Monday, March 30, 2009

Bad Match

He was a frumpy-looking dour middle-aged guy with a gray sack of those freebie newspapers that are all advertisements, going from house to house, tossing the things onto the doorsteps of each. We were walking the dogs.

I had been listening to Sunday Baroque and sipping coffee. They had begun to broadcast a recording of Bach's d-minor keyboard concerto. Great stuff, but I've heard it many times. I have several recordings, and I once even heard it performed live by the late great Igor Kipnis.

Some music just gets into my ears and stays there and I can carry it along with me. So that was was a good time to walk the dogs. The morning was young and beautiful. But the paper-delivery guy was not so. Definitely not.

A man opened his door to collect the paper deposited there. He then yelled out to the deliverer "You know, some people would call that littering."

For a moment I thought he was ribbing the other guy, the one tossing the newspapers. But the energy between the two men wasn't one of playfulness. No. It was fucked up.

Bag-man yelled "What?" and the guy from the house reiterated "I call this littering."

Bag-man replied "Well I call it work," and for emphasis he spelled it out, loudly, "W-O-R-K," the letters resounding throughout the morning air, floating above like psychedelic Peter Max style bulletins, only instead of being colorful and fun, they were drab and leaden.

Grown men delivering papers on a weekend morning. That used to be a job for boys on bicycles.

Bag-man later got into his dirty old car which had been parked at the end of our usually quiet block. The wheels had no hubcaps. And they didn't match.

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