Of rainbow sprays and nutcase brays, bookish ways and aging days...
Updated: Sep 5, 2019
"Hey, you! What are you doing, laying in the street in front of my house?"
"Trying to photograph a rainbow."
"From your sprinkler. When the sun shines through the spray."
"Nope. It's pretty, all that water cycling through the sunlight like that. I thought it might form a rainbow, and I could catch it, with the right angle."
"You're a nut!"
"No, it's cool! Come look yourself!"
"No way! You're going to get hit by a car down there."
"Get out of my street!"
"In a minute."
"Just give me a minute, please?"
"Please? Some car's going to splatter your blood all over my curb and you ask me 'Please?' I'll have to clean that up, you know. You'll just skedaddle and leave me to do all that work."
"If it'll make you feel any better, I'll clean it up."
"Yeah, sure you will."
"Hey! Aren't you that kid that walks around here all the time with his nose in a book?"
"You're a nut. A real nut."
"No, no, I'm not."
"Grow up already. You want to get hit by a car?"
"Look, I've been reading while I walk for three decades now."
"Oh, come on! How can you read and walk at the same time?"
"It's really not that hard. You focus on the page while using your peripheral vision to guide yourself."
"I don't think I could do that."
"Sure, you can."
"How can you do that? I don't think –"
"Anyone can. I've done it most my life. You just line yourself up with the edge of the asphalt or lawn. Or curb. Or sidewalk. It's easy! No different than, say, driving while listening to music."
"You shouldn't do that, either."
"Oh, come on! Everyone should be able to listen to music or talk to a passenger while driving. It's called multitasking. You just keep your eyes on the road."
"You're a nutcase if you ask me. You're going to get hit by a car."
"Look – I've been walking and reading for more than three decades, and I've never been hit by a car. Never."
"Wait – three decades?"
"Did you say three decades?"
"No, it's not."
"Just how old are you then?"
"I am. Really."
"Well, 59 and three quarters."
"Hum…. OK, I can see you better now. Still, I would have guessed you're, at most, 35, maybe 40, 45 max. But 59…"
"Born in 1959."
"You see that gray in my sideburns?"
"I see the sun shining in your hair. And no rainbow."
"It's hitting gray there."
"It does look shiny."
"It's gray. Like lightning."
"I don't know. That could be painted in."
"Who outside the X-Men would do that?"
"Who would lie down in the street to take a photo of a rainbow they can't see?"
"I like experimenting with my camera."
"You're a nut. And that's a phone."
"Well, it has a very good camera in it."
"You're a nut."
"Better camera than phone, as far as I'm concerned."
"Some car's going to hit you down there. You just wait."
"Only one vehicle's come by this whole time, and it missed me by five feet. There's plenty of room down here."
"I don't care. I don't care! You think I want to clean that up? Get out of my street!"
"OK, OK. I'm going. You happy now?"
"I don't know. Where's your book?"
"Your sprinkler didn't keep a steady pattern."
"So that's my fault? Did I tell you to lie down in my street?"
"Since when is it your street?"
"My house – my street."
"You know you have potholes in your street?"
"It's from cars having to dodge all the people lying down shooting rainbows that don't exist."
"Optimists, you mean. Adventurers. Readers."
"Nutcases, if you ask me."