One thing I haven’t done recently is accept any writing challenges. Today I am. Over the weekend I started a few,again, mainly about topics and things I have kind of let slip for a while.
WordPress sent out the following one: observe someone in an environment and write three paragraphs. I love people watching. This is about one of our neighborhood “regulars”; something similar to James Joyce and what he wrote in Dubliners.
He walks with a very familiar gait. His earphones are always attached to his ears, no matter what time of day or the weather outside. Walk with a baby, pushing a stroller, and he will come right up to you, in your face, and yell something not comprehensible, make you jump that mile into the sky. Or sometimes he will be singing the newest Lady Gaga music, loudly, so you can hear him coming from the next block over. As much as you walk, he walks more. He ignores the barking dogs of the drug dealing houses, the ambulances, police, and fire wailing through, the speeding idiots, the people rushing to get home in the early evening.
Someone takes care of him. We know not who. His clothes are always clean, batteries restocked, shoes brand new. He must go through a lot of shoes and batteries. He walks and walks and walks some more. For a while he disappeared, then reappeared, and then was seen walking in another part of town. The white headphones are always attached, like they are part of his body, permanently glued on his head. As someone who deals with the learners who often cannot fit what society wants and needs to function, I understand his brain needs those headphones to filter out the noise he just walks through. He creates his own noise and environment that is comfortable for him. And he keeps walking. Sometimes I get jealous he walks so much.
Recently I had to deal with another person who refused to give up a similar set of headphones. This other person had no music playing through them. For the first time I got to see the headphones up close. They looked so comfortable, almost warm and snuggly. I’d want something like that over my ears the days I can’t deal with the noise and the distractions anymore.