The Man Who Says ‘Yeah’

I was sitting on the bench next to The Man Who Says ‘Yeah’. I didn’t know then that he was The Man Who Says Yeah but I was – in time – to learn this. He sat silently, not saying yeah, not saying anything, and there was nothing about him to make you look twice; he was just a guy. He was just another guy in a park, in a park just like any other park, in a city just like any other city. This is real life that I’m talking about here you understand, not fiction or fantasy or anything like that – it’s strictly autobiographical. It’s the true story of my life and all of the events I am about to describe actually took place, although you may not believe it. People usually don’t.


I was sitting there on the park bench, inventing new words, inventing words that no one had ever heard of before. This was a hobby of mine you might say, even though I am very well aware that no one actually has hobbies anymore, not in this day and age – certainly not in this day and age. It was my ‘hobby’ to have a hobby when no one else did. It was my affectation…


I would spend all morning inventing words that no one had ever heard of, and then when the afternoon came, I would forget all about them again. If you were to ask me for an example one of these words, one of the words that I myself had invented, I wouldn’t be able to think of any. I have forgotten them all. You’ll just have to take my word for it. I’m an artist of sorts you see, brimming over with all sorts of extravagant neologisms – neologisms that the world just isn’t ready for. I am so full of innovations that I hardly know where to start. I don’t know where to start.


I don’t actually know where to start and this is the whole problem. The field of possibilities is just too wide, the scope of my imagination too great for me to settle down to any one idea, any one innovation. To be limited or tied down by any one single innovation would be frankly suffocating to me. It would be too limiting, and I can’t bear to be limited. Who can, after all? No one likes to be limited but we put up with it in order enjoy the benefits that we’re being offered. The so-called ‘benefits’, might we say, the so-called benefits we falsely imagine we are going to receive…


No one likes to be hemmed in by other people’s dull preconceptions, by their crassly stereotypical expectations, by the unspoken game rules that govern what we can think and what we can do. It feels bad – it feels bad because we can’t help knowing that we’re selling ourselves short, because we know we are making ourselves into grinning compliant fools. Grinning away idiotically to ourselves as we rush to do the bidding of our loathsome masters. What have we got to grin about? What benefit do we imagine that we are going to accrue as a result of turning our backs on all that is honest and true? What is the Grand Advantage which we think we stand to gain? These are all rhetorical questions, of course – rhetorical questions are the only questions worth asking. Anything else is too tedious.


I was not to find out that the unassuming man sitting next to me on the park bench that day was The Man Who Says Yeah until many years had passed, but that’s another story. Perhaps that is a story that I might some day tell you. Or then again – perhaps it isn’t.





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