Thursday, October 13, 2005

Early-morning Gargantuan.

Alright, let's start this with a cliche:
Beauty hides in unexpected places.

Good, now that we got that over with... Niceness, this morning. While going to work, I sat down in the tram right behind a huge mo'fuggin' dude. He took up the space of two seats, to give you an indication of the sheer enormity of this man. For a good five to ten minutes, I just sat there, staring in amazement at the bulging rolls of fat in his neck, visible because his head was shaved, completely bald. I gawked. Also, the amount of gold around his neck and fingers was probably too much for a man of lesser size to wear. I know I'd simply collapse, my spine snapping like a dry branch under a heavy boot. His bright white tracksuit, pledging allegiance to an American sports team he probably never even had seen playing (thank you, C.M.) served to emphasize his extremely dark skin.

Of course, almost everyone in the tram was giving him nervous glances. He sat there like a saltwater crocodile between a herd of gazelles. We were intimidated.

Then, and old lady steps in, and he is the first one to get up, hastily, and offer her his seat. Well, as hastily as possible, given his size. The lady blinks, her eyes widening with fear. He smiles. We melt.

Intrigued, I follow him as he gets off a few stops later. (Well, okay, it was also my stop and he was going the same direction as I was. But still.) A few paces behind him I walk, curious to see what he was up to.

He stops, in one of the busy shopping streets, and picks out a spot to the side. It's still quiet, sunlight playing lazily through the misty smog-haze, silvery gold in the morning. He takes off his jacket, spreads it in front of him. Early consumers, delivery-men, random passers-by give him suspicious glances. He smiles back. Puffs up his chest, plants his feet firmly on the ground (feel free to imagine a cup of water with circles playing on the surface from vibrations, Jurassic Park-style). And there, he burst out in song. His voice was beautiful, high, not unlike Amadou (you know, from Mariam). He sang an entrancing song, something African (I think Malinese, even, but I'm no expert), with notes long and drawn-out. All with that shockingly bright smile, which he gave to everyone.

I smiled back, and came to work late. But it was worth it. This was a real good morning. Thank you, sir.

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