Tuesday, May 29, 2007

State Street

I step out of the Indian restaurant onto State Street, and am blinded by a flash of sunlight. As my pupils adjust, a homeless man doing abstract pantomime comes into focus. He’s climbing an invisible ladder, trapped inside a box, walking a tightrope. All of these are done without much skill, or regard to detail. He rushes through each routine like a toy whose spring has been wound too tight. He glances at his wrist to a watch that isn’t there, pulls a banana out of his coat pocket, peels it, then sits on an overturned bucket and begins talking into the banana like a phone. His show is over, and Nick and I were his only audience. I toss whatever change I have into his cup, and he pauses, asks the person on the other end of the banana to hold a moment, looks at us, then whispers “thank you.”

1 comment:

Drew said...

He broke Rule Number One of the International Mime Handbook when he spoke to you. I imagine the authorities at the mime union will be after his card now.

"All points bulletin on a homeless mime... operates on State Street, outside of a darkened Indian restaurant. He'll be identified as the one who's talking to customers. Utterly ruining the whole mime vibe. Be advised that the suspect is not armed, but still considered dangerous."

Nice story, Tom. Now I'm hungry for curry chicken, matar paneer, and keema nan.