Thursday, November 09, 2006


My laptop is back, finally finally, purring warmly on my lap, glowing in the dim light of the living room.

I've missed you all.

Tonight, waiting at the bus stop, an old black man, bent at the waist, holding on to the signpost with both hands. A car passes, and he reaches out a hand, hailing it, watching it down the road.

"I need a cab..." he says.

A younger man with gray black skin, missing several front teeth walks by. "You need a cab?" he asks loudly. "I'll find you a cab."

The younger man stands on the corner, eyes open for cabs. It's a busy corner, surely one will come by soon.

The old man thinks every car is a cab.

"Cab!" he says, cranky now. "I need a cab."

Finally one stops on the opposite side of the street. I wave to the cabbie, then ask the man if he needs help crossing the street.

"Wha-?" he says, eyes looking wide into mine, tightening his grasp on the signpost. "I'm not going over there, no. No." He braces his feet against whoever is surely determined to drag him away. His irises are ringed with blue.

The younger man yells at the cabbie to turn around. The cab pulls around the corner, slows, then drives away up the street.

The younger man walks away, shaking his head, frustrated. "If he won't take a cab when I find him one..." I think I see another cab on the opposite side of the street. I ask the old man if he could cross the street with my help. He seems to be considering it when he spies another car.

"CAB!" he cries.

I watch for a taxi on my side of the street, when a bus pulls up. "Cab..." the old man says, then climbs the stairs onto the bus.

The younger man reappears. "He find a cab?"

"Got on the bus."

"Well, good. I figger, I hope someone helps me out when I'm old, you know?"

I nod and thank him. My bus is arriving. Time to go home.


Anonymous said...

The lighting's not dim, it's indirect.

Geo said...

Do you have any idea, cb, how perfect this is?

I'm so glad you're back.

Chemical Billy said...

Thanks for stopping by, Geo...

Right, right, Mr. Billy. It's indirect.