Sunday, October 11, 2009

people that you meet each day

There are few people I know in my neighborhood. Fewer still that I know by name.
There are however, two people who have peaked my interest. I know neither of their names, though I've spoken to both.
These two men travel in opposite ways, literally. The first man I call The Backwards Walker (TBW)
As his name calls to mind, he walks backwards. This is probably why I noticed him originally. At first I thought he was a landlord surveying his properties. He had a clipboard and seemed intent on conducting projects. Clipboards give off that importance vibe. But I noticed him again and again. Walking backwards, clipboard in hand. He turns at a specific point on the road. I am not sure the exact marker: bus stop sign or storm drain, but it is predetermined.
In the summer he wears shorts and tall socks. Once the weather gets cooler, a hooded puffy coat, hood up, no matter how temperate the weather, is his attire.
I talked to him once, and though I didn't have many pre-conceived notions about TBW, he shattered the ones I did have. He was sitting on the steps leading up to my apartment in the cool of the shade. I was walking out and had to sidestep him. I asked him if he'd like some water. He was very sweaty and it was a scorcher. He looked up immediately and said no. And I offered again citing the heat. But he took this the wrong way, as though I wanted him to shove off. He used big words like "congenial" or "manganimous" or something else I wasn't expecting, then he walked away, this time forwards.
The second man who is of note in the neighborhood is the Awesome Skateboarder with Dreadlocks (ASD). He practices tricks in the Walgreens lot and goes back and forth on the street. He seems to favor his right leg. I wonder if the muscles are overdeveloped. It seems the skateboard is his major mode of transportation and his schedule thus far is nothing I can tack down.
But today I saw him headed to Schnucks. Actually, we entered at the same time. I grabbed two items and headed to the check out. He did the same and there behind me in line was the Awesome Skateboarder with Dreadlocks, skateboard in hand. He set down his can of beer on the conveyerbelt and he spoke saying, "I think you're following me." I gave a look of surprise (first because the ASwD was talking to me, and second because he was baiting me) " We walked in together and now here we are..." To which I replied "the follower is normally behind the person being followed. You're there, so then you are actually following me." I got my receipt and left only to see him propelling himself down the street ahead of me. Oh so awesomely.

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