The man was found waylaid in an exclusively gay part of town, the streets of which were crawling. He was tagging along with somebody who was on their beat. In and out of shops checking on the general scene. While business was going down the other guy was hanging around making paper modeled doilies of the local architecture. Thinking that he was some kind of private eye in his spare time looking for needed to be solved murderers.
Somewhere by the old park near a further El stop next to where the Burger King drive in used to be stood a three-story building where the neighborhood’s oldest crime lord’s apartment used to be. Before it too had been torn down the same wanna-be gumshoe shared it with one of the Don’s younger gunsels. A big fella around that part of town who ran everything local. He and I would sit at the breakfast table with each of us pouring over our respective chores of the day to fulfill. His game plan for the day spread out on his side of the table and my own on the other end. Taking a look around the apartment in a judicious sort of way the border became familiar where knowing things were at. Occasionally the two would find themselves getting up together looking for something respectively important throughout the entire place. The younger finding it as if mentally connected with the object of the other’s thoughts. A psychic sense of power that had him calling out the exact location of the item quested for on behalf of the other. The Big Fella being appreciative of a suggestion as to where it might have last been seen. On and on this routine went forth ad infinitum.
Now later in the day on foot in a swanky well-protected suburb of the city located much farther west, the same young man was leisurely sauntering down a sidewalk past the many well-heeled estates. On and on he went as the terrain began to get tougher and the weather got colder. By the time the guy had made the turn towards the middle of town and the train back to the city the whole area was frozen with its the broken sidewalks now covered in snow. The amount and quality of the ice was amazing as if a number of gigantic snow crystals had melded together forming a complex filigree pattern. One spot in particular was more worthy of comment where the sidewalk had been upturned up by prior street construction. The weather had attempted an ice bridge producing a mad combination of complex patterns attempting to surmount the moat of a ditch. The collective impression suggested that of an explosion modeled in ice that had been flash frozen. The young man climbed up in gazing in wonder looking over toward the other side seeing at that point that any further progress would be denied and then got back down onto the sidewalk.
It was now evident as he stood next to this icy platform where the snow had been blown away that the pile that he had been standing upon was in fact a an old ice covered professional video projector. The upper portion of the plastic case of the device having been shattered by his weight as well as the subsequent load from another overly rotund fellow who had followed him up this parapet after he had jumped back down. Feeling a bit guilty the man impulsively threw three bucks onto the uncovered broken section and briskly turned back around the other way and began walking. Over his shoulder he could hear another new voice lambasting the heavyset guy for breaking his equipment. The issue of what it was doing out there in the first place never being explained in the subsequent verbal duel that erupted. A more authoritative voice boomed out the tenor of which belied that it must be coming from a bellowing member of law enforcement. “Did you break that?“, the voice sternly barked. The young man now in full speed retreat from the scene of the crime and its building altercation. So discombobulated was this initial perpetrator that he dropped his own camera and it shattered completely apart. The case splitting open like a ripe melon upon the ice covered hard sidewalk. It was obvious from the fact that most of its internals were scattered that there would be no way to repair it. Some divine form of justice having been dispensed for his hastily leaving the scene and not fessing up to his end of the situation. No matter however inadvertent it might have been. Pangs of nostalgia touched him as he mentally visualized the past times that he had used this same camera over the last two decades to capture all sorts of meaningful events pertinent to his own existence.
Further down the road stood a small one-story municipal structure. And within it was congealed a strange collection of offbeat items all adhered to the wall. Exploded artfully as if meant to be taken as some sort of formal artistic installation. One item in particular being a watch that had similarly exploded in a manner reminiscent as the man’s destroyed camera. Another marked similarity being apparent between the mirroring of the parts of one set applied upon the wall and the other set on the ground. To his further bewilderment a hidden projector was emblazoning a series of images on the wall that bore subjects and their compositions that were equally remarkably similar to those of his own series of same taken over many years. Somewhat dumbfounded he questioned another visitor some about the exhibit. The other person responded that the name of the installation was called, Broken Watches, and it augured the notion of time.
The next room through the adjoining doorway ahead seemed to serve a different task as a public shelter of some type. A number of people were sitting languishing on the floor to one side. One young black woman who was conservatively dressed woman had her attentions focused towards the opposite wall where a small wagon sat on the other side by an open exit. She sat there quietly and implacable indifferent to the few others withing. Some leaning back on the walls lazily viewing the general details of the room about them as if wholly unconcerned by any special detail of any of the available artifacts. The pull wagon was a kid’s model that had been roughly modified into a double decker. Another similar wagon bed supported by welded straps holding it a foot higher over the wagon’s original. The lower one was filled with various random food items that looked like they had been hastily picked off a grocery store’s shelf. The newcomer asked the woman if that was her wagon as she seemed so particularly interested in it. She looked back up at him and dreamily replied, “Yeah and it’s going to be delivered to my house soon after it is transferred to another wagon and that is why I am sitting here waiting!” At that point the young man spied two others in the far corner alone much further down than the group. One of them stood nonchalantly with his pants hiked down to his knees as he smiled. Another with his back to everyone else on his knees. His head swiveling up and down performing the act of fellatio. The impulse of the young man to approach this scene to explicitly witness more died. The novelty of the actuality of this type of occurrence daringly performed in public view with such abandon had quickly worn off. He turned back toward the exit thinking better of his excursion for that day.