Walker Percy Wednesday – 8

Being of both a scientific and a superstitious turn of mind and therefore always on the lookout for chance happenings which lead to great discoveries, he had to have a last look—much as a man will open a telephone book and read the name at his thumb . . . It did not take him long to act. Often nowadays people do not know what to do and so live out their lives as if they were waiting for some sign or other. This young man was such a person. If a total stranger had stopped him this morning on Columbus Circle and thrust into his palm a note which read: Meet me on the NE corner of Lindell Blvd and Kings Highway in St. Louis 9 A.M.next Thursday—have news of utmost importance, he’d have struck out for St. Louis (the question is, how many people nowadays would not?) . . . The high tide of life comes maybe in the last year of high school or the first year of college. Then life seems as elegant as algebra. Afterwards people ask, what happened to so and so? And the answer is a shrug. He was the sort who goes away . . . Even now he made the highest possible scores on psychological aptitude tests, especially in the area of problem-solving and goal-seeking. The trouble was he couldn’t think what to do between tests.

Walker Percy, Philosopher