In Circus, coffee, Hautvoir, Local projects, proto drafts, Sanford Meisner on September 3, 2015 at 7:21 am


The closest at hand: on the way back from the morning walk, I notice Monsieur K sitting on a different stoop from his usual perch. The stoop he’s chosen fronts yet another crumbling house and happens to intersect my usual route. (I observe Monsieur K at a distance, but Monsieur K does the same with me.)

While I try to stop the dog from sampling choice tidbits left behind by pizza-scarfing late night revelers, Monsieur K launches into the back story concerning his present homeless state. I miss several of the key moments because the narrator’s version is impressionistic. After a night of moving from one park bench to another, I might lose a few details along the way myself. Plus, a sad but true fact, Monsieur K spends most of his measly food allowance on  – yes – alcoholic beverages.

I listen and promise to let him know if I hear of a living space with windows (his last abode had none). Make my way home for my first coffee. Reflect on the fact my last and first waking thoughts were on this surprising notion of feeling at home in this new living space of mine. Of finding pleasure in arranging objects in it, in figuring out possible improvements at minimal cost – if not in time, in money. Reading, writing, organizing the space around me, listening to the back stories the characters tell themselves or others. Jotting some down. Some pieces fit, some don’t.

People show up at the door with requests. The phone rings at two o’clock in the afternoon: why am I not at the Social Center? A small boy is there, anxious to see me again. Not now, in two weeks, I explain again.

Story. Time. Distances. Places that shelter, places that don’t. (But oh, how precious the ones that do).


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