#44 In Roads-Flower child


I’ve crossed the street and come face-to-face with what I believe to be a man and his dog. Except he’s wearing a dress. The hiking boots, socks, excessive leg hair and mannerisms convince me I am correct but the voice has me somewhat befuddled.

“You can’t jaywalk. They will get you,” comes the raspy words with the soft edge. “You aren’t gonna get away with it. They will get you. And even if they don’t the cars will. They’re crazy, you know.” His face is hidden behind the bundle he clutches to his chest. He has a guitar strapped over one shoulder and a cloth bag, like a purse, across the other. There are many layers of material before I can see the ice blue eyes that peer out from a weathered face framed by wisps of grey hair. He wears a maroon hat, or more like a turban, that is tied around his head and neck and is artistically accented with fresh cut flowers and herbs. Behind him waddles a dog that is far from malnourished. She has no leash but is adorned with a colorful wreath of flowers and material around her neck that looks like a mane. A wide green sash is tied around her waist, topped off in a bow just above her tail, which trails behind her on the sidewalk. A lot of effort has gone into the attire of both man and beast. The result leaves an impression.

I ask who “they” are. The response is a grunt and he shuffles along. I ask the dog’s name but I’m ignored before I ask if I can take his photo. The head goes deeper into the layers. “Yes” is muttered as he quickens his pace. I sprint after him asking if he could wait just a minute as I get my camera situated but he simply makes kissy noises to get the dog to keep up and continues on.

He stops at a lavender bush and strips the leaves, then flings them into the air over his head. He crosses the sidewalk to a rose bush and with a huge tanned hand rips the blossom off. He continues down the street with hand in air, releasing a trail of rose petals behind him. It’s a process he repeats several times as he makes his way down the boulevard. I’m convinced a conversation would be riveting, but respect his obvious efforts to be left alone so I do not follow. I’m later told that he is, in fact, a she and is a well known character in town. Hope we cross paths again. I’m so curious as to who “they” are and what they will do to me for jaywalking.


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