Friday, September 25, 2015

I See You?

You walk around.

If you want to see anything, you do. Walking is the best way to see things. And here is no exception, seeing things here.

To walk, you need open spaces. Open spaces to walk in, walk through, experience, explore.

But you don't get much here.

It's different here. This is a private society.

Streets are necessary. Streets are mandatory. Otherwise we'd all need to be birds. That won't work for me. I've tried. When I was young. With the arm flapping. Every kid tries it. It doesn't work.

So flight is out.

Moving around on the ground, the obvious place to start is with your feet. You move them. And then you move.

And to move you need streets. Because moving feet can do only so much.

Moving feet move bodies, and bodies can carry some of this and that, but not much else. So that's were wagons and carts and donkeys and then cars and trucks and buses come in. All require streets.

So we have streets here. They are essential. But this is a private society.

Which means.

That things are different here.

Open spaces are rare, aside from streets, occurring randomly and relatively unpleasantly, as parks. They aren't. Not as we know parks. We foreigners.

The parks here are flat squares of pavement, with a few shrubs, and a scattering of fenced-off trees.

Not what we think of. No. Not what I think of.

The open spaces here are inside houses. Or other buildings.

Schools have them. You can see. Every now and then you can see. Them. Inside. Inside the walls inside the buildings.

Safe areas. Protected areas. Private areas. Roman villa style, rooms around the periphery, space in the middle. Sealed off from the rest of the world.

The parks. What they call parks. Are incidental. Really.

Token gestures.

When you go to a park, you're going to a place you go to be public.

And that's different from.

From what?

I don't know — different from what I used to know. Just different. More public in a way.

Deliberate.

Like making a political statement, or formally proclaiming a religious view. I am here, now, today, in this place, and am visible. So there. Done.

And then you go home and get all private again and no one knows where you really are or what you are up to and no one cares.

You behind your walls.

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