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Life is only what you wonder.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

A Five Minute Story

Strange Purchase

It was early.
The parade that would come up Charles Street and end up there wouldn't be happening for three hours or so.
They had already blocked off the side streets and were setting up the stage when he walked out of the hallway to his building and stood there squinting in the bright sunlight.
He held a cocktail in a plastic cup and sipped it while he watched them set up. He wouldn't have normally been drinking this early in the morning, but he was trying to get rid of the nasty hangover from last night's partying.
He lit a cigarette and stepped off his stoop with no real destination in mind, just to wander around for a while.
He walked down the center of Eager Street and he noticed they had already set up the ten or so Porta-Potties in the parking lot across the street from The Hippo.
Ugh. He hated using those nasty things. Luckily, his apartment wasn't even a block away.
He heard someone calling to him and when he turned around he saw a guy he didn't recognize approaching him.
He looked to be in his forties, thick about the waist, slightly balding on top, wearing a very loud Hawaiian shirt, Bermuda shorts, and a black leather fanny pack. He looked like a science teacher on vacation.
"I love your shirt." the guy said to him.
He looked down, having forgotten what he had thrown on earlier. He was wearing an old Speed Racer t-shirt. It wasn't even technically his, a trick had left it at his apartment about six months ago.
I'll buy it from you for twenty dollars." the man told him.
"Twenty dollars for this t-shirt?" he asked him.
"Yeah! I wanna buy that shirt!" the man insisted, reaching into his fanny pack and taking out a twenty dollar bill.
What the Hell. Why not? Twenty dollars would buy him a pack of smokes and help buy more drinks later.
He took the twenty from the man and shoved it into the back pocket of his faded Levis, flicked his cigarette butt away, put his plastic cup on the curb and peeled the t-shirt over his head and handed it to him.
The man took the shirt and pressed it to his face, sniffing the places where his armpits had been, and with the shirt still pressed there, started walking away, a look of rapture on his face.
He shrugged, picked up his drink, lit another cigarette, and walked back, shirtless, to his apartment.