I Had Heard He'd Gone Crazy

I had heard he’d gone crazy.

When I walked into the coffee shop this morning, he was standing in the corner wearing white fatigues, at a high top table with a stuffed penguin toy, a sketch pad and headphones covering his ears.

He danced with his hands, almost like he was trying to make shadow figures on the wall, but there was no sunlight, nothing to cast the shadow.

In between, he leaned over, swaying to whatever music was coming through is headphones, or whatever was in his head, and drew ferociously, that’s what is was, fierce and filled with intent. He would use the backside of his hand to smudge it. Draw some more, look at it, and then start spinning around again, dancing, murmuring to himself.

I had heard he’d gone crazy, everyone stayed away from that corner of Starbucks this morning. I made a pass once or twice, to see if there was recognition. He’s been my neighbor. He’s a father. He was her husband. But there was none.

I wondered how he got there. I wondered where the one piece white fatigues had come from, layered with the bright silver down vest.

I was the last in line to have a drink made in the morning rush and I stood there while everybody else stayed away.  I imagined something brilliant going on in his head. I imagined something brilliant on the paper.

When I passed by the outside window to my car, I was able to see it – that there was nothing there.

Memory Layne