a dog on the escalator

Today i was queueing on an escalator behind a man with his dog. This rather little creature was a very curious and lively one. Full of enthusiasm it inspected it’s immediate surrounding – a space that hasn’t been there when they entered the escalator. Stairs that folded up offer so many angles and corners all of a sudden – and then there are my peculiar pairs of feet behind the ones of his boss. He seemed like soaking in this new space intensely through his sensory options at hand, clearly at the highest rate processible for his little brain. In my minds eye i saw the millions of neurons firing to map this new little corner of the world, i saw the calories he was burning by inspecting so intensely, i saw the little body accomodating himself into this space as a temporary habitat. He would be ready to go to heaven on this escalator now, he has his spot – he wouldn’t be surprised if the world from now on is nothing but this escalator (surely with an awakening desire for food soon though).
And then…? We reached the top. It was just a few seconds and a few insecure steps and then the escalator was history. Completely gone. Never was there. New territory ahead to explore. His mind was full with nothing but his little escalator-space a second ago but now he ejected that memory immediately and moved on. His body-language clearly told this.
This might indeed be a rather mundane observation, but it drew a long-lasting smile on my face for some reason.
What kind of escalator one might be on without knowing how long this “temporary space” lasts? What is the time-limit of a “temporary space” anyway? Compared with a life-time? Accommodating onself in a rather well planned and encapsulated niche? Ready to move on as swiftly, elegantly and unattached as that dog leaving the escalator? Ready to recycle those neuronal clusters as soon as they become irrelevant – pulling the most salient aspects from the experience and leaving the rest? …

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Benjamin Aaron Degenhart

Currently pursuing a Masters in Computational Science and Engineering at TU Munich.

4 thoughts on “a dog on the escalator”

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