Monday, July 23, 2012

When in Rome

This morning was exceedingly difficult to get motivated to come to work. I had Friday off and then a pretty swell weekend so Monday morning seemed like the most horrifying, death inducing, and hell drenched experience of all time. That and I kept having terrible dreams about the Zombie Apocalypse which kept me from getting a good night’s sleep. I can see how being a worker drone, shuffling mindlessly about the streets could make me think about zombies, and the toils and troubles of the day to day skullduggery.

With that sort of thinking running through my head this morning it was no wonder I noticed certain things this morning. The first thing was a woman drinking her coffee from a big cup capped with a big white lid. The woman had been sipping and sipping her coffee for so long that a huge red lipstick ring had formed around the mouth of the lid. I watched her take drink after drink and I couldn’t help but think, “Ick. That woman must be dead inside if she is just mindlessly sipping this lipstick flavored coffee”. It looked as if she had been drinking pig’s blood for her breakfast snack.   

The next thing was the kid sitting next to me eating an apple. It seemed so strange to me that someone would be chowing down on an apple on the train. It wasn’t cut up into slices, he was just eating it, bite after bite, “chomp, chomp, chomp”. It was disturbing. I kept thinking about his sticky hands, touching everything. I could imagine him biting into the lady’s skull in front of me and hearing that same, “Chomp, chomp, chomp”, sound. I couldn’t wait for him to get up.

It wasn’t till I hit the sidewalks that the real horror show began. I continue to blame the slow walkers for most of the congestion Downtown. They really do just shuffle like the living dead and seem not to be aware of anything around them. I swear I heard one on a cell phone, “Brains, ba-brains brains? Braiiins, ba-ba-brains”.

So I was rather surprised when my mind shifted gears once I walked past the statute of the god, Ceres, on Jackson. I found myself thinking about Ancient Rome. I started thinking about the congestion on the streets of Rome on a day like today. I imagined everyone in togas or in similar ancient world garb, all shuffling along to get to their respective businesses or do their shopping. It made me remember that this day to day rat race we call a life has been going on for thousands of years.

It wasn’t that I was afraid of Zombies or that I was bothered by the mendacity of a steady job. It was the trap of history I was in. It was that I’m so much a part of the history of the world just by doing what I have to do every day. It made me want to stop, turn around, go home, get in my car and never come back. But then I thought, history is also replete with idiots who did that too and rarely does history even remember them, unless they were pals with a conqueror like Alexander the Great.  

Life is too short and I should make a more concerted effort to live one I can be happy and proud of. I’ll have time for the daily grind once I am a Zombie in Rome. 

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