After The Parade

The streets are back to normal, at least where we are. Sunday traffic crawls up Thurlow, the sun beats down. Back to normalcy.

But not.

Here and there, drifting along in the eddies of movement are little pieces of colour. There’s a six-foot stringbean of a guy, still painted blue, still wearing devil horns. But he’s traded his cloven-foot shoes for one of those cool low-rider bikes with the high handles. The handles echo the curve of his horns. He’s eating felafel and I can see the sauce dripping down his arm, gleaming in the sun.

Walking to the corner, I see a tiny dog on a leash, a rainbow ruffle around its toothpick neck. I don’t know what breed it is. It’s like a super-hairy chihuahua,(maybe it’s a special hairy chihuahua?) but has an expression like it’s just smelled a really bad fart. It swivels its little ginger head with the radar ears and sniffs at me like I’m a blackened chicken wing kicked to the gutter in the height of a Chicago heatwave.

Up ahead, I hear a jingle my ears are tuned to. There’s a belly dancer coming towards me. She’s all in scarlet, coins jingling, silk scarves swirling, but she’s put up her long red hair and has some dollar-store sunglasses on her face. She’s got fifty pounds on me, so when I saw her dancing down the parade route, I got the full impact of her shimmies. I see that she walks with unconscious grace when she’s just walking. I’d like to be her friend.

I know I have a beautiful city. I cherish it. But the little flashes of colour are jewels that make it perfect.

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