Saturday, September 29, 2007


All I can figure is the guy must have had tourettes syndrome. I mean why else would you stand on a street corner in a cold Seattle rain and yell obscenities at the mountains? It was raining for chrissake! You couldn't see them.

Nonetheless, there he stood. Hair matted to his skull, water in rivulets running around his nose, down his cheeks like tears. I noticed that under the ripped leaf bag he wore around his shoulders like a superman cape, his filthy green tee shirt was plastered to his scrawny frame. Water pooled around his feet--running from his jeans like he was a sculpture. His mouth opened whenever he noticed someone was near by and he stuttered out his cuss.

I glanced at my companion "Do you think it's Tourettes?" I asked. She was busy fiddling with her phone. "Yes?" She said "Yes, good. I'm calling about an obviously disturbed man..." Was she calling the cops? "Julie," I said "Not the cops! He's harmless". Julie mouthed 'wait' and gave whomever she was talking to our location. She flipped her phone shut with a snap and said "No, I didn't call the cops. I dialed 211- first call for help. That man is going to catch a hell of a cold and I don't want him to be sick."


I opened our umbrella and took her arm "Wait" she whispered and she took our umbrella and approached the man.

He saw her coming and began pointing and shouting in the direction of the mountain that guarded the city. The traffic was loud enough that while I could hear him, I couldn't make out what he was saying. He turned his ear toward Julie. She gave him some money from her purse.

"Julie!" I called out. She turned and started my way. Then she stopped turned back and handed the man my extra large black watch plaid golf umbrella. She ran towards me.

When she reached me she was soaked herself, but she was smiling slightly. She must have seen my puzzled look because as she took my arm she said "Sorry about your umbrella, Michael."

"Why did you give it to him?"

She stroked my arm gently and looked at me. Her eyes were deep with old hurt and new worries "His name is Jerry and he is my brother."

1 comment:

frog goddess said...

Wow! This gave me chills. Beautiful!