taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Thursday, May 08, 2003

This afternoon, at this busy intersection in the city, stood this man. His back was to me as I drove west, and from behind he looked like a beautiful young man, in the sunlight, his back muscles gleaming. But I knew something was wrong; he just stood there, shirtless, unmoving. Passing him, watching him recede in my rearview mirror, I saw suddenly that he was old; that what I took for glints of sunlight in his hair was silver, and that he had a white beard. He still didn't move.

Always, someone stands at this intersection. It's dangerous and not friendly to pedestrians, but they're always there: the beggars, the insane, the rose-sellers with their giant fragrant baskets. I always wonder about the rose-sellers; what kind of ROI they're getting, selling flowers in the middle of the road. I wonder if it's better than they do in the bars down in Fells Point?

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