I tried to live small. I took a narrow bed. I held my elbows to my sides. I tried to step carefully And to think softly And to breathe shallowly In my portion of air And to disturb no one.
Yet see how I spread out and I cannot help it. I take to myself more and more, and I take nothing That I do not need, but my needs grow like weeds, All over and invading; I clutter this place With all the apparatus of living. You stumble over it daily.
And then my lungs take their fill. And then you gasp for air. Excuse me for living, But, since I am living, Given inches, I take yards, Taking yards, dream of miles, And a landscape, unbounded And vast in abandon.
Imagine being invited to a banquet where you bring your own meal- and you brought a steak ,baked potatoes and asparagus with Boston cream pie for desert.
Joining you at that table were a sampling of the human diversity from your community. Across from you at this table was a mother with children who had nothing to bring- how much would you enjoy your meal without sharing it?
If it was him in those pictures with the monkey, he could look at them every day and think: If I could do this, I could do anything. No matter what else you came up against, if you could smile and laugh while a monkey did you with chestnuts in a dank concrete basement and somebody took pictures, well, any other situation would be a piece of cake. Even hell. More and more, for the stupid little kid, that was the idea... That if enough people looked at you, you'd never need anybody's attention again. That if someday you were caught, exposed, and revealed enough, then you'd never be able to hide again. There'd be no difference between your public and private lives. That if you could aquire enough, accomplish enough, you'd never want to own or do another thing. That if you eat or sleep enough, you'd never need more. That if enough people loved you, you'd stop needing love. That you could ever be smart enough. That you could someday get enough sex. These all became the little boy's new goals. The illusions he'd have for the rest of his life. These were all the promises he saw in the fat man's smile.