This poem came to me as I was waiting on the underground platform of the Barcelona Ferrocarrils. Just as I reached the platform, I saw my train depart. Gripped with the inevitable frustration, and the knowledge that I would be late to work, I remembered the advice of my friend Nassim Taleb, who says “never run to catch a train”. And somehow, Shakespeare found his way in there.
That doppler sound,
you’ve missed the train.
No use in hurry now.
Whatever had to start on time
Time can’t allow
for failed alarm clocks, oversleep,
Remember Life’s poor player
has but a single scene.
Curtain rises, curtain falls,
and all that counts lies in between.
Until recently, my morning walk to work led me to the doors of a well-reputed business school. Usually I focussed on the beautiful gardens and buildings, as well as the people walking by. Almost every day I saw something worth writing about, something beautiful or curious. However, Barcelona, like any city, has a darker side.
The morning I saw a man digging through the garbage bins located practically at the doors of the school, the irony gave me this:
The Business School
Dumpster diving at the business school, now that’s a sight to see! His family’s going hungry, but he’s got a fine degree.
He did just what they told him and he doesn’t understand why the speculation failed him when he bought up all that land.
It was easy! No one mentioned he was trafficking with air. He thought that he was clever! now he’s closer to despair.
He lives near his alma mater until the bank calls in the loan. That could happen any day now. He could even lose his home!
He hopes that no one sees him as he’s sorting through the trash. He doesn’t want his kids to know that they’re completely out of cash.
He bought into a system that turned out to be a lie. You must admire his dignity. he’s still wearing a tie.