magazines, news, cigarettes, Hollywood, T.V. Tuesday Weld,
Burton-Taylor, pop art, pop off, popcorn, Popsicle, Andy Warpop, pop
paper, pop up, Popeye, poppers, napalm, England, outer space, astronauts, Jesus,
air, air, air, air, air, air...
there are a few faces on the street that I watch for each day. people who I don’t know well, but I need to watch for... if only to reassure myself that I didn’t make them up in the first place. There are three that catch my attention more than the others...
quirky men...* They’re all around the same age... 65-70... I guess that’s why the little things they are doing stick out so much... you don’t think you’d see someone quite like them doing the things they do... the way they do them.
I started noticing him around the bean about 3 years ago. smoke in one hand, coffee in the other, giant headphones plugged into his walkman (that’s right folks... walkman). He still sits hunched over... reading his paper. sometimes he’s bearded, sometimes long haired. always the coffee smokes. I say hi to him each time I pass. it’s taken all three years, but now he knows my name. I tell Jenny that I’m going to marry him. No one really knows much about him... I want to know where he’s been. What brought him here? How is he able to drink so much coffee? Why those awful headphones? Where is his family?**
He’s fairly new. Or maybe his need to hitch hike is new? A lost license? A broken car? A desire to meet new people? I pass him at least once a week. Today I passed him twice. I like to pick up hitch hikers, but when I pass him, I turn onto the next street for work... his sign reads “Graphtown Please” *** after work I passed him while I was headed home (in the wrong direction), walking to where he usually waits to find a ride, sign tucked under his arm. I was tempted to turn around and offer him the ride.
Mostly I’m in awe of the Biker. He’s the oldest of the three men. He has a lovely little road style bike. A wire basket on the front to carry his ... belongings. I most often see him resting under a tree near one of the churches. There’s a convenient bench. Across the road sits the man with the two spaniel crosses- he walks them every day at the same time, and sits to rest with a friend. Sometimes they shout across the street to greet the Biker.
The most extraordinary thing about the Biker is what he carries in his bike basket.
His oxygen tank.
I’ve seen him slowly peddling down the street, lines from the basket running to his nose...
*.. maybe there’s an abundance of quirky men- are there no quirky women? or do I only choose to see the men?
** I’m typing this in the Coffee shop... he just walked in, got his coffee, and went to sit out front. I’m in the front window just over his right shoulder.. and I don’t mean to... but I’m watching him out of the corner of my eye. He’s rolling a smoke, one made from the last bits of tobacco clinging to the butts from the ashtray...
*** name changed to protect the innocent.
|1.||music originating in New Orleans around the beginning of the 20th century and subsequently developing through various increasingly complex styles, generally marked by intricate, propulsive rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, improvisatory, virtuosic solos, melodic freedom, and a harmonic idiom ranging from simple diatonicism through chromaticism to atonality.|