I was a bit giddy when I came upon him, and grateful to self for having dragged me out, for it has been a long while since my last walkabout. The level of vigilance needed in my job and PPE/safety protocols changing daily create such high anxiety; do not contribute to a desire to brave the world on days off, so unless absolutely necessary, I'm not going out much. But I was glad I did, because I need outside, it drives everything good about me. And had I not dragged myself out, I would have missed him! And it made me smile that someone went to the trouble of creating him, so that people, people like me, could smile. I took my photo and went on my merry way, to run the stairs at the marina, and 'trespass' at my beloved breakwater, visit with 'Resurrected,' smile at the irony of her, and watch the aerialist acrobatics of the Jonathans in the world. I walked back the same way I came, because I wanted to see him again and to check if my own 'art du jour,' was still there, or if it had been swept away by the tide. And as I got closer, I smiled to see him, and my own Sea Eggs'n Ham in the distance, still perched on the log, the one with my favourite piece of chain on it. And that, is when Entitlement walked up and said: "Hey did you see that Reindeer? I think I'll take it home, I mean, there's more 'material' here for them to make another one, they probably made it for that, don't you think"? I said: "...or maybe they just like to make public art, to make people smile, people like you and I." I pointed to Sea Eggs'n Ham, and said: "I build them because they make me smile, and sometimes, if the tide doesn't take them too quickly, they make other people smile." I call him Entitlement because he was well-dressed, well-shod, and his pure-bred dog was well-leashed with leather gear. He did not appear to be a man 'in need' of free ornaments for what is very likely his well-manicured yard. He did in that moment, however, appear to be a man 'in want.' A man quite accustomed to getting what he needs, and wants, when he wants and needs it. And he demonstrated this to me when he told himself, tried to have me co-sign, a story about the person who built the reindeer, building it for someone to take home. And while that could certainly be the case, I doubt it. I think I know something about public art, and the people who create it, and I don't think it has anything to do with someone taking ownership of it, someone removing it from its 'public' space, to be enjoyed privately, by only one. I harbour no ill-will toward this man, his utterances and thought process regarding the Reindeer, are but a reflection of the mass self-entitlement, the other pandemic, plaguing human kind. I wanted to say to him, "if you had taken it before I got here today,I would not have seen him, I would have missed a most welcome reprieve of joy in my somewhat joy-less world," but I did not, say that. I work extraordinarily hard to be kind, most of the time, but my kindness cup was running precariously dry, for there had been several 'sketchy' moments during my longed-for and sorely needed outside-ing this day, so I said: "I'll be going now, have a great day." Entitlement said: "I'm going to go take a closer look at your Sea Eggs'n Ham," and I could not bear to turn around as we parted ways, to see if he was heading for the Reindeer.
Marcela: Wondering about the Reindeer,trying not to judge, not always succeeding. November 28, 2020