Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Theme Thursday: Funky!

Funky.

Aftershave, the scent of rotten oranges doused in day old beer greets us at the corner. Propped on his cardboard sofa, doubling as a bed, his scarred and tattered boots grind into asphalt for grip. He rises from beneath the shade of his black straw hat.

Haven't seen you in a while.

His arm snakes a firm grip, pressing aroma into my pores, the texture of sweet syrup and sand. A gap tooth smile whistles in delight, his presence acknowledged among the sea of people flowing passed on sidewalks, begging away eye contact.

Hey Cowboy! How's life?

Stories of streets, his nation, flow over lips starved for attention. Colorful between the Crack. Silly prostitutes, leaving kids "at home" alone, waiting for the party to be over. Of time spent pondering life all but forgotten. A few brief moments shared between eternities of the loud silent city.

Bought a spare burger, you want it?

Patiently tucked away, not to offend his guests by eating alone. Inhaling fresh urban air infused with exhaust, we admire gulls off the bay, swooping between buildings. Time short, we part...

See you soon.

Take care Cowboy.

Funky.

A man in a suit, talking with the man without.

45 comments:

Jill said...

I can smell the scent...the rotten oranges and stale beer...funky...

Joanna Jenkins said...

That was powerful and beautifully written. Thank you.

Kris said...

I always appreciate a homoerotic subtext!

Wings said...

Great Brian, as usual. Always love reading your posts.

Tom said...

Cool Brian...nice bit of urban storytelling there, and funky!

otin said...

I love the imagry in your posts, I see everything in such detail! Great writing!

Baino said...

You know only today I contemplated but didn't go there, talking to a homeless guy that sits on the picnic table behind where I have lunch. He's pleasant enough. I gave him a couple of cigarettes the other day but really would like to know his story . . maybe I should front up with a burger . . but I wouldn't have the courage to say 'funky'.

Lorraine said...

Hey I met him yesterday, in a smoke shop would you believe he bought me a Bingo card? He smelled funky
...Good for you Brian! Good for all :)

subtorp77 said...

Ach! Brian, I know that smell, especially the rotting oranges. Way funky, mon!

High Desert Diva said...

Nicely done.

I get caught up in your short stories......

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I found this incredibly poignant. beautiful.

I am blown away how you capture and convey smells in your writings.

again beautiful!

Marianna said...

hmmm, funky TT post lol

Have a great day Brian :)
xoxo

Daniel said...

Man, nothing seems to scare you off, to offend you, to cause you to look away in disgust, pity, offense, or pride. You seem to live your life in a way that speaks to who you are and what you believe. As for me, I (mostly) cannot say the same.

Brian Miller said...

@jill - yeah, once you get past that he's a great guy to listen to...

@joanna - ty. smiles.

@kris - you are too much...

@wings - tough one this week. scrapped several until i remembered days in Baltimore.

@tom - thanks. have limited experience in urban atmosphere...a few years in Baltimore opened eyes quite a bit.

@otin - ty

@baino - suggest you take a friend along, you never know what you will forget. got to know cowboy pretty well as we often lunched together. he was harmless, just funny. and i would keep the word "funky" out of the conversation. lol.

@lorraine - he is everywhere, or at least his brothers...

@subby - would suggest not using it yourself for aftershave...has an interesting affect on people.

@hdd - they are fun to write...glad you enjoy.

@mouse - me thinks that all the senses should be engaged to get the full story. often your pics lead me beyond what i see..

@marriana - ty

@daniel - i love people and to hear their stories. it takes me places...some i am glad i escaped

subtorp77 said...

Brian, no worries about that( goes off to dry-shave.... )

Nicole said...

Great job, Brian! I don't comment that much, but I felt like commenting today - what a great post! =D

JGH said...

I think I met this guy in Key West a few years ago!

Dakota Bear said...

Great story that conveyed the smells and the persons within.

reyjr said...

i know well enough what day old beer smells like. mixed with all sorts of funky odors? bleh. my nose will be itching to get out of there asap!

Candie Bracci said...

Really cool!:)

Mrsupole said...

