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A conversation on the 4

December 25, 2009 pm31 4:06 pm

Wednesday, school’s out, I clean up for a while then hop on the 4 to see a movie downtown.

By the way, The Road is probably the darkest movie I have ever seen. It creeped me out, made me uncomfortable, and I almost left. A few times. It was well-made, no doubt, well-shot, but terrifying the way a horror movie should be but never is. Once you see the first awful scene, you’re just waiting for the next. And once you see the agonizingly painful dreams/flashbacks, the pleasant ones become unbearable, as the contrast with reality is just too close. The boredom and fine photography of The English Patient, and boredom, I said that, interwoven with the true nightmare material.

Anyhow, on the 4, talking to a UFTer on my cell, and at 161 a 30ish lawyer-looking guy gets on, sits down next to me. We go in the tunnel, I hang up (hang up what, the receiver?) and start playing backgammon, one of the only games on my ancient phone. The guy says “think that’s true?” and I half turn because he shouldn’t be talking to me, but he pretty clearly is. He motions up to the subway ads and my eye-rolling muscles get ready, and I’m going back to my game but in the instant I pause and he motions more clearly “that Schopenauer quote, do you think it’s true?” and it’s one of those intellectual subway things, but instead of poetry in motion it’s supposed to be a deep quote. I read:

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. – Schopenhauer

I lean forward, looking, reading. The posture is clear.

He knows I heard, but not a word from me.

Solid 30 seconds, maybe a full minute.

“No.”

I get an “oh” or “ahem” or something like that. The conversation is done.

Then I add:  “Maybe for Schopenauer.”

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