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Doug Wrenn

Small Man, Big Boulevard
By Doug Wrenn
Jan 27, 2013 - 1:10:02 AM

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It was a dark, dismal and cold November sky. Alone in a crowd, he sensed the season for all still yet living would soon wither and die.

The dampness of the air bit his exposed skin as if to splinter. Light was fleeting, life taking a beating, and from within and without, all felt like a coming winter.

His journey was long; his deadened heart seemed robbed of song. He had a destination in mind, and to the distance he seemed blind.

Noise and movement scurried all around him. Why had that too, not succumbed? A small dot in a vast scene, he, too, was alive, yet all he felt was numb.

Controlled turmoil was abound. His mind raced even faster, though no one even noticed, as he blended right in, that he was a part of it, or even around.

Joggers and walkers, cell phone talkers, cars, trucks, missing mufflers, revved up motors, blaring horns all smothered him, as one half of his mind drowned them out as if he was on a peaceful lake, fishing. Yet the other half, desperate for distraction, forced the thoughts; who are they? Where are they all going? What is purpose? Do they even have a mission? Does anybody even see him?

A chilled gust hit him head on, costing him a quick breath, as it pushed and stung maliciously into his face. His will, undaunted, his mind still haunted, he defiantly only accelerated his already brisk pace.

So many people rushing in every given direction with something, if not so much to do. We all share it together, yet they see not him, nor even you.

And what if they did? Would they notice, care, or even ponder? Who is this man? From where has he come, and why? Where is he headed? Is he fleeing something behind him? Or simply lost in more ways than one, and now sentenced to aimlessly wander?

He is really a large man, but barely registers on this mass canvas of hectic and crowded life. What is he thinking? What would he say? Does he yearn for someone to reach out? Would he mind if they were to interrupt? Or is he walking into an earthly purgatory, if not a hell? Briskly he continues, yet the long and unending road ahead almost seems to swallow him up.

Full of vigor, his steps are bounding. Yet his face, drained and lifeless, is far more telling, while still mysterious of cause, and so contradictory to his gait that to observe him his morbid as it is astounding.

For what, where or even whom does he search? What was taken from him to place him on this dreadful journey, aggressive, yet lost? Is this endeavor to be fruitful or just a fit of anxiety, which has killed him from within with a pain attached to a horrifically burdensome cost?

He resembles walking dead in this chaotic scene of surrounding humanity. Determined to get somewhere, yet a location still unknown. Does he suffer from traumatic heartbreak, or simply wallowing in insanity? Does he have an abode, and even if so, is it truly a home?

Sitting at that red light in all the combustion of life, next time look around and notice that small man on that big boulevard, trotting along yet conspicuously bereft of life, reason, hope, or glee. Take heart and consider his plight. Lest some day it befall you, or even me, as our life on the boulevard also walks into night.

Doug Wrenn


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