Thumbing through miles of notes in my fractured and scattered Red Clay Diary, I found this from a couple of years back. I don’t think anything’s changed, except that I’m more sympathetic toward the Zombies who roam the city streets in clouds of smoke–only doing harm to themselves and passersby and those of us trapped in their nicotine zones.
My vision is photographic.
Not my memory, just my vision.
I remember small details that seem important at the time.
I don’t remember names, but I can tell you way too much about
the image that sticks in my mind about everybody I meet.
Who knows how this happens? Probably just genetics.
But sometimes, this is fun. Want some examples?
AMAZEMENT # 406
The clerk at the counter seems not there. She looks like she’s
there, but her mind, oh, her mind…her field of vision, oh, her
field of vision…they are definitely somewhere else. She’ll never
remember our moment together.
AMAZEMENT # 407
The singer is my age, his smooth tones have transmogrified into
a galloping vibrato. It makes it more beautiful.
AMAZEMENT # 408
The overlapping-belly green-shirted baseball-capped Bermuda-shorted
guy totes a large K-Mart bag and wanders about the lot, looking for his car.
Maybe he’s still searching.
AMAZEMENT # 409
The Day Glo fluorescent-finger-nail employee at the Salvation Army Thrift
Store has bright blonde hair and deepdark skin and a ready wit. She makes
me smile at nothing in particular.
AMAZEMENT # 410
Two tall hairbraided guys at Family Dollar talk enthusiastically about their
momentary problem: whether there’s enough ice at home or whether they
should buy another bag on the way home. It’s a big deal, their
moment, and don’t you laugh about it, you hear?
AMAZEMENT # 411
A bloated male clerk at the Salvation Army Thrift Store is in charge
of re-arranging the deck chairs and making the place neater. There
is an enormous stuffed mascot bear lying deathlike on the floor.
He brings it to life by placing it into a wheelchair. Now, the animal
is merely handicapped. The clerk kicks at the children’s books
scattered about but doesn’t pick them up.
Bending would be required.
Effort would be required.
AMAZEMENT # 412
The golden-tressed woman with bare midriff looks good
far away. But oh, the close-up: weathered face and flabby
paunch and deep frown report her real life to me.
AMAZEMENT # 413
The smokin’ zombie girls still smoke on break outside
my store, hissing into cellphones, double-inhaling,
chain-lighting-up, happy to be outside in the heat,
away from the smoke-free zombie cubicles inside
the multi-decked office buildings
The Downtown Explorers Club has spent yet one more
day appreciating these puzzling lives.
What have you discovered in the steaming pavements
(c) 2011 A.D. by Jim Reed