Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Crossroads Story

Tiny wisps of clouds in the sky. So liberating, thought S.

Why can't I be like them? Free, iridescent and always moving on.

The bright fall morning piggybacked a cool breeze blowing from the south along rue Guy. As she gloomily trudged herself on rue de' Maissoneuve, the conundrum kept getting difficult to solve as she approached the crossroad with rue Guy. Immediately, the wind hit her with mocking disdain.

This was where it had all begun. Gazing at Norman Bethune with an apoplectic glance, she reached for the bench. With her back to him, S removed the crumpled tissue leftover and smudged her smudgy eyes.

The wind gathered steam. Her jacket was good enough to ensconce her from any ruthless disdains. The sniffing continued though, littering drops of pain in every direction.

Finally, the cold wind bought a smile to M's lips. The black ones had opened up and the wind could get a taste of the nicely ordered teeth inside. He was euphoric. No...jubiliant.

Luck enfin brille sur moi! Dieu est grand. (Luck finally shone on me. Oh Almighty, you are great!)

Today, he won't stay hungry. He will treat himself to the corner dollar pizza.

The grizzled hair had been falling due to the stress. Illegal in this new country. A life totally arcane and non-existent. A life incomparable to his home in Morocco. Except for the lucre.

With a forged identity and a stash of wrongdoings, he had somehow made it to Montreal. A month of job bootings later, he finally got the dream job. Dish-cleaner. It would all accumulate up to a 1000$ a month. He would easily survive with 150$ and the rest would go to his wife and children back home.

He found a bench. He needed time to swallow the feeling. Sinking will take eons. Introspection. Dreams fulfilled. Light. Rainbow. Beyond the heliosphere.

Dieu est grand, M muttered loudly.

With an obvious disregard to a lady sitting on the same bench a meter away.

P scribbled the final stanza.

Ummm...not too bad this poem of mine. The Trapeze's Final Jump.

He pored over the bright sun illuminating the sky and wondered if it could inspire him to write something more jazzy. Clutching the coffee, he moved his heavy body up from the chair. After a bit of struggle of course. The Tim Horton's attendant asked him if he needed help. He politely refused and moved out in the sun. On his wheelchair.

The wind shook him. But he was too strong to be shaken.

Today is just the day dedicated to us poets, he joked to himself. Eccentric, wavering and omnipotent

He liked the empty space just next to the bench. As he pumped some power to get himself moving, he noticed two humans on the bench - solemn and soulful in their own right.

P had already found the theme for his new poem. The Bench. Maybe, he could sell this as another best-seller of his.

Norman Bethune looked on. He had been standing there for years. Below him, lived K. Drunk and lonely. But forever happy. Babbling something. About how life is beautiful. Ragged, senile and haggard, but basking in the limelight of reciting every dialogue from Frank Capra's 1946 movie "It's a Wonderful Life".

Another swig.

In a zany quirk, he shouted "It's a Wonderful Life, isn't it people? My fellow brothas and sistas"

S turned around and gave an amalgamating look of disdain and total cynicism.

M turned around, hollered Oui and gave a big thumbs-up.

P turned around and gave him a sarcastic smile wrinkled with poetry and lameness.

Norman Bethune stood there - as always. Glumly, savoring the crossroads of life.

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