Thursday, February 06, 2014

Disappearing in plain sight

This is the Keystone Trail, right in the middle of the middle of Omaha.

You'll find yuppies and bobos and DINKs and hipsters and bikers and joggers and slackers and workers and old folks up and down its paved pathway beside the Little Papillion Creek whenever the weather isn't totally unfortunate.

Sometimes, you'll find idiots like me there even when the weather is unreasonably unfortunate. Not today, however. Too much snow, too damned windy and cold.

Some things . . . some folks whom you might find there, you'd probably rather pretend aren't there -- there right under our reasonably affluent noses. But evidence is evidence.

Like this. Right under our noses.

IT'S QUITE easy today to routinely ignore what's right under our noses. In our society, we all live in our own little worlds, and we all live by those whose worlds are a lot like our own.

No longer are we forced to exist cheek and jowl with the great unwashed, so we don't.

And they become invisible, even when they're in plain sight. Or, as the case may be, tucked just into the tree line.

Would that all our failures were as out of sight and out of mind as the homeless, some of whom -- beset by mental illness, addiction or whatever -- never come in out of the cold. Even when it's snowy and 10 below, like it is this harsh February night in Omaha.

I hope whomever this encampment belongs to gave in to the siren song of central heating at a local shelter. A lean-to this crude can't keep out the snow, much less the subzero cold.

MAYBE WE fail to notice what's right under our noses -- or pretend we don't notice what's right under our noses -- because we're just overwhelmed. We are so overwhelmed by our own problems and clutter and, yes, demons that we figure we can't afford the luxury of contemplating or acknowledging those whose problems and clutter and demons have left them wandering through the Nebraska deep freeze.

As opposed to merely being distracted and stressed out.

Me, I don't know. I'm just spitballing here.

Whatever is the case, the evidence is clear that none are so blind as those who will not see. "Those," of course, being you. And you. And you.

And, by God, me.

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