[Toot!] Index: 0.0
Communism Bit: On
Location: Job, of course
It rained kittens and puppies, yesterday. I need not point out that it should be the dry season, already. And we aren't having no El Niño. That is not the point.
The point is, the slums are usually located in the places that drown in any fairly-heavy rain. And as I slushed and waded my way through the lakes that had formed ... first, on the lakes. I won't be shocked if I find a whole new fishing industry down there, when I go back home. The rivers and lakes look pretty healthy. Some clever entrepreneur will have built a power dam in that ditch around the bend. Prosperity for all!
But the grim part, now. I walked home, under the pelts of rain, because the roads were clogged, and I hate being stuck in a traffic jam more than I hate to get wet in the rain. So I walked all the way to my shack. (It is elevated, I am luckier than many other slummers.)
On the way, I saw a madman. He was squatting by the roadside, in a puddle of mud, where the light barely reached him. You could see his
He had a big grin on his face, as though this was all normal for him. Like all who saw him, I am guilty of having thought He is a madman—they are hardened to this stuff. I guess it is a normal state for him, anyway.
But we should remember that madmen almost never take off their layers of coat, even in the burning sun, because they are more-terrified of the cold than of the heat. Anyway, so I passed him, hearing his absent-minded giggles. That grin on his face, though, seemed to be a paining one.
I skipped the shower, ate hot food, drank old Coca-Cola, grinned at Jah, and slept my way into a dream where I could fly.
Morning, and I walk to the taxi, jump in, and head Kla-ward. The driver stopped, half in respect, half in curiosity. We all looked out to the right.
There, lying in a tight coil—to guard angrily, furiously, the last warmth in his body—the madman had died in gallant battle, in the line of duty, in the war to stay alive against the elements, against the cold. No medals for that, sorry. Half his body had been over-run by cold mud. The grin was still on his face, even in death.
They are mad. With minds of beasts and souls of men. They are still human, though. For the love of God, can we please show them some love?
Consider, also, Cheri's pitch in a similar frame.