The fire, obviously close, was also obviously big. I went out to my balcony which faces the street and was immediately hit with the acrid smell of burning building. Smoke danced above and through the trees. Firetrucks were aligning in from of my tastefully appointed mid-rise.
I could smell a story here. Call it a hunch; call it the cough inducing smoke that surrounded me, but I knew something was amiss and it needed me…ME to provide clarity.
I was soon joined by two young women. The terminally hip types that consider themselves gifted in the arena that is intellectual esoterica. They’re the kind of uber modern chicks who’ve colored their hair this raven black….gangrene black , really and they wear their bangs very short and erratic, as if cut by tiny fingernail scissors being operated by Parkinsonian hands….or TV’s Hugh Beaumont after a bender.
They firmly believe that this hair color and style go great with the distinct lack of melanin in their skin. In addition, they slip their slim, meth-affected frames into school girl outfits–short skirts that display white, spindly legs with feet adorned with green Chuck Taylors. They buy other types of second hand raiments purchased from stores in the bohemian section of any large city. They wear plastic kiddie hair clips, really red lipstick and listen to trance music, along with the occasional Mantovani and Echo and The Bunnymen.
We exchanged nods and made some idle chit-chat about it being a one horrific fire. We watched in silence for a while, and then the oh so wizened San and Skrit, standing to my left, started getting very deep and pseudo philosophical about the conflagration before them. These two self perceived “noted thinkers” began with existentialist, Martin Heidegger.
Mary Kate: "You know, this fire makes me hearken (yes, she actually said ‘hearken”) back to reading Heidegger as a child. Since metaphysical philosophy is aware of the “ontological difference” but habitually misconstrues it, and proceeds on the mistaken assumption that Being can be fully grasped by way of a “general theory of Being”, we lose a sense of the presence of Being in our lives, and that is an inestimable loss. You know…lke the end result of this fire. Possessions are things and things help comprise life and to live is to exist!"
Ashley : "Ah yes. This is the perfect indication that Heideggar was catching the same worries as the early Wittgenstein, in the latter’s musings about regaining the “mystical” sense of “wonder” that anything at all exists. In a true Heideggerian sense then, are we really watching this fire? Are the people behind us still there and still watching the fire and do the flames look to you as they do to me? What color is justice and and inequity in everyone’s world?"