Monday, March 29, 2004

Clinton Street

It is a walking neighborhood, Clinton Street. Everyone is out and about, yuppie parents walking their children to school, spiky goth kids those who are not kids anymore out in the light of day, pale skin screaming for the vitamin D of sunshine. And the sun is out this morning, gardens resurrected by the light, mounds of lobelia cascading down rock walls, snowcap and creeping rosemary competing to fill space. The azaleas are blooming. I am contributing to the circus of color, waiting now for the hostas to pierce their way to a perfect green and white unfolding. Down south, I always planted hostas, but the relentless heat and my laziness-- inattention really--was a deadly combination. My yard was too sunny. I was meant to garden here.

The Clinton Street hunchback is a creature of some note. He/she wanders the neighborhood with a shopping cart, collecting cans. Cans, I think, he uses to purchase shiny clothes. I can't tell if the hunchback is a man or a woman. He wears his hair in a bun, and has a few days growth of beard. He wears women's clothing, but not exclusively. His taste is reflective of the disco era, which, I am happy to say, is behind us. The deformity, the hunch, is considerable, but he does have a certain charm. He asks politely for cans, but cusses out bus drivers like a sailor. The girls are afraid of him. If I was him, I'd be afraid of Nicole. She's mean.

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