I write to introduce two more fictional characters. Let’s call them String Pig and Dutch Pig. They are, unfortunately, disappointing characters. Quite simply, they just make promises that they do not intend to keep. I have mentioned in the past that I have taken on cleaning the left side of the road and path to my house of worship. I am usually holding a dog’s leash in the other hand.
So I apparently invented two characters, Dutch and String, and asked them to clean certain areas, one the right side of my path, and the other a small “green space” beside a particular house. I imagined these to have actually committed to taking on these tasks. Dutch I imagined as a wandering almost student whom I saw here often enough that he could make a difference in our endeavor. String I created as someone whose drains I had unblocked, furniture I had helped to move and set up, and whose child I had rescued from a room which got stuck closed when a lockset failed. I imagined that I had even replaced a busted fuel line in String’s wife’s old car. So I thought he too might play along.
Yesterday, on my way to synagogue, it became obvious to me that I must have imagined these people while I was in a delusional state as the areas I had imagined that they had promised to clean remained litter strewn a month after such promises were ostensibly made. So I cleaned them myself. The right side of the path - I held the dog on the left this morning - took me all of nine minutes to clean, including washing my hands after. It became even more obvious in that nine minutes that Dutch must simply have been a mirage as an almost student who is often here only for Shabbat would not in his right mind make a commitment to a nine minute job. He just would not have the time. Can you imagine what it would have taken him to keep this space in shape?
Even more so for String. There it took me 16 minutes, including washing my hands and turning two old tires into fence ornaments. But then, later in the day, it occured to me that this might all have a hallucination and I had only imagined I had cleaned, as the two tires were again to be found in the “green space” as if they had never been moved in the first place.
So I take back my acknowledgment and my thank yous, but can not be sure that those were not simply inventions as well. I only hope that I will soon find some anchor to what is real that I may know when and if I should be disappointed.