Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dance

It began with ritual shouts and taunts of the sort that are often exchanged by people in thrall with their own power, or people who want to create a screen of false bravado in the hopes of distracting others from their actual weakness. This escalated to the immediate precursors of physical contact.

The participants intruded closer and closer into each other's personal space, the volume of taunts increased, facial expressions became more extreme, motions of arms and legs became more pronounced and threatening. The sound and spectacle generated a magnetic field, drawing an audience who started to mentally tally the worth of each participant, as well as the credibility of their threats, verbal and physical. (Wherever things can be measured - objectively or not - judgments and predictions inevitably follow...)

Pushing and shoving were added, increasing the instability of the situation and leading to a chain reaction breakdown of civility. Shoves quickly became blows, pushes became grabs as each attempted to gain physical dominance. Soon the first evidence of blood began to add additional color to the proceedings. The exchanges continued to increase in volume and savagery, the shouts dying down to simple grunts punctuated by the sound of blows falling on human flesh.

Soon the symphony of violence reached its orgasmic peak, as outraged fervor and physical and mental effort sapped the participants to exhaustion. The last few pathetic exchanges were made, providing proof the participants had been drained.

A final look or grimace was thrown, and the participants separated and began to make their way back onto the paths they followed before they crossed - their lives diminished in proportion to their destruction of civility. With the spectacle over, the audience also evaporated, each also diminished by witnessing the vicious behavior and the failure of social and behavioral rules.

The violence had indelibly marked, deformed, and cracked the thin shell of civilization that imperfectly covers our too often savage nature, and left both the participants and their audience alone to face another cold, hard, and unpleasant truth of human existence.

Submitted by MikeEss

About the Author: "I'm a failed student of the human condition..."

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