You'd have to be soft in the head.
A gentleman who in the recent past may have been denoted "dim witted" boards the train to the titters of some school children and the nervous glances of my more mature fellow commuters. The gentleman is dissheveiled to the point of parody and perhaps a little the worse for wear from a recent tumble in the earth, but a gentleman nonetheless with a wild gleam to his eye and exhuberently yet softly greets all present.
A tangible atmosphere consumes the carriage as one by one, the gentle man takes the time to greet and chat with each and every commuter in his peculiar sing-song voice, and the younger titters become louder and the elder body language becomes proportionately more agitated as their turn draws nearer.
From the friends with me at the time surfaced the quip: "You'd have to be soft in the head to be so nice to everyone", the pith of which i experienced as more discomforting by far than any "cultured / educated" response to the gentle man.
The very approach of the Dim Witted One was perceived to be an experience so confronting as to be avoided if at all possible. I've witnessed this technique so totally captivate and charm when employed by puppies, who are several safe removes from the superior position of an human. But when such behaviour is exhibited by a man, the charm is lost so entirely, like a joke gone too far.
What portal does the Gentle Man invite us to gaze upon? What parts of ourselves must we expose to even engage at this level? Has the inbuilt mirror of the self, we thought safely stowed in the third drawer down, sprouted legs to exercise freedom of realms we assumed safely annexed?
How again did we assure ourselves so entirely of the stability of the foundations of our comfortable philosophy, which are shaken so easily by the mere threat of gazing into the eyes of the simpleton?
By what power do such people carry their existance, that can so easily rock ours? What have they tapped into that, albeit as gently as a lamb, forces us so completely on the defensive?
How well can we truly be said to carry our existance, which trembles so tangibly when confronted by those we dismiss or deride? Peeling back the dogma, just how comfortable is this act of dismissal? What exactly are we trying to avoid and why?
What again are these opportunities of outlook and approach we have, perhaps unconsciously, decided to forgo, that ranks our behaviour above that of those we deem dim of wit? And where is the confidence in that decision to be found when put to the test?
What have we decided to forgo of ourselves, what potential have we sacrificed and to what end?
Where is the person who made that decision?
Thankyou to Sarah MacLachlan and Michael Vanderee for sharing their incites.