On a morning walk I come across a man in a wheelchair, covered in a blanket. As I pass he gazes up at me and mumbles, so I stop. It is in the high 30s at this hour and, although he is covered, he seems confused. He tells me he has no idea how he got there, he just woke up outside on the street, covered in a blanket. I ask if I can call someone for him and he says yes. The police. So I call the police and describe the situation...a man in a wheelchair, appears to be disoriented, does not seem to be injured. They ask for his personal information which I am able to get from him. His name is Eric, he is 40. They ask me to wait with him until they arrive and I do. I recognize the young officer from a broken-store-window-event last year. "He has a warrant out of Sacramento," he tells me under his breath, "do you know him?" "No," I say, "he just asked me to call the police." "Well, you don't need to stick around then." And I am dismissed. "Good luck, Eric," I say as I turn away.
I have just stepped out of the apartment and have stopped to put in my ear buds. The neighborhood is quiet, dark and still. I am set to walk now, gaze to my left in the direction I will be going and in the black sky above the apartments across the street, a large shooting star falls straight down from the heavens. In its fall it brightens briefly to a bright white and then begins to disintegrate, smaller golden particles breaking away as it disappears behind the dark buildings. I expect to hear a splash or noise because it seemed to be falling directly into the ocean. I hurry out towards the beach but when I get to the corner, all signs of it were gone. I wasn't expecting to see anything, but maybe I was. I feel like the lone witness to something incredible. I look to see if there are any other souls out at that hour who may have seen it, but there are none. The shooting star was mine alone.
It is the kind of shovel handle that has the perpendicular hand hold, like a snow shovel. The handle is there, in the movie on the screen, and it has a ribbon attached to it. The ribbon is being blown back because the shovel handle is moving. All you can see is the handle and ribbon and behind it, in the quickly approaching fore and background, snow and sky. I am mesmerized by this silent, moving, image. The screen is part of a TV in a storefront window on Second Street. The image sticks in my head, a metaphor perhaps, for my own foolhardy trajectory through life, a ride on the business end of a shovel, down a snowy hill, full of bumps and adventure, destination unknowable.
Tim Bulone is an ardent observer of life on the swirling blue marble. He creates fine art and canvas prints which he likes to sell from time to time at http://www.MyFamilyArt.com He is an early morning pedestrian in Belmont Shore, where he resides with his wife and a variety of seemingly intelligent pets.