augury doggerel

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Stamping Ground

At the cafe, two guys slip between the potted shrubs that separate us from the merely pedestrian. One is tall and strong and teenaged. He moves one of the shrubs for the other, who is in a small wheelchair and is red and bent-nosed and dwarfishly compressed.

They take the table in the corner and open cans of beer they've brought with them. They talk and watch and chortle, but the walking boy walks away and back, away and back. He is wanted somewhere or wants to be somewhere. Maybe there are girls around a corner. His cheer sounds worn.

The rolling boy stays by the table and sips his beer. He pulls out a mobile phone and speaks in a small straining voice you'd think was a prank if you didn't know him. Someone on the other end is guessing wrongly and he's laughing and saying no... no... no, no, no... no...

I write "Rumpelstiltskin" and draw three concentric circles around it. When I look up next, he's gone.


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