The old man across the street literally just dropped his trousers and- bare-assed- took a piss against the side of an unmarked police car. I know it’s a police car, because it’s all black: body, tires, rims, windows, interior, everything. And the detectives, that left it in such a hurry a few minutes before, also parked it on the curb. And left the red and blue lights flashing. The ones hidden on the dash, and inside the space for the regular head and taillights. I’m no Columbo.
I’m not sure what the old guy has against the police force around here, but it bothers him enough to tie his Labradoodle to a lamp post, unbuckle his belt, and pull his pants clear to his ankles, before whipping out what I’m glad I can’t see from this angle, and urinating- with some trajectory, from a few yards back- all over the car.
I’m drinking soup, from a white mug, on the stoop and licking my palm clean of Tomato Bisque. It’s the first cool day of the autumn, and I’m embracing the temperature drop with everything I have. I’ve packed away all but a few t-shirts, and all of my shorts – except the brown pair, that I wear on Laundry Day- into the Suitcase I never use, which stays under the bed and gathers dust, and cat hair, and Pop Tart crumbs. And I pull it out each change of season and blow the dust off, that goes straight into my eyes, and my skin itches from the hair, and the crumbs fall into the beard I’m beginning to cultivate in earnest for the coming winter – I’m starting early, so that it reaches full capacity before I have to shave it again in the Spring (who wants a beard in the summer)- and I stuff it full with clothes I no longer have any use for, and push it back – all the way to the wall- and dust off my knees, and crack my back a little and think about smoking a cigarette. But I make soup instead. And when the pan boils, and I’ve cut two thick slices of bread, that I wrap in a sheet of kitchen towel, I pour the soup into my favourite cup and take it to the stoop, as the wind whispers the evening in, and the sun is low enough for my to squint at the pushchairs, and the revelers and the kids running home from the park.
A man who looks a lot like Christopher Reeve, but who has no need for a wheelchair- that I can see- walks by. And I admire his gusto. He swings his legs with purpose, and strides home, with bags under his arms, and still manages to push the hair from his eyes every few steps. He has that schoolboy hair, the one that parts just off centre and falls to the face- every time you do anything- and seems entirely too impractical for a man in his twenties to be seriously considering for an actual real-life hairstyle.
I wonder why children are allowed haircuts, that would never pass in adulthood; why parents choose the most ridiculous outfits for their twins; and why young girls, for no reason, already assume that the power they will be granted later in life- over boys, over men- will give them everything they’ve ever needed, and they’ll never want for attention, or assistance with a heavy door.
Christopher Reeve drops a bag, and sighs- his head tilted up to the same sky as mine.