Friday, March 5, 2010

A Broken Man Overheard at the Jardin

Who knows what goes on in other people's lives?  Who knows what sadness they carry around?  Sam and I were having breakfast yesterday at a cafe on the jardin, and couldn't help but listen to a man behind us talking loudly, emotionally, on his cell phone.  First the f-word over and over, so I turned around to glare at him, as it was unpleasant to listen to.   He surprised me.  He was older, an aged rock star, mustache and earrings, small mirrored sunglasses, curly, greying hair past his shoulders, tight black jeans, boots.  He looked like a man who could be in charge of his world.  But as the conversation went on, it became fraught with more intimacy, more anger, more depression and despair.  "I've written 27 songs, all about the same woman."  "I've done everything you wanted me to do.  I exercised."  "I know there were the bar fights, and the drugs.  I know it wasn't easy."  He was sobbing, wiping his eyes, and I was watching him with a morbid fascination.  I tried harder to hear; it was the proverbial train wreck, except that I was listening to it.  "I'm in so much pain sometimes I cut myself.  You have no idea what this is like."   Like always, the mourning doves were banging out their songs in the clipped trees ringing the jardin, the sun pinged off the spires of the Parroquoia, the sweet smell of Clorox and soap on the cobblestones when the ladies toss out their wash buckets drifted around us, and there was a man crying into his phone, "All I ever wanted to do was crawl inside your heart and hide myself from the world." 

No comments:

Post a Comment