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The Condor Insider

Acquiesence to Popular Behavior

As I meandered aimlessly down the somewhat empty streets I looked down an alley and saw a group of people gathered around something. With nothing better to do I walked towards the group and I saw a man whipping a scrawny horse.

“Sit!” the rugged-built older man yells at the horse while whipping him incessantly.

Usually I am impassive in events but this time I felt a boiling rage inside of me. In fact, I was the only one who seemed to be affected besides the horse. The spectators just watched and walked away as if nothing was going on. I had to do something, I couldn’t just let this horrible nightmare happen. I started running with the intention of jumping on the horse and shielding its face from the lashes. But as I made it halfway through the alley, the walls started crumbling down on me and I sunk down into the floor right before I woke up. I opened my eyes frantically.

“Jesus, what a horrible nightmare,” I thought to myself as I got up from the chair in the living room.

I went to the kitchen and grabbed some water and pretzels. I went back to the chair and sat down. I turned on the television to the local news channel where I was suddenly captivated by drone footage of a skirmish in the Middle East. The footage showed little kids covered in blood and sand as they were trying to find shelter from the intermittent bombs being dropped on them. I felt the gravity of it all, it was like I was strapped down to my chair and couldn’t move. I turned off the TV and tried catching my breath but my heart was going to go out of my chest. I rushed outside and ran to the nearest person I could find.

“What the hell is going on, why isn’t anyone helping these poor people?” I asked the man.

He looked at me in confusion and quickly walked away. I hurriedly walked down the street, trying to get my mind off of what I just saw. As I paced the sidewalk I came across an electronics store which had TV’s showing the news on the display window. They were showing the exact same footage I had just seen earlier, but all the people walking by seemed not to care at all.

I stopped one young man and asked him “Do you not see this?”

“See what?” he replied, “It doesn’t involve me.”

He walked away, disappearing into the crowd of people walking. I felt the ground spinning at my feet as I stumbled to a nearby bench. Everyone walked by. No one stopped to see what was going on with the footage and no one stopped to see what was going on with me.

“Is this real?” I kept asking myself while I felt all the pain and suffering which the people who were being tortured by soldiers felt.

All the sadness and confusion had trickled down to anger and hatred which I wanted to inflict on others. I took up a piece of metal I found lying nearby and I broke the display window. The window shattered but nobody even stopped to see what just happened. Everyone was sort of aloof and distant from what was going on. Androids walking by, that’s what they appeared to me as. I stood there with blood stained hands and sat down on the floor as I watched everyone pass me by.

“Why can’t I be given the blessing of apathy?” I kept asking myself.

Everyone who passed by was a sort of solipsistic shell of a human, a superficial entity which was incapable of helping.

“Mommy, look! That man is hurt, we have to help” a little girl told her mom.

“Not now sweetie, we have to go to the store,” the middle-aged woman said before taking her daughter’s hand and pulling her.

I sat there and sulked as I watched the girl look back at me. The girl was unremarkable but perhaps the only real human I had actually seen the whole day. I wallowed in my misery as I watched everyone pass by and I realized I was even more alone than ever. Nobody would try to help and I had to learn to accept that, I had to learn that not everything needed to be fixed and sometimes you just have to move on. I got up and started walking alongside the busy people. As I was walking home I saw a homeless man with a sign that read “need help, hungry and poor.” I glanced at him and he stared at me back, but I just kept walking. I felt a bit sad for the man but why should I help him, it didn’t concern me. He had no impact on my life and I couldn’t buy him a house, so there was no use in doing anything besides walking away.

“How funny it is, just a while ago and I would’ve helped him. But now, I am thinking more clearly” I told myself.

Everything seemed clearer now that I alienated myself, I could ignore every problem and continue on with my life.

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