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Observations From The Window

Updated on May 25, 2017
palmerlarryray profile image

A father, freelance writer and one hell of a cook, Larry Ray Palmer currently resides in a small North East Missouri farm community.

Courtesy of Justin Schott
Courtesy of Justin Schott

A story I wrote several years ago.


Reality no longer existed to him... It had become the mere ravings of a mind long deprived of sanity... Nightmares intruded upon him from every angle in the way that flies will swarm to a creature close to death... He took a step, and another, and a third, before swaying and falling to the ground...Had anyone been watching they would have most certainly pronounced him to be inebriated, but for the fact , no one was watching... No one cared, no one noticed... no one except for me...

I watched him with the cruel gaze of the child setting fire to ant hills as he attempted escape from his nightmare. I did not go to his side, nor did I offer assistance. I merely observed. The world we know has become a powerfully dangerous place... To do more than observe is to invite danger upon one's self. To show empathy for a fellow beings plight has become a mark of weakness that allows one to be preyed upon easily. In a time when the very legal system is set up to protect the criminals, the honest man no longer has freedom and, that said, the righteous man is extinct, a thing of legend. None of us can claim to be upright anymore... we destroyed what we were given... we trampled the world beneath our feet and left its corpse to dry in the sun. We allowed it to happen without thought or word against the process... and we perpetuate our pillaging still...

We have become a society of individuals... separated from one another by our own nature... our personal demons have become our personal gods... we turn on the television and watch people die brutally and call this entertainment... we burn thousands upon thousands of acres of rain forest and yet expect that our children will continue to breathe... we stand idly by whilst innocence is lost to perverse appetite and still dare to call ourselves civilized human beings... we have lost compassion and instead grown the ability to stand at the window and watch another’s death without remorse...when did we become thusly civilized? What great sin brought it upon us? How long can a mind remain sane under such conditions? Is it possible for the human psyche to become so detached that it sees itself as a separate being?

The man in the snow looked like me, same stature, same hair, same taste in clothes...yet I did nothing to reach him, did not call out, did not go to his aid... He was there, alone, dying in the snow on a lot and no one, save myself, would know of the fall of this once great man who had been me. Now I stand, looking out the pane at the body that was once my own... I feel... nothing.

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    • palmerlarryray profile imageAUTHOR

      Larry Ray Palmer 

      10 years ago from Macon, Missouri

      Thanks Larry (maven101). That is exactly the response I was looking for when I wrote this. It is actually something from a few years back but after reading the comments section of a newspaper website last night, I see indifference has remained a huge problem.

      There was a story of a 41 year old man who was found shot dead in a motel parking lot in Indianapolis. Rather than acknowledge the death of a human being, commenters turned the section into a flame war about who lived in the best part of town. It was sickening.

      I hate to think my kids are growing up in a world where someones death barely causes a flinch but the color of your hat can get you killed.

    • maven101 profile image


      10 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Larry...( gotta like that name )..Great stuff here !! I found myself wanting to shake the observer, slap his dispassionate face, curse him for his lack of compassion...If a short story's goal is to produce an emotional response, yours has succeeded brilliantly...I really enjoyed the way you captured the uncaring perspective of the observer...and remained true to this perspective to the end...You have a new fan, follower, or whatever they are calling us now...Thanks for this, and I look forward to reading more...Larry

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      yep you directed me over to this one, and i know what you mean,,,,, insane world alright

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 

      10 years ago from SE US

      powerful! thanks for sharing.

    • palmerlarryray profile imageAUTHOR

      Larry Ray Palmer 

      10 years ago from Macon, Missouri

      I write a lot but its usually paid web content for other people so it's nice to take a break once in a while and look back at where I came from. I like the more introspective writing but it just doesn't pay the bills.

    • rkhyclak profile image


      10 years ago from Ohio

      That's where most of my creative pieces are. I have just one on here. I get a bit self conscious sometimes!

    • palmerlarryray profile imageAUTHOR

      Larry Ray Palmer 

      10 years ago from Macon, Missouri

      Thank you. I had a great time writing this piece almost a decade ago and it has sat quietly ignored. I ran across it in my files and decided it needed to be shared.

    • rkhyclak profile image


      10 years ago from Ohio

      Loved the intensity, build of anticipation and the emotion it invoked.


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