Danny Blue gripped the back pack strap that rested across his chest and under his right arm as he stepped from the street onto the wide median that was more like a sleek rectangular garden than a simple strip of dirt bordered with granite stones designed to separate traffic. Taller palm trees stood at each end while the middle held several lush green azalea bushes and a number of dwarf palm plants that had been trimmed and sculpted to look like war helmets. Enough space stood between the plants to both see and walk easily to the other side, though part of the city’s reason for planting them was to discourage crossing the street at that point.
“I’m just wonderin’!” a voice suddenly boomed.
Danny Blue felt the vibrations more than he heard the words but turned his music player off and removed the plugs from his ears in case Valerie was calling him.
“I can’t help but stand here,” came the voice again, “AND WONDER!”
He shouted the word WONDER more like he was commanding those around him to do so than speaking about his own reflections. He stood in the center of the median, a pecan-colored man who must have been in his eighties and who stood no more than five-feet-eight, holding onto a gnarled walking stick as he faced the traffic pointed west. A silver-white beard and sideburns framed his intense gaze. The gravel and cannonball blast of his voice caused a number of people to turn in his direction even while others continued listening to music, staring down the road ahead, or looking above at the dangerous play of the clouds.
The Starless-night Blackness of His Eyes
“I have to wonder how many of y’all understand the significance of where we at here today? How many of y’all comprehend...the nature...of the irony...of the history that done been made here. How many of y’all got a clue about the history we livin’ right now and the history that the Great Worker is about to make?!”
More heads turned and a small crowd gathered shyly around him. Danny Blue remained standing to the side, listening with one ear to the old man and with the other trying to filter out the different voices flitting through the wind and whispering or shouting his name.
For a moment the old man looked directly at him, and Danny Blue was stunned by the starless-night blackness of his eyes. The old man adjusted his walking stick, a little taller than he, to steady himself. Someone ran forward to offer him a portable chair and he shook his head to indicate he did not want it as he continued talking.
NEXT: BONUS STORY TRACK NO. 3 How a Place Called ‘Bubbaville’ Became Known as Froggtown
zPed Music Player Bonus Story Tracks
© Februar 17, 2016