Ever notice how, in certain parts of town, let’s say where the downtrodden and marginalized reside, you know that part of town (surely there must be a district such as that where you live); anyway, have you noticed how people seem to take their own sweet time crossing the street? It’s bad enough at stoplights but it’s really bad at street corners.  People just mosey across the street like they have all the time in the world, as if it doesn’t matter that you have someplace important to be.  I mean, don’t they know how important it is to you to get on with your day?

I have a theory about this.  My theory is that these people (and let’s face it, we all have been these people at one point or another) move so slow because they are making a statement…that’s right, a statement!  They are saying, “I may not have any control over my life, but I can stop traffic, at least for a little while.  I have some power after all.”

It’s true. Try it.  The next time you are feeling marginalized, like you don’t count except as a statistic, like you work and slave all your waking hours and for what?  For nothing, that’s what. The next time you think about doing something rash, like getting out the deer rifle and climbing up something tall so you can get a clean shot, or taking your Glock down to Bob’s Boobs and Brew just hoping someone will be foolhardy enough to cross you, before it gets to that point, try this: try walking across the street s l o w l y and see how it makes you feel.  Empowered, right?

Let’s face it, there’s not a whole lot of leeway for us bottom feeders (BF)…we have to do our jobs, whatever that might entail (from raising a family to driving a forklift) and we have to try to make it work on a tiny amount of money.  But, BUT, we also have to fight with THE DREAM all the time, because the dream is never quite what we think it should be…well, nothing is quite what we were told it was going to be anyway; so we’re constantly pitted against our ‘nature’ – our upbringing, against THE DREAM, not realizing until it’s too late that the dream is a farce, a con…but I digress.

As I was saying, down here at the foot of the ladder, it’s hard to scratch out a life that matters for something. It’s hard on the street for more than just the pimps, it’s hard for the peeps too. Hard making ends meet, hard finding love, just plain hard living. We do what we have to, to get by.  Everyone does it, everyone struggles. I hear that even rich folks struggle…look at the Jackson’s.  Thing is, though, the rich can hire someone to walk slow and make everyone wait for them, whereas you and I, we have to do our own walking.

Everything moves at an inconvenient pace, for someone, and for the BF just about everything is out of our hands.  We have no control over anything except our ability to cross the street or move forward in line.  We wait on everything, so when we get a chance to make someone else wait, you better believe that we are going to make them wait…and if they get annoyed, well that’s just icing on the cake, brother!

RD Armstrong


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