Sunday, September 03, 2006

Emergency Vehicle

Leaving the barber shop (actually a national hair-cutting chain establishment in a strip mall: my regular barber Joe Verdi was closed for some reason) yesterday I noticed that an old guy was standing beside the car parked beside mine. He had gray-to-white hair, combed neatly, he wore a plain white sweatshirt (I didn't see whether it was ironed) and old guy blue jeans, the color that only old guys and eleven year-old girls wear. I don't know whether these were ironed, either, but I imagine that they were. A couple of rows over in the parking lot a policeman was driving out toward the street with a couple of his lights flashing. He did not seem to be in a hurry, until he got to the lot exit, when he started up the siren and peeled off south on Harford Road. The two of us, the old guy and me, watched this, standing next to our respective driver's-side doors, in the light mist of Ernesto.

I make associations. I thought, "Older man, neatly dressed but in the odd way some older men have of dressing; not tall, maybe Navy, probably not Marines; conservative, maybe Republican--we're close to the County; favors law enforcement; maybe an FDNYPD Never Forget sticker on the back of his Buick...this was running through my head as he said:

"Does he have to take a sh*t?"

I turned to look at him and laughed.

"They do that, y'know."

Then he walked off toward the Dollar Tree.



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