Sparky was the neighborhood detective. He seemed to live at this latter point in his solitary existence for recording the events around him. Passing strangers, the weather, the seasonal flight of birds, the unexpected traverse of small animals, no matter what it was it all ended upon in his small pocket sized journal. What he hoped to do with all these observations was anybody’s guess? Though he, like many, was in possession of modern computer devices there was no evidence that these entries were making it farther than the barely legible cursive that wandering quickly all over the horizontal guidelines of each page. Certainly to someone taking this in from afar it seemed an odd practice arousing suspicions that there was more to Sparky than met the eye!
It was an extraordinarily beautiful blue morning sky with the Sun set up high out of reach providing a steady supply of life affirming encouragement. Something foreign as of late to what had otherwise been expected as another episode in month long chapters of a freezing cold gloomy gray Winter’s end. He walked down the sidewalk at a slow pace enjoying the unaccustomed temperature almost as if he was drinking it in with his entire physical form. The large parking lot of his initial destination several blocks away partially filling up. The contents of its franchise coffee house offering a random selection of what one might have expected as a random sample taken from the local population. Third generation Italian being the hub around which this otherwise ethnically American suburb was built. Most lining up before the cash register simply passing through. Some others sitting for a span of a few minutes in brief respite arranging the contents of a bag or purse before heading back on their way to serve out the balance of the day at their own weekly nine to five. Sparky scribbled away at his self-appointed task as their chronicler. He sat at a far two-spot, with the companion in the awkward shape of his bulky winter coat . A disembodied entity that hunched comfortably inert just opposite upon the chair low and out of the way of his line of sight. His field of view offering many candidates for his ballpoint pen to encounter, epitomize, or maybe even revile.
No doubt his own figure garnered some attention. A middle-aged gentleman seeming far past the temptations of any youthful folly beyond the incongruity of bearing such a silly nickname. His android physique heavy and inert. The beady brown eyes pensive below a tall slightly balding pate that anchored all as part of an unwavering studious expression. Busily engaged ceaselessly scribbling to single out certain key eclectic looking members from the ebb and flow of the randomness of the morning crowd. Taking notes that if the subject of each might be given the privilege of viewing same might comment that they ran all over the place in terms of being topical, cerebral and occasionally something indefinably otherwise. This ‘otherwise’ being a free form impressionist exponent of crazy quilt literary prose. Something transposed from the rawness of the author’s random feelings about these characters that synthesized from emotions sparked from his own deep unfathomable register within.
After forty-five minutes of being at coffee his restless desire to soak up the wonder of the brilliant day outside had led him to exist to spontaneously take up an impromptu journey. This jaunt taking the form of a long leisurely meandering walk down the endless rows of empty suburban houses. Plunging passed a parking lane and into the suburban brick forest he trod forth, swinging his gaze to and fro, quickly eying each structure that he walked past. All the while, refining his impressions to focus on some unique aspect of each one of them. His lone figure was found to abruptly stop within this wilderness from time to time, unloading a mental store into several lines cribbed furiously into that same tiny black book set hard upon the wavering pedestal of his left palm. Those still at home residing behind the picture windows might view him from afar, curiously wondering at the starting and stopping on the sidewalk. From afar appearing like a street character in his rumpled bulky blue winter coat, black watch cap and overly well-worn frayed cuff black jeans. A lone presence might have presented a challenging conundrum as to what this unexpected fellow’s actual purpose might truly be. The infrequent practice of periodically stopping to submit information that register lending an impression of a contractor fulfilling some indeterminate official task that might explain this uncustomary stranger’s immediate presence or inexplicable actions. Or just as possibly create a suspicion in the minds of other more watchful possibly launching cynical opinions as to what this stranger’s recorded information might be used for at some later date. Something more nefarious in purpose that might spark a home invasion or theft?
On he trammeled absent-mindlessly for several blocks further North. His actions consistently oblivious of any possible response as he hobbled around the corner. A brand new black SUV parked further ahead on the wrong side of the street. Nothing visibly stirring within the virtually opaque tinted glass. Sparky continued on amidst a growing chill that the only two obvious things that were now out of place in the apparently sleepy neighborhood was the waiting vehicle and himself. No subsequent hint of movement suggesting that whoever was within this tin metal sphinx was still possibly uninterested in him. His gray hair and his continued steady gait that seemed unconscious to this quiescent predator he was slowly passing was allowing him safe transit without any further scrutiny. His own fight or flight impulse to suddenly vary his behavior now suppressed in favor of simply continuing what seemed like external indifference. Fate had for his own sake allowed him to continue on down the next block unmolested in the same fashion as before. One he went as before with a growing new awareness of the question of the identity of each soft rising whoosh of a random car approaching from behind down the block now eliciting a distinct sense of slight paranoia. Would that previous predator suddenly pull up to a stop beside him and order him to halt with unspecified intentions? A new unexpected lesson congealing in the fact of changing times heavy upon his mind. These random starting’s and stopping’s of his anonymous mentally errant figure seemingly absorbed in their own silent postulating about an internal world were no longer considered by current society as being so innocent. Each subsequent automotive passing resulting in a false positive. He went on scribbling in a small journal but his ardor for focusing on his own muse now subsequently thrown off.