even match the clarity of understanding Pasha shared with these buildings in his city. Humans, he thought, lacked the simple honesty that these tall buildings portrayed.
These tall structures of steel and concrete, of glass and stone, stood in naked display of their ornamented pride and utilitarian purpose. There was no hiding of their conceit nor was there any hint of shame in their function.
Pasha wished he could be complete in that way. He wished all humans could at least have a shred of that innocent pride and frank nakedness. But he was keenly aware of the fact that people hid behind more layers of ostentatious facades than the buildings they erected.