Making Contact

Have you ever felt like throwing a poopy bag into an An Post letterbox? Well, I just did. And at the same time I was so not going to do it even though, let’s face it, it would have been quite a harmless thing to do. Mad maybe, yes, but low risk all the same – to me, the postman, and any other locals or even tourists who would come into contact with that particular letterbox.

It’s not as though poop inside a letterbox is dangerous I was thinking. I’m not going to blow anyone up by dropping it in. And then I didn’t do it anyway. The poop inside the bag ended up in my own bin. Sane citizen that I am and have been all my life. Fitting in, nothing too mad. Not for anyone to see at least.

I wonder though if there is some sort of a mad thoughts aura that some people can see. A man I had never spoken to before crossed the road this evening to meet me. He was waving his arms spastically and muttering to himself. He always does that. I have seen him every day for the past two years and he has never looked at me or anyone else in the street.

What he mutters is hard to make out. I’ve tried. One evening I was walking closely behind him on my way home from work. I thought I could hear him say the word ‘cosmic’ a few times, and ‘explosion’. Yes, he did say explosion.

Isn’t it odd that he would make contact the very evening that I felt like doing something mad?

“I’m Paul,” he said, “and I’m a schizophrenic.”

Both his arms jerked upward pointing vaguely towards the moon. The moon was the shape of a sickle.

“I am not afraid to get close to dogs when the moon is like this,” he said.

My dog flinched a little at the abrupt pat on the head which followed that statement.

“Full moon would be a different story, totally different story.”

He fixed his eyes on me. “Different story. Stories, yes, different ones in everyone’s head.” He tapped his forehead. “Are you afraid of some of the stories in yours? Don’t be.”

(c) Ash N. Finn, 2012


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