This morning I rode the el with a young man who kept talking to himself -- perhaps even arguing with himself -- repeating over and over, "They're going to finish me. They're going to fuck me."
Unfortunately, this in and of itself is not unusual. People are forever carrying on monologues these days. Perhaps more often than I even realize. I bet that many people I just assume are talking on their cell phones are really conversing with the voices in their heads.
Two things made my companion this morning unusual:
1) He looked so fresh and clean! Solid shoes, clean jeans and t-shirt. His teeth looked like they could use a little work, but there are lots of people out there who are afraid of the dentist and don't go as often as they should.
2) The catalyst for his paranoid tirade was -- wait for it -- a Quill catalog. He muttered his "finish me/fuck me" mantra as he thumbed through the pages and toner cartridges and Sharpies flipped by.
I've been thinking about him all day. Was he off his meds? Is there anyone who cares that he's off by himself, riding the rails and talking to himself? Of all things to be tormented by -- OFFICE SUPPLIES?