Friday, July 10, 2009


Yesterday, I saw a man fall from the sky.

Actually he was in one of those expandable compartments that are attached to the tops of utility trucks, usually they're operated by utilities companies or city maintenance- I don't know what they're called. They look like a cross between a crane and carnival ride.

Anyway, it was quite startling to see this man fall with such force and at such a rapid pace. I was driving by on a narrow expressway from work to my home, and if I had stopped, the Audi convertible behind me would have surely run straight into my protruding bike rack.

But I wonder if anyone stopped. Not to gawk, but to help or inform Pacific Gas and Electric that they have an injured worker (and hopefully only injured).

Watching the man fall from above made me think about all the men and women that must be falling from the sky in recent months. Falling, not soaring, not coasting, maybe even diving from a high place in life to a murky bottom, or through a tunnel with no bottom at all- just an uncontrolled plummet. A fall from secured funds, a fall from guarantees and certainties, a dive from trust and faith in our government, our health care system, our financial sector and the men and women running all the mentioned entities.

Seconds after watching the man fall from the sky, I brake steadily at a stop light and start to eye all the cars and people stopped around me. The young man in the black Audi stopped alongside my gurgling Volvo station wagon turns to look at me; he bares no smile, no calm, and almost looks angry. I'm not nice enough to smile at him, I figure he would respond the same way as the engineers and programmers with whom I work; an expression that exhibits a blend of supremacy, boredom, and mercilessness.

These days, Saudis come here to visit their sons, the great princes and heirs, at Stanford University. They blow thousands of dollars at Bloomingdale's and thousands more on meals at four-star restaurants along Santa Cruz Avenue. Foreigners have moved here and pay for their multi million-dollar properties, Teslas, and Maserattis in cash. Where does this leave us? The people spilling out of volvos and running to the next Target clearance while trying to charge our tuitions to our credit cards?

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