Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Shadow people

You know the ones. They drift in and out of your routine and sometimes you might even say "hi" to one, but that's about all. They probably all have their own unique, even remarkable stories, but you'd never know. To you they exist just as milestones to mark your passing. Here are a few of them in my life:

The Grim Reaper: There's a bustop that I drive by everyday when I go to work. Every time I'm running late, he is there. In a suit like a mortician's with the straight posture to match. When I see him, I know I'm running late. I wonder if he notices my silver Passat wagon (usually with bikes on top). I wonder if he has a name for me.

Oscar: Every morning between 7:45 and 8:15 Oscar comes walking down the street with his owner. When I first moved into my neighborhood I knew the pets before I knew their owners. There was Max the Collie, Midnight the Lab, Eddie (the cat), and Oscar the droopy-eared dog. It's sad that I don't even know Oscar's owner's name. One day I'll have to have a proper chat with him. So far, the only time I talked to him was when he stopped in front of my house while I was gardening. "Is that treehouse on your property?" he said, looking at the dilapidated-looking red shack in my back yard. "Yes it is," I said. And that was it.

Surly Girl: She rides a green Surly cross check, singlespeed. It might even be a fixie because I've never seen her coast. Madison St., in front of the American History Museum, usually around 5:30pm when I'm picking up my kid from school, she rides by-- unhurried but unshakeable in purpose, pedals turning in slow constant cadence, commuter bag on her shoulder.


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