Have I ever told you about the place where I usually go for dinner? I figure now's as good a time as ever. Ergo...
Months ago (nearing twelve of them now) I went searching for a fast food place that wouldn't make my scale go "One at a time, please" or "No livestock!". I'm not much of a cook (or at least can't be bothered to be much of a cook night in and night out) and à la carte is a luxury my budget can't withstand on a daily basis. The fast food chain whose name starts with M, ends with s, contains the letters "cDonald" and shall remain unnamed was very obviously not a choice. Many other places provide a very narrow choice of two or three dishes and are very affordable (because you get no service to pay for, othar than putting the food on the tray you carry to a free table and busing the tray), but they too weren't all that kind to my scale. Enter the salad joint.
This place too offers little service: you pay (a little bit more than you'd like to) upfront, they make your salad (or sandwich) there and then, before your eyes and bus your tray when you're done and, if you're lucky, you get a good glimpse at a pair of the (second) most beautiful blue eyes... but I digress. Onwards.
Why do I go there every night? First off, it's a bit far from home. Now, I don't drive, so I walk, nearly a mile to get there and another on my way back, but, in my book, that's a perk. I love to walk, at my pace, no rush (or wait... my pace has been called "fast-ish"), and I don't get much of a chance to do it. Then, there's the healthy food factor. Salads and fruit do a body good, remember? And there's always the blue eyes...
A few days ago, I got a good snicker out of some character I spotted there. People there are usually like people everywhere: all the same, equal to myself and each other. Sure, they all have that little (or maybe not so little) something that makes them special and unique in their own ways, but you never notice it, unless you try. Not this character. He's prancing around in a brand new designer black pinstripped suit with a broad collar white shirt, top button undone in casual chic fashion, topped off with designer reading glasses, in a place where there isn't as much as a menu to read. Needless to say, he wasn't carying a book with him. I mean, really, where have you heard of a designer book? The only non-designer object about him was his top-of-the-line Nokia Communicator, which he boasted about with broad gestures, talking with his escort. I (almost) wonder why on Earth he was holding his phone if the person he was talking to was sitting right in front of him. Now I could tell you of the broad gestures (which I believe I did) or the arrongant disdain with which he looked around and down on everyone around him or the smugness of his every atitude, but I think you already get the picture of how much better than everyone else this character though himself to be.
Now don't get me wrong. I have nothing against a healthy dose of materialism. I myself have some very prized posessions which I like very much and am very proud of, but they don't define me. I created them (um... bought them... ahem). They are mine, not the other way around, and I know, and don't fear, that some day I might just wake up and find that they are no longer what they used to be or not even there at all. Just as easily, they might be replaced. My point? Posession is good, much as the Jedi forbid it, but it's neither the beginning nor the end of the world as we know it. It's not the stake or the teeth, just the spice. (hey, it's a food entry after all)
You know what I realise about the charecter with the world at his fingertips? Someday he'll wake up and find that the suit doesn't fit him, the glasses are nowhere thick enough, the phone is some old piece of junk and his hair, once carefully cut and styled, has all but fallen off his scalp. All his possessions will then mean nothing to him, and the truth that he's not as better than everyone else as he once thought (or at all, for that matter) will strike him as all the more bitter. But, most importantly, and though he might not realise it, the salad he (thought he) bought was only rented, and if he ever logs on to World of Warcraft, he'll be pweend left and right like everyone else. And that's worth a little snicker to me.
In other news, the cat welded my fish to great effect. Thank you!
Pax vobiscum atque vale.
ArabianShark will go on treasuring his posessions, for he has not all he likes, but he likes all he has.