And just like that, he disappeared under the surface. Like a thought trailing off into oblivion... like a raindrop into the ocean. Blip. He was gone.
The mind is a magical place, that’s for sure. One moment you can be cooking up something spectacular, and the next moment, the phone rings, and you are redirected to another track. Multi-tasking doesn’t solve the problem—you just end up doing several things at seventy percent completion. Seventy percent of quality. And that’s if you’re good at it.
Thistle could disappear, like a homeless character can. Nobody would stop and ask him for any spare change he might offer, even though a few minutes with him could greatly change one’s life. He’d drift off, under a bridge or overpass, find a crack in reality, and be gone. And no one would miss him.
At least, so it seemed.
One day, while alone with himself, near the tracks on the east side of town, he gazed for hours at a weed as it danced in the wind and arched and stretched in the sun. He watched for hours as the conditions changed from cool and overcast to warm and sunny, but breezy, as was so common for this climate in which he found himself.
The weed eked out its existence without assistance. It didn’t have a cardboard sign with a list of qualifications and requests: Vietnam Veteran. Hungry. Anything Helps. God Bless.
Sure, the sun assisted with energy to grow and process things, and the rains when they came assisted with the living of the weed. And the soil provided nutrition and anchored the weed’s roots.
But there wasn’t a kilowatt hour being metered and a bill being administered. There wasn’t a rain gauge measuring the weed’s “consumption” of elements that had been in existence long, long before societies were organized and structured.
Thistle knew in his heart that he was a weed to his society. Something that the greater populace would rather pluck from the ground and toss in the garbage, thus beautifying the societal landscape.
But no amount of Round-Up would extinguish the burning hope in his soul.