Saturday, July 29, 2006

Off ramp

Walker and shadows
Originally uploaded by tomusan.

“Things aren’t always the way they seem”, he said to the child. “Take a look at that guy there, for example”. He nodded toward the man selling oranges on the freeway off ramp where they were stopped. The child watched as the man walked by their car, a bag of oranges in one hand, peanuts in the other. He sat, expressionless, as the man dipped his head to the window, eyebrows raised in anticipation of a sale. He watched the beads of sweat roll down the man’s face and dropping off his chin onto his shirt. The black Raiders cap was stained with a border of white salt, leached from the man’s perspiration.

The boy turned the air conditioning knob two notches higher.

“Do you see what I mean, son?” the man asked. The boy looked straight ahead, watching the red light, willing it to turn green. He put his hand on the padded dashboard, trying to feel the vibrations of the idling engine. The father’s eyes shifted to the rear view mirror, watching the orange seller make his way down the row of cars.

“He’s wearing a Club Med Fiji T-shirt,” he said. “Do you think he has been there, son?”

The boy watched as the light turned green, looking past his father as they slowly drove by the shopping cart filled with sacks of oranges and peanuts.


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