Sunday, August 26, 2007
New Beginning 348
Lawrence Norton was a bad, bad boy, is what Lawrence said to himself while he waited there, patiently, at the foot of the bridge. Day after day he waited there, saying his singsong words about himself to himself, repeating in a rhythm, with nobody else knowing about them, about those words floating through him all the time, and him just standing there, having to take his own punishment.
The words ran through his other thoughts like a weaving, even when a window came down and a hand came out and in the hand was money he could have.
He’d been standing by this 14th Street bridge most days for the past seventeen years, is what he’d told the lady. Most people passing by in their cars didn’t stop to talk, and even when they had to stop because the light turned red, there where the road off the bridge became the street, they kept their heads staring straight ahead of them. Maybe they had their own words they were having to listen to. Lawrence didn’t know.
Stay green, stay green, stay green! Marcia thought as she approached the foot of the bridge, but the light changed, as it always did. She'd been coming this way every workday for seventeen years, and couldn't remember ever hitting it green. Shit, here he comes, she thought. Oh God, he's looking at me. Don't make eye contact! She willed him to try the cars behind her.
Maybe I should give him a buck. A buck every 17 years, wonder what that works out to per hour. No, then he'll expect it every day. Probably blow it on cigarettes or beer. Seventeen years I've been missing this light, and has this guy ever not been here? Who puts a traffic light at the foot of a bridge, anyway?
She thought she might bring him some food tomorrow. A nice salad. With croutons. He probably makes more than I do. I should start taking the 12th Street bridge; it's worth an extra fifteen minutes to avoid this. Is this fucking light ever gonna change?!! She wondered what he thought about all day. Maybe he was one of those savants doing calculus in his head. Or calculating pi. Maybe he'd had a truly fascinating life. Marcia didn't care.
Opening: Robin S......Continuation: Evil Editor