Friday, October 28, 2011

Yes, he talked:


On my way home, I crossed the paved open area that surrounds the university's rectangular wading pool. It's a rather artsy place in my home town, and the pool is part of the air conditioning system for a nearby elegant building. It was warm enough for people to sun and wade, and one man, a performance artist, stood on a small platform. Utterly still, he held a pose, one hand held high. The other hand was partly open at waist level. I walked past him, marveling at his stolid patience.

What an opportunity. I've rarely talked to a statue. I have talked to runners. I like to say "Good afternoon" to them, expecting them to be frustrated that they have to keep up their breathing and won't be able to make a civil response.

What would the statue do? I walked back and stood before him.
"You should open your right hand more," I said.
"Why do you think so," he responded, speaking softly, rapidly, lips nearly motionless.
"Your gesture needs to be more inclusive," I said.
"I think it's right," he said, and he stood even more still. Our conversation was over.
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