Sunday morning in Oakland

Ann Cummins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This morning while reading the Sunday paper, we hear shouting in the street, look out the window, and see the naked guy from the house two doors down. The naked guy is cut. Not bleeding. Chiseled. Ranting man, tight butt, muscled thighs, sculpted pecs: our neighbor has a body that screams institution alization. In the past, his inner fires have driven him to the asylum weight room. It is a sign of our time that we're more likely to get the insane on an exercise routine than chain them to posts. My husband Steve and I watch him from behind our blinds. The Floreses across the street watch him behind their screen door. The naked man struts in the middle of the street in front of his house, back and forth, back and forth, aiming a rifle wildly. We can see cars detouring at the end of the street. The man marches with a kind of exuberance. He is confident, perhaps, in his wild dance, and he is counting on us, perhaps, to do the neighborly thing: To save him from himself and us from him.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDedicated to the People of Darfur
Subtitle of host publicationWritings on Fear, Risk, and Hope
PublisherRutgers University Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780813546179
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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