While riding my bike through the city yesterday, I came to a stop light in front of a school. While I was waiting for the light to turn green, two men - presumably homeless - pushed shopping carts. One carried a washer, and the other a matching dryer. Once the man had passed just in front of me with the washer, his friend lost control of the dryer and it toppled off his cart. There was a loud crash as it landed in the street. By this time, there were about 30 students watching from across the street, waiting to cross the street and go to school.
Internally I had to decide if I was going to help. The whole thing reminded me of the opening of Requiem For a Dream, and I didn’t want anything to do with the story. As a former teacher, I also thought this little impromptu real-life street theater was a wonderful display for students to learn a little about life. So I just stood there.
Mr. Washing Machine struggled to lodge his cart against the curb, then ran back to his friend. “What happened?!” he asked. “I tried to run to beat the light,” his friend responded. Mr. Washing Machine shook his head and said, “Who do you think you are? Superman?!”
For a moment, this caught my imagination. Superman, with all his ability, rushing to push a drying machine - in a shopping cart - across a cross-walk trying to beat a light. It also struck me that this was a real image of Superman in this guy’s life.
Using teamwork, they reloaded the shopping cart and hurried off down the sidewalk, to God-only-knows-where. hen we all went on with our lives.