The Pronoun of Atlantic Plaza

There’s this guy who hangs around near where I live. What strikes you most about him is his height. He is no giant but he’s TALL, the way presidential ADCs are supposed to be. This man’s mostly known as a pronoun since he decided to make Atlantic Plaza (a shopping complex) his home. If he has a name, no one knows it.

Another thing about HIM is that he wears his entire wardrobe, all at once. Not that he has a lot but whatever he has by way of clothes he has it on. It seems a bit inhuman when you see him packed in layers of clothing (sometimes cap and socks too) when the Mercury outside is high enough to melt wax candles. I’ve been told that he used to be a driver. Driving people, well-heeled I presume, from one place to another, for a comfortable salary. You can see it in the way he walks and the places he chooses to sit down. He has this awareness of not becoming a traffic obstruction. Not coming in the way of things. I’ve also been told that he speaks well. Whenever he speaks. That too being a ‘fruit’ of his one-time gainful employment.

For his appearance and disposition he is pretty much left to his devices, especially by children and dogs: two breeds who can be particularly cruel to people like him. Even the adults don’t seem to mind him. Women don’t see a rapist lurking inside him. Men don’t see him as a car-lifter. Shopkeepers don’t keep an eye on him. Cops don’t ask him questions.

An abundance of goodwill seems to follow him wherever he goes. But he’s mostly oblivious to the effect he has on people. He’s lost to quotidian concerns and the appraisals of humans beings, and dogs. He eats what’s given to him. He sleeps on park benches and does nothing of immediate consequence.

His gaze is fixed somewhere at the vague eternity of the horizon. What is he thinking? What is he feeling? Why do people like him? Why doesn’t anyone think him mad?


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