May 4th, 2005

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There was a man.

very much a work in progress...I don’t know why my brain is doing this to me, but I think it could grow into something very large and annoying. The essay, not my brain. Although that is large and rather annoying also...

There was a man.

We say there, for he is not here. Here being the point in space-time where I am writing these words. He is also not here, the place and time when you are reading the words. If he is in neither my-here, nor your-here (although I realize that when you are reading this, you think of your location as ‘my-here’ and my location as ‘your-here’ as I am ‘you’ and you are ‘me’ to yourself) but he exists somewhere, then he is ‘there’... or he was.

There was a man.

There was. Really. We are not just creating him for the purpose of this story. He existed. Perhaps he exists. Or, at least, he may still be in existence at the time that I am writing this brief piece about him, though he may no longer exist by the time that you, whoever you may be, get around to reading this. He couldn’t live forever just so that you could read “There is a man”. So, a man was. What he was hasn’t yet been defined, for who can fully define another person or even themselves? I cannot tell you enough about myself to define who I am. But I can tell you a few things about him.

There was a man.

He could remember the smell of fresh cut grass and it reminded him of small puppies. Certain angles of sunlight in the late afternoon, stretching beneath an approaching thundercloud, made him think of the Old Testament. Dry-rotted cotton or the sound of a train evoked his great-grandfather. The smell of buttermilk made him sad, though he couldn’t explain why.

There was a man.

But to limit him to a gender is in no way intended to slight the sisterhood of women. There was a woman, there are women, there will be women. The little girls will see to that. He just happened to be a man, as is half the world. As a man, he had certain privileges and abilities. There were not his fault but he tried to rectify them.

There was a man.