... Agree with me, Timothy. I must have your support. Grant me a measure
of acquiescence; chant me a mantra of acceptance. Timothy, stand
behind me on this. I want to tell you a story about difficulties of
the mind and the soul, separately and together. It goes like this,
A man, my older brother, stands on his head on a street
corner. Daily. He is paid; it is his only source of
income. At nine each morning he punches in over there,
no, over there, next to the fish market, sets up his
pillow right there, and stands on his head. Until five,
yes, with an hour for lunch at noon. Why? Good hours.
Good wages. He feeds a family of four with his salary--a
suicidal wife, a retarded son, an autistic daughter. The
sadness of his life has worn him down, has degraded the
quality of his work--that is, the aesthetic value of his
headstands. He worries that his funding won't last, and
that, too, distracts him.
Timothy, I just want to take some time out to create an opportunity to
say that I value your advice highly, and I think you should agree with
me now. Say yes, Timothy.
One day he wakes up groggily, is unable to shake the morning
confusion. He punches in, but forgets to stand on his head,
and spends the entire morning standing on his feet. People
walking by start to notice. Traffic builds as drivers slow
down to look. What is he thinking? Only when he leaves for
lunch does he realize his mistake. He immediately calls his
boss to apologize, but his boss is not there. Not wanting
to disrupt the continuity of his day, he continues to stand on
his feet after lunch. Many people photograph him. Someone
from the press comes to interview him, but he does not answer
Intermission, Timothy. Wake up. Timothy. Have some coffee.
Are you comfortable? Too comfortable?
He is highly embarrassed and resolves never to make the same
mistake again. The next morning there is a crowd of people
at his street corner, but when they see him stand on his head
as usual they leave. He goes out and stands on his head one
Saturday to make up for the lost day, but no one really notices.
Don't you agree, Timothy?
He receives double his usual paycheck at the end of the month.
Don't you agree? Timothy? ...