The Closest I Ever Came

It’s a fine summer day. The bands are rotating and the music is good. The energy is electric and the crowd is resonating. Children are playing. Laughter rises up like bright flares of light from this table and that. The entire scene is that glorious gradient of sun and shadow from under and around our parasols.

But now there is a distraction. Faces are turned toward the sidewalk behind us and we follow them. Oh, no. It’s him, that peripatetic character whose labors we’ve seen on sidewalks all over town; him and his white chalk describing invective and hardcore dogma of pseudo-christian entrenched battle positions from which no prisoners are taken. He’s hard at work. He might be a little off in the head.

There’s a shadow over there against the wall where a trio of women are standing by, stunned witnesses they; mouths agape, casting mute judgment and scorn on the pukings from mr. chalk’s head. That pretentious vandal, daring to mar a fine day like this with his first amendment rights devoid of music or wisdom.

The half dozen of us are looking and looking, our heads on 360-degree swivels and our eyes like the owl’s as well. Finally we are just looking at each other. The looks on our faces are these: we can’t watch anymore. We can’t just sit here anymore. We must dance. There is good music and little children are dancing. We can’t dance in our seats.

So we rise up and walk over to that little battleground. We begin quietly, keeping one eye on him to see what he’ll do about us, and one eye on the trio standing against the brick to see what they do about us.

Look, you guys! They like it! Haha! they’re nodding, smiling, clapping. Approval.

Photo by Kampus Production on

So, seconded and motion passed and adopted, we turn it up. As we dance, we twist and turn like vandals, our feet grinding up white chalk words as if we didn’t have a clue. We’re acting like naughty, egotistical children.

What is this, exactly? I mean, what would you call it? Point and counterpoint? A song for a song? Is it a demonstration?

I’ve never joined a demonstration. I guess this is the closest I’ve ever come. We’re just dancing to beat all hell. We won’t have it.

Now look what we’ve done: a dozen more have hopped right onto the sidewalk, dancing. We made a party. And where is mr. chalk? Nowhere to be seen.

There is cheering from the sidelines. We’re laughing. It’s a fine summer day.