Tuesday, December 06, 2005

by the ferry

In 1932 in April a small boy and his mother and father waited on an Oakland, California pier for the San Fransisco Ferry. They boy, who was almost four years old, noticed a blind beggar, huge and old with white hair and a beard, standing with a tin cup. The little boy asked his father for a nickel, which the boy took over to the beggar and gave him. The beggar, in a surprisingly hearty voice, thanked him and gave him back a piece of paper, which the boy took to his father to see what it was.

"It tells about God," his father said.

The little boy did not know that the beggar was not actually a beggar but a supernatural entity visiting Earth to check up on people. Years later the little boy grew up and became a man. In the year 1974 that man found himself in terrible difficulties, facing disgrace, imprisonment, and possible death. There was no way for him to extricate himself. At that point the supernatural entity returned to Earth, loaned the man a part of his spirit, and saved him from his difficulties. The man never guessed why the supernatural entity came to rescue him. He had long ago forgotten the great bearded blind beggar and the nickel he had given him.

I speak now of these matters.

Philip K. Dick. Prologue, Radio Free Albemuth. 1985.

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