Tuesday, December 14, 2004

where you goin with my people, man?

Waiting for the subway in the 14th St station, I hit the platform just as the token loony was walking away from the bottom of the stairs. 'At least he's moving away from me', I thought.

Well, the platform is only so long, so before long he was headed back my way, laying down his rastamon jive on everyone he encountered:

Where you goin with my people, man? Hey mister, where you goin with my people, man? Miss? Where you goin with my people, man?

Some people pretended he didn't exist, but most of them moved away from him when he got too close. There is something a little disconcerting about some strange chap approaching you asking zen koan-like questions. As he got closer, I was trying to invoke that personal invisibility shield that always kicked in when the teacher was looking for a 'volunteer'... "I'm not here, this isn't happening".

But when he actually got to me and asked me The Question, it was obvious the invisibility shield was defective. (Come to think of it, it never really worked in school, either.) So he asked, and I answered:

Where you goin with my people, man?

It wasn't me.

Well, then where you goin?


Then that's where you goin with my people, man, cause you my people.

Right on.

He shook my hand and continued down the platform, asking everyone he met "where you goin with my people?"... but no one answered. As for me, I put that small part of his people that are in my care on the uptown train and headed home.

At midnight all the agents
and the superhuman crew
go out and round up everyone
who knows more than they do
- Bob Dylan -