Saturday, October 9, 2010

BreakupBabe lives on

BreakupBabe at Half-Price Books
 On a busy intersection in lower Queen Anne just now, around the corner from my condo, stood a guy in a hooded sweatshirt. Slung around his chest was tennis racket that he was "playing" like a guitar. "Air tennis racket" you might call it.

He had headphones on, and besides playing air tennis racket, he was also playing air flute, air drums, and other associated air-instruments.He was doing all this in the pouring rain.

I see this guy around Queen Anne all the time. At coffeshops, hanging out on benches, almost always listening to his headphones. Always puffing on a cigarette. Always alone.

He looks normal enough--even handsome in a shaggy, graying way, kind of like my arrogant old writing teacher Leonard Michaels (RIP Lenny, I wrote a novel IN SPITE OF YOU!) - but after seeing him a few times I realized that this guy was maybe just a little bit off.

Not that he ever did anything too strange or acted crazy, except for maybe muttering to himself on occasion. (I realized, at some point, that he lived in subsidized housing a couple blocks away from me.)

So when I saw him acting fully delusional today my heart broke. I thought: he's been holding it together and now he's lost it. He's not taking his meds. He took too many meds. But what do I know? Absolutely nothing, that's what.

On the other hand, on this gray, dreary, wet day part of me felt a little happy for him that he was so happy. Because he was. He looked blissed out and oblivious to anything else except the music he was pretending to make.

Still. What happens when the music ends?

In happier news, GalPal #3 and her husband "Henry" spotted - at their daughters' gymnastics meet - a woman hungrily devouring a novel called BreakupBabe. They fell upon her, regaling her with tales of how they are prominently featured in the book and how the novel was started in their house!

They didn't go so far as to offer their autographs but they might as well have for all the bragging they did. She told them she worked at "Empire Corporation" (ahem) and was going through a divorce, and a friend told her she knew just the book for her.

Now isn't that dandy that at four years old, BreakupBabe is still helping hearts mend? Why look, I even found a copy on the shelf at Half Price Books last week!