The Accursed Sovereign

The Goodness of a Human Being

Posted in Biography, Fiction, Kibble by bradishn on September 3, 2010

“I need to disappear.”  The voice on the other end of the line was hushed.  Spirited over who knows how many miles, carried by electronic angels, finally delivered unto me by the speaker of a cellular phone, this voice whispered the kind of urgency that could only be created by the machinations of one’s own perceptions.  I knew before he had even pitched any explanation that I would be on the road by the end of the day.

* * *

The labor-hours vibrated around me as I topped 80 miles per hour coming down a small rise.  I’d continue at this same pace if it weren’t for the fear of legal repercussions, vehicular failure, or the more lackadaisical drivers on the road.  They could continue at their leisurely pace; I had a goal.

And what was this goal?  Just some request for deliverance?  An excuse to get on the road and out of town?  Certainly my time should be worth more.  I could do anything I put my mind to, or at least that’s what they told me.  Those people who sit content in office chairs, who tell me that my poverty is so novel and interesting.  They don’t understand beyond their own comfort, which is why they’ll never understand the loathing I have for where I’m stuck.  Their appreciation lasts for as long as they need me.

No, this was nothing insignificant.  This was the only real request for help someone had put in front of me.  There was no challenge to it.  It was assistance at its purest.  This wasn’t for me, and there was no presumption that it was on either side.  This was a chance to answer some sort of a prayer, no matter how insignificant.  These opportunities did not come every day.

* * *

Everything he owned was in the vehicle in less than 2 minutes.  We began the return journey with less than 5 minutes of stopping time.  When the entire goal is movement, when displacement is the priority, the importance of place drops to an insignificance.  There’s only you, the myriad of -meters in the console, and the always-frustrating drivers around you.  This time they blur into a background as myself and my charge make our way towards his salvation.

He tells stories of the hell he’s seen.  The ignorance, the apathy, the depravity, I know it all before he says it.  I’m not a listener, but a sounding board for him, a chance to decompress the sublime experiences that come with throwing yourself into the fiery depths of society’s lowest-common-denominator.  It is some of the most beautiful and most ugly shit I’ve ever heard; I’ve seen it before, in a different time and place.  We were there together, separated and strangled only by miles, but we both saw and heard and felt and loathed.  He is a kindred spirit, though I am playing the savior.  He says as much, though I again know it before he speaks it.

* * *

Safe in his sanctuary, he hands me money for fuel.  I don’t ask for it, but only accept it.  I’d do the same for him, though we both recognize that it was never necessary.  Though he doesn’t know it, he’s given me something that few can give: a chance to be genuinely useful, to be needed.  In a society where surpluses abound around us, surpluses of goods, of food, of labor, there are these little exigencies that society as a total creature cannot ameliorate with its plethoras of consumables.  The filling of these exigencies will never have a market value, or be recognized for what little good they accomplish.  But it is only in their creation and their alleviation that we’ll ever know the goodness of a human being.

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