You are always such a kind and thoughtful man, most would just walk on by and never bother. But you listen and I am sure that means everything to the man.

Great story and thanks for sharing it with us.

God bless.

Valerie said...

I caught the scent,Brian, Oooo I so hate oranges and stale beer. Loved the funky tale. Well done.

Shirley Wells said...

A great post - beautifully written. It reminded me of Leonard Cohen's 'Please Don't Pass Me By'.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Great post - so well written! enJOY your day!

tony said...

Funky Is the Real Essense Of Other people.YES!

Verily I go. said...

Wonderful again, thank you Brian. You made me hungry. I want that burger too.

Brian Miller said...

@subtorp - i dry shave as well...cleaner and easier

@nicole - glad you did! nothing weird mind you...lol.

@jgh - you can find a lot of a lot of things in Key West. lol.

@Dakota - ty.

@reyjr - you are too much. lol. sorry tried again to get to your site. keeps kicking me off.

@candi - ty

@mrsu - i figure everyone has a story, i just want to hear it. hope you have a great weekend

@val - smiles.

Brian Miller said...

@verily -fasting today, so making myself hungry as well. glad you said the burger and not the oranges. smile.

@tony - funkier the better

@Cheffie - JOY mostly. you too.

@Shirley - will have to back and check that out. ty.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Beautiful post - is this fiction or from experience?

I wish I could hear some of the stories, real or imagined.

Sandra Leigh said...

Oh, my. I can smell that post. I must have met your cowboy, though I don't remember when.

Pastor Sharon said...

Bringing the 5 senses into stories the way you do in this one is an art. . . . I'll be looking for that cowboy downtown. . . . check to see if he's okay. . .

Brian Miller said...

@jen - all my posts are faction. based on stories of my life, with a little creative embellishment to bring them alive for you. cowboy is a man i met when i lived outside baltimore. would often go out among the street people just to talk.

@pasotr sharon -seems i am hitting all the senses today! if you run into him tell him i said hey!

@sandra - dogs have a keen sense of smell as well, seems how they know each other. ours we tend to wash down the drain each day. wish i could have put a scratch and sniff sticker on this post. lol.

@

VE said...

Powerfully written...good imagery.

Did you save a burger for me too? No onions please...

Ronda Laveen said...

I'm still laughing at Kris's comment. Only he would go to a Midnight Cowboy subreference. Great funky post.

San said...

You've captured this encounter vividly, with just enough conversation.

Thanks for visiting my blog recently. I hope you'll return.

J A Harnett-Hargrove said...

I admire anyone who can give some time, a pat on the back, (or a burger) and then send them on their way. Nice slice of potently smelly life.

Beth said...

Very well written. You can see and smell the scene.

The Silver Fox said...

The "spare burger" line was great. As if it were just an afterthought. "I don't need it, maybe you will?"

Excellent... but what else is new, coming from you? ;-)

Megan said...

Nicely done, Brian.

Poetikat said...

Blew me away! Really great - the atmosphere, the character, the scenario. You are really honing your craft.

Kat

P.S. "Mista Funky" is now up and runnin' on the podcaster. Tell your friends. ha ha

Brian Miller said...

@VE - i'll take your onions, and spot you a burger sometime...

@Ronda - ty. took me a bit to get Kris' reference. funky on top of funky.

@san - thanks for the compliment and dropping by, will see you soon.

@JA - ty. think we all deserve at least that courtesy

@Beth - ty

@silver - when i went to lunch on summer days in B'more i would usually grab another burger off the dollar menu just to give away to one of the guys i passed on the way back to the office. always a greaat conversation starter.

@megan - ty

@poetikat - ty, coming from you that means a lot. oh, can't wait! off for a listen!

Ben said...

As all the others have already said, you've got the gift of vivid description. Living in a climate like San Diego, I've been in this situation a bunch of times. It sucks how often the homeless get avoided. It's fun to sit and talk with someone, have a bite to eat, or just a laugh. I should do that more often. Thanks for the inspirational post.

lettuce said...

ha - was going to write something meaningful but just saw Kris' comment

pffft

great post brian, very evocative

irenka said...

Interesting post. Thanks.

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