Standing in Line: A Meaningless Form

Consider this: The ordinary man, his name is Bill, walking down the street who stops when he notices a long line of people standing along the sidewalk of full City block; he looks to his left and right and to him it appears as if the line continues around the block in both directions. His curiosity peaked he crosses the street and asks; “So, what’s this all about?”  One guy responds, “Can’t you see, we’re standing in line!” Within seconds the ribbon of people turn and look at him erupting into a dissonant cacophony of reprimands, “hey stupid, can’t you see there’s a line here, not cuts, go back to the end of the line!”  Annoyed by the response Bill continues along the line occasionally asking the same question receiving a similar response; he turns the corner and again he sees that the line does indeed continue.  He ask a woman; “Mam, can you tell me where the end of the line is?” She responds by pointing over her shoulder and with a bruising pitch proclaims,  “It’s back there!”  

His outlook intensified by her sour tone he continues on and turns the next corner only to discover, yes, the line continues. Now further refined to that of a personal quest-of-discovery he rushes toward the last corner where he comes upon a sign affixed atop an ornate wrought-iron pole cast with a heavy round base. The sign says “Tickets: Form Line Here.” He quickly looks at the reverse side; it’s stenciled with the words “Staten Island Ferry”. He steps back from the sign to gain perspective and context when he notices that the sign is secured to the storefront of a Medical Marijuana Dispensary; the store’s front window announces, in gold foil, “Down Wind – San Francisco, California” below which appears the following vintage prose of ‘70’s pop-culture: “Take a Trip and Never Leave the Farm – Jim Stafford.”  Below that, held by a piece of tape, a sign which simply states: “Closed”. 

Resigned to the repetitive dysfunction of the portrait before him he elects to resume his day’s tasks however not before he takes notice of a woman walking over to the formation of the mindless asking, “So, what’s this all about?” She receives the predictable rancor and so, frustrated by the response, indignantly starts a second line adjacent to the first which quickly begins to populate with passers-by and those who jump-ship from the trailing end of the first none of which seem at all aware that they are in San Francisco paying homage to a misplaced sign for tickets to the Staten Island Ferry. 

Bill walks a few feet to the corner and decided he’d better make up lost time electing instead to make his final transit by way of the City Bus; he turns to his left and moves quickly to the sign marked “Bus Stop” where he boards a waiting bus and as he does, he thinks to himself; “how easy it is to form meaningless into simulated order” completely unaware that the bus’s route-display reports its status as “Out of Service”. He takes his place among the empty seats while the driver, shaking his head in disbelief, closes the door and heads toward the service yard. Epilogue: “How easy it is to form meaningless into simulated order when simulations of order are thought meaningful and the obvious remains a distant relative.”

“Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
 – Henry David Thoreau –

Curtis C. Greco, Founder

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