I walked a city sidewalk. I stopped at a stop sign. I intended to cross a busy street.
Looking left, I saw nothing. Looking right, I saw something. Yeah, it was really something: four corpulent, scantily clad, white women with red, purple, blue and orange streaks in their hair were barreling straight at me.
Vehicles zoomed by on the street. I couldn’t cross. The women moved closer. As they came into clearer view, they exuded the unmistakable aura of having just emerged from the homeless encampment located in a nearby swamp teeming with ducks and beavers.
I stepped back to let them past. They passed me in profile and I could only see half their faces. But I heard them. They were engaged in a very animated conversation. From what I gathered, it was about sex. One of the women stopped abruptly. She wore red nylon shorts. She began simulating sex with someone she’d recently had sex with by thrusting her pelvis back and forth with remarkable vigor.
The women yukked it up, hooted and hollered.
I caught this act from behind, and at some point, the woman with the red shaking ass must have sensed I was watching, because she whipped around and stared at me. I took her measure: she wore toy fangs, a black sports bra and a tiara.
The woman gave me a knowing nod and then whipped back around and continued on her way with her friends.
I stood there and watched them walk away.
What does a writer do with such an incident? Where to begin? Or more importantly, where to end? Just leave it at the ass, fangs and tiara walking away down the sidewalk and the writer just wondering what the hell was going on, without the possibility of ever knowing?
How about these possible endings?
A list of questions. (I have two million,)
A pithy quote. (I can’t think of any.)
A wry musing or insight? (About an ass, fangs and a tiara?)
Make a joke out of it. (A woman walks into a bar wearing fangs and a tiara…)
An attempt at amateur psychology and sociology? (Forget it. They are totally inadequate in fathoming the current psychology and sociology of the homeless population I observe and interact with on a daily basis.)
What does a writer do with this incident, practically a gift from the literary gods? Does the writer use his literary gifts to make sense of such a gift? What if the writer has no literary gifts? What if there no gift equal to exploring this gift?
I’ll just end it where it ended, which is usually the best way to end a story, or in this case, a vignette. Leave it where it left you staring: ass, fangs, and a tiara.