Back from PDX, Portland in travel-talk. So glad to be home, but
I like it there, too, and this trip I saw something new, something
weird: a man arguing with an invisible friend at my PDX departure
Not so unusual, you say. There are more and more such people on
our sidewalks as the global population surges and the percentage
of madness soars.
But the weird thing was, this man was rich. He wasn’t
some lost soul wearing soiled garments and pushing a stolen
Safeway cart. Instead, he was all Ralph Laurened, all leather
loafered, all groomed for Best in Show at the kennel for fiscally
fortunate breeds, the CEO and CFO and CPA breeds. That, you
see, is what made it weird: that he looked VIP instead of Street.
Turns out, he had a phone inserted inside his ear canal. Turns
out, he wasn’t Deaf with a hearing aid, he was Hearing
with a hands free communication aid, and he was standing smack
in the middle of Portland International taking a call, all shouting
and gesticulating to the air like no one else was there.
I had a moment of realization about what was wrong with this
well-groomed, alpha male. He suffers from the newest socio-mental
disorder to strike humans: a postmodern form of Ambulatory Schizophrenia,
in which he actually is talking to invisible friends.
What’s new and different is a socio-mental disorder
striking the rich instead of the poor, and so publicly. Proof
of this? The only people I see so far with this problem are
affluent men who should know better.