Tuesday, September 16, 2014
the curious incident of the man in the mcdonald's men's room
There are times when peace and quiet are inviolate in a city and you go into McDonald's and there it is -- Peace and Quiet. And fries.
But then you go into the men's room and there is a young man in there doing something funny with his head. He's not washing it exactly, he's wetting it down, getting it good and wet. His explanation makes sense. "Hot out there," he says. "Couldn't cool down. Had to get a headwashing." I stood in the floor puddle he'd made, waiting for him to vacate. But then, while drying his head under the hand-dryer, and looking very much like Taz, he eyed me and asked, "You got .94 cents, brother?"
I said, "Whatever I have in my left pocket is yours." Truth is, I had no idea what was in my left pocket. Well, dug deep and pulled out .13 cents. "This is all I got," I said. Which was true except for the 100 dollar bill in my wallet which was pledged to another brother.
My new headwashing brother studied the brown coins (three) and the sort of silver coin (one) and shook his head, flinging beads of dew in my face. "That won't do it, bro," he said. Then, "Gotta get down to the bus."
I imagined he was taking the bus to Tibet but he said he was just going across the Caloosahatche river to Fort Myers. And that was it, my brother left me standing there with an open palm of very short change.
It was only later I realized that my new brother had turned reality up on its ear. He had put a big tilt on my day. Everything had been so much the same and he had turned it upside down and inside out by being nothing other than himself.