The Wall


There is so much we’ve missed.  We missed it though, not due to malice or indifference, but due to a lack of perspective.  As a young boy, I can remember going into an old-timey drug store that had gifts, trinkets, and sundry necessities all throughout the main portion of the store and a pharmacy with a service counter that was the height of an adult’s chest at the back of the store.  I always wondered what was back there behind the “giant wall” where my grandfather would stand and converse with the “giant people” on the other side of it.

            I found that, if I lumbered near the front of the store, I could see more of this area than if I stood at my grandfather’s feet as he conducted his business with the “giants”.  I eventually quit going back to this “wall” and instead just hung around the toys and candy that were so strategically placed at the front of the store so as to catch the eye of children as they were leaving the store with their mothers or other charges.  As the years went by, and as I grew in stature, more and more of this mysterious area with “giant people” there within would come into view.  And as I matured, and as the trinkets and toys with which I had always entertained myself lost their luster in my eyes, I found myself once again drawn to the back of the store to the “wall” where my grandfather, grandmother, or mother conducted their business.

            As I approached the counter and placed my hands upon it, I found, to my amazement, that I could actually place my chin upon it!  I... could see what was behind it!  I... could, at long last, tell that the “giants” were mere people that were walking around on an elevated floor - a stage of sorts, where they played out their part as “giants” in the eyes of little children.  I could see what they did and how they did it.  I took note of how they would come down off their “stage” on the far corner through an obscure half door, walk through the store as normal men or women, and then return, after a while, to resume their place upon the “stage”... behind the “wall”... with the other “giants”.

            They had not changed.  They were not... demoted.  It was my perspective that had changed.  I... had grown up.  I... saw things more nearly as they, in fact, were.  This is not to say I knew it all, for indeed, in seeing the blur of activity that took place behind the “wall” I now wondered what it was they were doing back there.  I watched in wide wonder as they’d take scraps of paper from people, then scramble back to some certain shelf, remove a large bottle, and place some of its contents into a smaller bottle to give back to the person who’d given them the scrap of paper.  The whole thing was a mystery to my eyes... and I took it all in as I stretched up on my tippy-toes to see as much as I could behind the “wall” where the “giants” once walked.


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