Friday, December 14, 2007

Mr. Bojangles

He lived in a room down a side road. Or so I seem to remember being told. He was always alone but any loneliness you felt when you saw him was most likely to be your own. He was safe within his head. He may have been very old or he may have been only in his forties, but old in neglect. We knew nothing of him, nor did we want to then. There must have been a teenager once with passions and infatuations. There must have been a young man who went to work or wanted to. There must have been a love or a hate. A family or a friend. How does someone become quite so alone? We used to see him at the club, he came to the dances and always got a drink. And he danced. In worn out shoes, / With silver hair, a ragged shirt and baggy pants, / he would do the old soft shoe. He danced by himself, all night, and seemed content. But when he died, it was not by himself. It was the loneliest death of all - in public, but isolated by pointing fingers. His name was Mr. Wise, and a more inappropriately named person I have yet to meet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a beautiful short story and I give you first chance.

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