All The Rules

The man looked disgusted at her because she was coming up an aisle she was supposed to be going down.  She noticed the label and looked back up at his gnarled face and said, “I don’t care. Do you always follow rules?”

There hadn’t been another person in that aisle until she’d gotten to the top of it where the ugly-gnarly-faced stranger was standing like he’d been placed there as a sentry — surveillance cameras not enough.

“Yes,” he grumbled, standing there with one giant swollen leg and the other covered in what didn’t look like skin, barely able to walk. He was hugely overweight and his cart was filled with junk. Yes, it did appear he followed all the rules. Later she passed him again, outside waiting for the bus, smoking. What a shame, he follows all the rules.

Rule #1 – “Die as soon as you can.”

What a sad state of affairs that people are giving ugly, gnarled stairs because of an arrow on the floor. What it seems like is that suddenly people have been given back some power that they thought had gone forever. They are now police. What an honor. What a freedom to tell others what to do — it makes them feel big inside — bigger than they’ve ever felt.

She could remember all the times that her power had been taken away:

That time when she was a manager and got fired for trying to manage. Male egos.

Those years that she’d worked so hard to get ahead and costs kept getting higher and more and more and more taxes and fees were added.

Those times she took so much of her valued time to study all the issues for an election only to have the results touted before she’d even made the polls. And nothing ever went a way she wanted — not once.

Rule #2 — Follow all the rules.

What does someone following all the rules get — a seat in the theater of a fake life until finally waking up to realize that that isn’t where real life is?

What is real and what is fake?

Is that man’s leg going to suddenly get better because he told someone what to do. Will he finally lose all that weight and get real skin for his legs? Will he stop smoking and live a little longer because he followed all the rules?

All he’ll likely get is a sense of momentary pleasure that he, (thinks he), is better than someone else. Maybe in a fantastic adventure, he will think about those words the woman spoke and wonder if following the rules is best. Maybe he’ll ponder a little on what she meant.

More likely than not he won’t.

It never hurts to plant a seed. Nature, (real life), always does the rest.


Image credit:  Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke