Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why not

This morning on my way to work, a man crosses my path from right to left. Before I see him, I hear an exaggerated plosion of breath, before even looking I recognize the sound of someone whose link to this world - to sidewalk and streetcar and yapping dogs - is fragile, fraying.

A street crazy, I think.

As he passes in front of me, I see his profile, then the back of his longish gray hair, well-tended and neatly pulled into a black band. He stops, now, just to my left, and throws one hand up, drawing himself onto his toes beneath his hand, balletic, perfectly executed.

He drops his hand and falls back into man walking down the street. And then, again! The hand lifts, the body follows, and now the other hand reaches out and pulls him into an arabesque.

And then it's gone; he's just a guy, walking.

There's nothing in it of that nutzoid tension, that buildup and valving off promised by his exasperated huff. There's a contradiction here, and I remember the other day when I saw a man flinging himself - beautifully - around the J Church tracks as they disappear into the tunnel. I thought street crazy then, too, until I saw the woman filming him, holding the Trolley Dances clipboard.

The dancer of today stops again, again the hand goes up, again that beautiful form, his long body describing an exquisite curve, and he seems to say Why not?

Why not dance?


TonyB said...

Why not indeed!

(What a writer and observer you are.)

Chemical Billy said...

Thanks, Tony!