Hat in Hand: an Observation by M. Pitter


(An observation during the afternoon of the 30th of April, 2012)

I had to take a break. Pen down, seat back, twist out…

The elevator lulled me down twelve floors. After a sigh in the machinery, the doors opened to a painting: an ostentatious, expressionistic-frenzied phenomenon involving an assortment of blue squares. Then through revolving doors, I met the light air once again.

Out of the med-school compound, I turned right up East Concord Street for something tasty. Walking on the sidewalk, I perceived a blotch further up in the path. It started to sway, swoop and drop. (ah). This is a person sitting upright, back against the neat brick walls of Boston University Medical School.

Approaching the figure, the situation unraveled further.

This man – on his hands and knees at the mercy of indeed Something, eyes dim but wide and stone cold blue, Arctic blue – was gaping with defeated wonder up the street towards where I would later find something tasty.

I looked at him, a man who had just fallen, as I walked on past. Curiosity prevailed over the East Coast jade. I stared at him: A gray buzz-cut haired man, Chubby, with steel sky blue ice balls for eyeballs. And a mouth on the verge of insightful speech but ever-thwarted by the absence of anything to say.

Just ahead of his sooty hands were a pack of cigarettes and a kangol hat, lying there as if spilled from his grip, splashing on the concrete at impact. And then just ahead was more sidewalk. I looked back at him: His pupils dead center, at attention, dilated to a microscopic circumference, focused on indeed Something. The cranial orbits before me were filled with contents ghostly, haunting and piercing. But pathetic and empty and helpless. And then soon, he grew distant, before he morphed back into a blotch on those pretty bricks, sunlit beneath cherry blossoms.

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