The grizzled fifty-something slowly marches along, up one sidewalk and down another, over the crosswalk and up and down once more. And again. He stares straight ahead, unsmiling as he traces the border between street and storefront, weaving a great big Old Town net as the boombox clutched in one hand broadcasts the spell: Walk this way, walk this way, walk this way, walk this way ... pulling in those bookstore folks ... T.N.T, I'm a power load...T.N.T., watch me explode ... now summoning the spaghetti eaters. It's as if he plans to capture us all and drag us back to that better wild time when he was at his best.
Definitely not at his best right now. Disheveled, scraggly-haired middle-timer, looking a little bit dirty, a little bit mean. Too young to be pitied but too old to humor. Well maybe he doesn't care what you think. Maybe this is his last walk on this patch of planet, his last broadcast, his last march, his final goodbye and final f-you, blasting us all with his old-fashioned shit trying to disturb us one more time. Tomorrow he blows up the world. Or ODs. Or -- hell, probably he'll rise again, simmer over his coffee, then square his shoulders to the mission and march back out to enthrall us once more.
I hope so. The bicycle trumpeter on the plaza was fine, with his resounding Saints Go Marching In-addled medley. The accordionists, always welcome. And Mr. Electric Guitar Man -- Jimmy! -- dude, come back! But there's a trail of concrete especially reserved now for that hardrockin' time-travel man.