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“But that’s the thing, isn’t it? Essentially, the more you learn… I mean the more knowledge and information you absorb, the wider your perspective becomes on what it is you don’t know. That pool of potential knowledge that you first dipped your chubby toes in has become a veritable ocean.”

Stanley bobbed his head once in abrupt agreement. Joseph continued his soliloquy:

“So, really, the smarter you are, the stupider you become. In a relative sense.”

Stanley wasn’t sure a response was warranted (much less invited). He cocked his head sideways, giving a quizzical look. Joseph continued to be carried away by his own verbal momentum:

“It’s funny. You might have more understanding or a better grip on a topic, but you suddenly realize the depth of your ignorance. It’s astounding.” Joseph smirked, ran some fingers through his disheveled curls, brushed his sandwich remains to the ground, stood up, and turned back to Stanley: “I’ll see you tomorrow, my friend.”  Stanley shuffled in that side-to-side way he had of silently saying goodbye. Joseph took the east exit from the park going who knows where.

Stanley continued to stand for a bit enjoying the quiet. Most of what Joseph said was irrelevant, but he liked the cadence of his voice. Whether you’re floating on top of a wading pool or a bottomless quarry, you’re still only touching the surface, he thought. It’s the only place you can breathe. Before he could give this much more thought, he had to claim the sandwich remains for himself lest the other pigeons get ideas of their own.