The Drunk, the Mute and the Stray
Sweetheart, take a long, deep breath. Do you notice anything different? Does the air smell sweet and earthy? Does the morning light feel delicious as it envelops your bare legs? Does it feel like autumn?
You continue to stare at the sky, transfixed by the dancing leaves of the birch trees; by the chunky, fat clouds hovering above the willow trees; by two seagulls playing hide and seek behind the crumbling facade of a sunflower tiled building; by a teetering wooden sign that reads, “Ana’s Cleaners”.
“Ooooh!” you say in wonder and enchantment. The world above has suddenly opened wide, brimming with possibilities, with newfound opportunities.
Realizing that I was too lazy to strap you into your stroller this morning, you suddenly jump up, turn around, and face the back of the stroller. Slowing to a halt, I reach forward to grab you as you launch forward to catch an enormous maple leaf floating at a snail’s pace to the ground.
“Honey, please sit down. You’re about to take a face plant onto the very hard cement, which would royally suck because those teeth are brand spanking new!”
Whipping your head around, your eyes narrow in defiance, in frustration, in determination, as if to say, “Just try to stop me from flying over this thing!”
And then it happened…
You scamper up the back of your seat and teeter forward, hanging in midair for a millisecond before a hand appears out of nowhere and scoops you gently back into place.
“Little Prince, ssssnuggle yourself back in…into that seat and relax,” he slurs. “You neeeed to be gooood to your mom. So…just…re…relax.”
Swaying back and forth ever so slightly, I watch his perfectly manicured hands brush a tuft of hair out of his face before he cups your hand in his. He smiles. You smile. I’m stunned. His creased jeans, blinding white polo and Fossil watch stand in complete contrast to his alcohol laden breath, his toothless female partner, and his shaggy dog. If there was ever a start to a joke, this was it.
He looks up, nods his head and wishes me a good day. His partner follows suit not a second later, though her limp keeps her a tad behind his agile gate.
“What was that?” I whisper rhetorically, watching them wander off in single file behind a bright pink bougainvillea. Clapping silently with your hands, you eventually look up, take your right finger and point to the sky.
No truer words unspoken.
Honey, to be clear, in no way am I implying that this was a religious experience. When you pointed skywards, I firmly believe you were conveying your fascination with what exists above, as opposed to saying that heavens delivered you a drunk, well coiffed Jesus to save your ass from a broken nose.
That said, the world is magical, and often times, inexplicable. Every morning, he’s sitting by the pyramid sculpture with his roaming pack of delinquents. Every morning, they’re pounding bottles of booze out of a paper bag in the same location. Hence, how did he suddenly appear exactly when we needed him, blitzed out of his mind? Why didn’t we see or hear them prior to that moment? And what’s up with the mute girlfriend?!
Mica, if you’re willing to suspend logic, labels, assumptions and preconceived ideas, the world suddenly turns into a fairytale experience filled with magic, mystery and drama (the good kind!). The hard part is allowing yourself to remain open and receptive to the world, to continuously break down walls of defense that don’t serve you, to pull away the cobwebs of stagnation, tradition and routine thinking.
This drunk stranger came out of nowhere to help. Call it coincidence, good timing or a freak of nature, but whatever you do, don’t dismiss it. Put this experience in a “damn life is amazing!” category, and recall it anytime you need an injection of inspiration and mystery, because trust me, you will.
Oh, and for the record, I’m now armed with a fresh roll of duct tape to ensure this NEVER happens again.