I cut through an industrial area when I travel to work. The Office Depot down the street has a “going out of business sale” sign, so I stopped by on my way to the marina. Long hours of hard pounding at the typewriter calls for something sturdy; the delicate-boned suede dining chair just wasn’t going to measure up.
Chair, corkboard, thumbtacks, and a few pads of paper later, I was out the door. Almost walked straight into a ragged fellow, a little seedier around the edges even than me. He had a wooden crate strapped to the back of a beater bike propped against the display table. The guy seemed to be carefully assessing a series of artificial ficus plants on the table for shape and symmetry, stepping back a few feet and eyeing each from many angles.
I watched as he selected one and secured it in the crate with some overlapped bungees. He tore off the tag, stuffed it into another display box, and took off.
Our eyes never met. I stepped backwards through the electronic doors and spoke with a salesperson, just for completeness’ sake. The ficus was long gone by the time the details sunk in for him.
Somewhere in this city is a leanto with some sweet decs.
Enjoy your tree, raggedy man.
(February 2, 2011)