‘escape is just another name for perfume…’

it’s a pretty busy junction at the intersection of Nostrand and
Fulton Avenues in Brooklyn. and as a main artery of a vibrant
borough should, it has all sorts of folks pumping through at
various speeds. and then, there are those at a standstill. those
men and women clogged in their travel through life. you can
see one elder sister hunched on the steps of the dilapidated
bodega where you swear the entrance is leaning windward.
she’s well known even to the beat patrolmen. another man
staggers, bringing a leg more lame than a Wall Street banker
in a techno club. they all wear the hard look of life choices
kicking them first in the face, then in the ass.

but every once in a while, one of them will make their
misery point of momentary sun. like today. as i left the
bistro known as Melanie’s, i find this one cat in my path.
he was lanky, seemingly cut from rain soaked redwood.
he hadn’t shaved for a day or two. his hair was unkempt
like Method Man circa 1994. his clothes were ragged and
his boots looked as if he’d been moonwalking on broken
cans. as he saw me, he began to croon holding out his
hand. ‘escape is just…another name for perfume…i need
some change..to get me a room…’ it was manic, but it
caught a couple of other people’s attention that he got
a few coins. and i threw in a quarter.

i chuckled slightly at the improvised ditty he still sang
as he stood in front of the liquor store that sat next to
Melanie’s while i walked away. what brought me back
to being sober was one thought…how far he may fall
before he wishes he really could escape.

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