Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Circa 1984

I don't believe in souls or spirits, wishing on a shooting star, Joe Friel, or magic vests.  But there is something unusual about this particular vest, perhaps not quite magical... yet something powerful, hypnotic. It appeared out of the dust, rising to me as I lifted it from a box in my father's U-Store-It-Self-Storage locker. The blue swaths encompass a unity of purpose and peace with the moment.  The minimalist rainbow speaks to a mind in tune with the rhythms of the world without being offensively garish, yet is bold enough to stand alone in a crowd proclaiming a philosophy of personal comfort and the theory of time travel. In short, this vest signifies a menacing psychology.

I first learned of its great powers when returning from California.  Wearing proudly the vest I felt an ambiance of control - doors parted promptly before me, my water bottle didn't leak and soak the sandwich in my pack, and the lines of laden travelers moved along.  The unwavering humility of the green blaze professing the wisdom of the unity of mankind against tyranny and evil, the red blaze beckoning the ticketing agent to rebellion and the surrounding sea of blue singing a tranquility in the rightness of right action.  With a nod and a 'good day' the agent overlooked my 60 pound bag of earth moving machinery for an overstuffed and spiffy roll-along bursting its seams with 60 pounds of holiday knick-knacks, Russian vodka and black market DVDs.  

Just this very morning I was witness to the vest's magic of persuasion once again.  My co-conspirator and I descended upon the town of Westminster.  We called into the quiet, bearing news of Plan B.5, the manifestation of our will, the revolution of racing that will put MIT on the map with the X-Pot 3D collegiate cycling races (April 18th-19th 2009).  We hailed the Chief of Police and called out the Deputy of the Department of Public Works.  Confused and confounded by Paul's unnerving pinstripe button-up and then into submission by the intent stare of the vest's red and wolvish eyes, The Chief agreed to the courses,  suggesting even that we might close the roads during the final sprints and that we could probably do with one less officer.  In all honestly these were the best guys to work with.  Not only were they genuinely enthusiastic but they were confident and casual about the whole affair.  A breath of fresh air after the morale bruising from that soul-sucking briar of obfuscating excuses, the Massachusetts bureaucracy and its stooges.

I have to say, I felt pretty good about our performance today even if it was due to the vest.  It was a bit disappointing that the vest's time warping abilities weren't able to transport us the four minutes we needed to meet our Zipcar deadline.  But I shouldn't complain, four minutes over 25 years is asking for an accuracy of about 1/100,000th of 5%, which seems pretty unrealistic.  Though this vest brings its bearer certain powers, it seems there is at least a four minute window around the present moment in which I must fend for myself.  Such is the fate of mere mortals.

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