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July 2 (guest story by Anca)
9.17.2002 by Rosemary, every Tuesday.


July 2, 2002
 
Early Pink Floyd overlapping generic Starfucks® music at the crossroads of a deathly day, sun bludgeoning down on the stiff air and its oozing occupants; it all makes for an appropriately eerie environment.
 
In the blaze on the corner, in front of the Corporate Whore in which I seek climate-controlled solace, he stands: the neighborhood fixture, the local folkloric hero and freak rolled into one. A former Concordia professor, they say, gone mad after some cliché, horrific tale of a wife and children lost.

He pushes a wagon filled with his belongings: a heap of enigmatic objects covered with scrolls, boxes, and bags, topped with a synthesizer and occasionally an elderly black Labrador, a shaggy gray cat and once I even saw a poor bunny rabbit. The wagon stinks. He stands at the intersection with his three-day beard and thick round glasses, his fedora, his tie, and his matching oversized blazer. His chest puffs out and his chin lowers to meet it while his gaze remains aloft as he speaks to no one and speaks to a crowd. He gestures with thick, crusty fingers poignantly. He unrolls his scrolls and points to the incomprehensible drawings knowingly, and rolls them up again triumphantly.

Actually it is wrong of me to call them incomprehensible. I, for one, have never looked closely at them. Nor have I gotten close enough to him to determine whether he smells as putridly as his wagon.

He, too, enters Starfucks® and orders drinks, as he is reputed to be quite the wealthy raging derelict. Sometimes he will abandon his invisible lecture hall and speak to real invisible people. I can never tell if they are being polite or are genuinely interested but he speaks to them just as he speaks to the others.

I see him associate with a woman in her 30s occasionally. She dresses in a retro-chic style (perhaps unintentionally chic) and mentally is on the same wavelength as him. He usually appears to be comforting her as she shuffles about, head in hands, her face blank, erring on distraught. She is pale, with gray eyes surrounded by dark bags, her neatly cut blond hair (stringy) falling flatly just below her ears. Next to her the man seems robust with his dark skin and magnified eyes, three-day-old gray stubble, thick gesturing fingers and puffed up chest. He is shorter than her but infinitely larger as she slumps while he struts. I can only wonder what their relationship is.
 
And then my attention goes elsewhere.




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