They walk towards you blindly, often stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, completely oblivious to the other pedestrians. Ear plugs in, they see only a tiny device they hold in their hands, tapping it hesitantly or in rapid sequence. Addicted to a parallel universe, deaf to traffic and bird calls, blind to sunshine and landscape, dumping personal information into the grand database.
I’ll be generous; I’ll suggest a business model.
Monetize your life
Monetize your life! Put advertisements on your face! Crowdsource pursuit of pleasure, join the social media race.
Be the first entrepreneur whose business is yourself! Get some money for your data, you’ll be on the path to wealth.
Remember this my Facebook friend, what you give away for free is a product bought and sold by some other company.
So beat the others to it! Don’t be shy, (too late for that). Just turn the tables, join the game it’s only tit for tat.
It’s the fishnet stockings. I always try to figure out if there’s some message that they’re intended to convey. This morning, it was someone waiting for the bus. Black fishnets, not particularly sexy old black shoes. A non-descript dark knee length skirt. Holding a Louis Vuitton logo tote bag. And then she turned around. A unhappy wrinkled face, a cheap cotton foulard, and OMG, faint pink streaks in her partially fading blonde over grey dye job. This was in a higher income neighborhood, she was obviously not a homeless person. Just someone who seemed to have given up. And the first line came to me:
The remains of a well-kept wife walked by me yesterday. Her dye job has been slipping, since her husband ran away. Her bag is still designer brand. Authentic (I can tell). Too bad the plastic surgery Did not hold up as well.
In Barcelona, you see a lot of people walking dogs, and something made me take note of an interesting dog-human pair I passed yesterday. The dog was a low-slung dachshund-beagle looking thing, and the man holding the leash walked with the slow, jerky steps of someone with reconstructed hips or legs. Neither of them was in a hurry. I thought he was a pretty lucky guy.
Dog walks man!
The dog is out to walk the man. He needs his exercise. (The man that is, he’d never leave the sofa otherwise.)
They’ve known each other long and well. It used to be the man who organized the outings to the local pipi-can.
The dog now fetches other things than what his master throws — medications, the remote control …– It’s amazing how he knows his master’s needs, no words and no command.
But if you’ve ever had a dog I think you’ll understand.
Dedicated to 3 special dogs: Penny, Brandy, and Lady
vocabulary: In an attempt to toilet train dog-owners, Barcelona city planners came up with the idea of establishing officially designated dog pooping areas in parks, and coined them “pipi-cans” (‘can’ = dog).
I wonder what the result would be if every pedestrian on the sidewalk wore a sign saying “this is not a bike lane.”
Caminante, no hay camino
The cyclist rings to warn me that he’s riding in my space. If he expects I’ll step aside, he’s about to see my face.
I’ll tell him loud and clearly that wheels go in the street, that sidewalks are for walkers. And I swear by my own feet, I’ve right-of-way, and he does not, although it makes him mad.
He’s swiftly passed, three red lights run, and surprise! There is a crash. The cyclist races off unscathed. The old lady that he bashed will take a while to walk again, but it won’t make the news. City hall thinks that bikes are cool. Pedestrians, you lose!
This year, like every year, the city parks and gardens crew came out to prune the sidewalk trees. I understand it’s supposed to be good for the trees’ health, but it seems aggressive to me and I always feel the urge to salute the trees and thank them for the service they have given.
It’s Winter now; They’re coming soon. I’ve not been feeling well. Last year they cut off most my limbs. Look closely, you can tell They haven’t healed.
A younger tree will take my place. I wish her life and health. And may her arms hold many nests. That’s how I counted wealth.
May sun and rain be kind to her, and splendid be her shade. And when the pruners come for her, may she not feel betrayed, but know it is a cycle. We bloom, and then we fade.
Treasures. This city’s sidewalks are full of treasures. He was impossible to ignore as I walked past him this morning. Barcelona has a silent dress code that makes anyone who transgresses it suspicious.
The gentleman in red plaid pants
The gentleman in red plaid pants
stands waiting at the light.
I wonder if he's dressed for day,
or if those are from last night?
A younger man approaches him,
and whispers in his ear.
Hand in hand, they walk away.
I watch them disappear.
Too soon to draw conclusions,
unless you factor in
the fact his absence is so short,
and it happens all again.