A life so worthless nobody wants it. A burden so great it creases the soul, bends the spirits, entangles hope and despair. That's what a stranger said to me as we sat on the park bench. In an endless chatter the old man spoke of his imprisoned years of unhappiness, his calamitous love affairs, his drinking from the poisonous cups of disappoint and sorrow. I asked what the old man once did. He said he was a tap dancer of rare gifts and energy who once danced the world's great stages. He got up from the bench and tapped his feet on the grey concrete. Amidst pigeons he demonstrated gracefulness and quickness as he hopped over sidewalk cracks, always keeping a lightning beat and rhythm.
How miserable a life could he have had I asked. Ahh, was his reply. Have your ever seen Gene Kelly dance?
I left behind a few crumbs of bread for the birds and moved on, happy never to have drank too much from the well of aspiration.