I will grant that his appearance does take you by surprise at first. He's got to be nearly eighty, he has a craggy masculine face. It's the face that has lived hard. He dresses in a manner that would be provocative for a 17 or 18 year old girl. He wears tight leggings, very short shorts, and Flashdance tops. The colours are wild, eye popping. I know only a little about him from one of the clerks over at the mall. He has been flamboyant all his life and as a result he's been attacked, beaten, arrested. Now, it seems, for him, he dresses as he wants, in freedom. It's as if he simply no longer cares what people think, they've already done the worst to him that could be done.
He is so much a part of my neighbourhood that I don't much notice him when I see him over in the coffee area or when shopping around. That's one of the cool things about your home neighbourhood. When I travel, I'm 'hey look at that fat guy in the wheelchair'. I stick out because I'm new. When I'm home, I'm just part of the regular scenery. I like being home.
A couple of days ago, I was waiting behind a very handsome couple. She was really beautiful. He was broad shouldered, strong jawed, startlingly handsome. I hadn't noticed that the old guy was crossing the street towards us, he walking on green, we waiting on red. She saw him and her hand went to her mouth and she started laughing. As if she had seen someone so odd that it was funny. She nudged her boyfriend and he looked where she pointed, then he looked away immediately. She nudged him again. He said, 'Please, don't stare, it's not nice.'
She was angered by this but didn't take her eyes off the old guy. She was staring a hole in his forehead. If she was a sniper she would have been able to shoot him dead in a single shot. Her boyfriend was busy watching the light waiting for it to change. She grabbed him by his shoulders and tried to get him to turn to look at the old man. He said again, 'Let him be, it's rude to stare. Big deal, he's different.'
She snapped at him just as the light changed. She said, 'You are such a goody, goody, like you are too good for this world.' I was passing at that moment and I couldn't stop myself, I said, 'No, he's just too good for you.' Then I sped as quickly as I could across the street and into the mall entrance.