ANTHOLOGY COMPLEX


THIEVES FROM NEW YORK (1:1:1:2)


About a year ago, I had a dream. Dressed in a rich man's suit and tie, committing a poor man's crime. They put the money in a garbage bag that I supply because I threaten their existence. The funny thing is a third of them have probably never taken the time of day to ponder their existence. Sometimes I wonder if I've taken the time of day to ponder my own.

Is existence really that important? Is that life? Just merely existing. If you are in outer space, and you see a piece of rock in a stationary position, it will stay that way forever. If you see a piece of rock moving, it will continue moving at that same exact speed in that same exact direction forever.

This is true if no other forces are applied to the piece of rock; forces such as gravity, electromagnetism or friction. The piece of rock doesn't have a specific reason as to why it wants to stay stationary or why it wants to keep moving, it just does because it is. It's not waiting for something to come, it's not traveling because it needs to be somewhere. It just does because it is.

Applying this method of thought to the idea of why something that's living wants to stay alive is interesting. I'm holding a shotgun to this bank employees head, and I'm wondering if she wants to stay alive simply because she is alive. What if she were dead? Would she want to stay dead simply because she is dead?

If she were happy, I'm sure she would want to stay happy. She probably actually would stay happy until a force comes along, maybe a "force" such as disease, and the doctors tell her she has cancer. That happiness would be gone. She would stay depressed until another "force" came along.

They finish filling the garbage bag with money and I take it. Something so valuable placed in a garbage bag, there is something poetic about that, something symbolic. I run out of the bank and get into my partner's car. His hands are sweating, his face probably is too, and I'm the one who did all of the talking. We drive away with a garbage bag full of money, but we have no real intentions of spending the money on ourselves. He drives into a parking garage and we get out and look at the money. He takes off his sad theater mask and his suit jacket and tells me he doesn't know if he can keep doing this.

I ask him what he means. I knew exactly what he meant. He couldn't keep risking his life and freedom for other people, people he didn't even know. I tell him that there are way too many people suffering out there from poverty, from starvation, from whatever, simply because of this imbalance in the world. I wanted to tell him that he wasn't angry enough. That he didn't have enough hate in his heart. And then I wake up.

Some people die because of a lack of food, and others die because they have too much food. Starvation, obesity. If that's not imbalance, I'm not sure what is. Simple mathematics will tell you that if you have one apple on each end of a table, totaling up to two apples, and you take one apple from one end and put it alongside the other apple on the other end, you have subtracted one apple from one end and added an apple to the other end. I visualize what was once balance, but is now inequality. Imbalance.

There is probably enough food in the world to feed every mouth, but some mouths take more than they are welcome to. How can someone right this wrong? Do you steal that apple back, and bring it to the mouths that starve? Do you steal that money and give it to those who need it? Robin Hood would say yes. He would say you have to do the wrong thing for the right reason.

Earlier today I'm checking my mail, and I hear someone coming down the stairs. It's Mary, who lives in the apartment above me. She walks by and nods, and I nod back. She is walking so quickly that it's apparent that she's late for something, maybe work, maybe an appointment. I'm standing there with my mail in my hand, thinking to myself, realizing that almost every time I see Mary she is in some sort of hurry. A look in her eye that she may not accomplish what needs to be accomplished, and that scares her to death.

I start to wonder if she is always in a hurry because she wants to be in a hurry, like a piece of rock moving through outer space on some pointless voyage to nowhere. I start to think, are people the way they are simply because they are that way, and they want to stay that way. They want to keep being that way. If this is truth then that would mean, according to the aforementioned science, that people can never change. Not unless a force comes along and changes them. Maybe a force such as love, or hate.