I went to People’s Park this evening to hang out with Hate Man. This strapping, young street ne’er-do-well has this big pile of basketball-sized boulders. And he’s picking up the boulders, one by one, and holding them high over his head, and then smashing them down on the other boulders. Over and over again. In some kind of frenzy. For no apparent reason.
“Why is that guy throwing them rocks?” I asked Hate Man.
“He’s been nutting up lately,” said Hate Man.
Then he walks over to the bench. Picks up a big plate of food that was sitting there. Looks at it. Then dumps it on the ground. I guess he didn’t like it.
Then he makes a bee-line over to where I am sitting. Sits down on the ground right in front of me, and says:
“Got a cigarette?”
“No I got this one from Hate Man.”
Then he starts babbling at me in this matter-a-fact tone: “Hey remember that time when you blah blah blah and that other guy said blah blah blah. . .”
Most of which I can’t understand. I don’t even know the guy. But the disconcerting thing is: As he’s calmly talking to me, looking me right in the eye, he’s got this stick in his hand, that he keeps stabbing into the dirt, over and over, like the stick is a knife that he’s stabbing into something.
“Oh yeah, right,” I said. Agreeing with what he was saying. Whatever the hell it was that he was saying. . . .
“Well, I gotta go use the restroom.” I said. I grabbed my backpack and my beer and left.
Ace Backwords is a former cartoonist, writer and semi-normal human being. He's been sleeping in the bushes in the Berkeley hills for the last ten years with his four feral cats, Moo Cat, Fatty, Mini Scaredy and Micro Scaredy. Future plans include growing old and dying. Preferably in that order.
View all posts by Ace Backwords