Monday, May 05, 2008
That’s not his real name. She feels awful, christening him after a skinny, yellow hued, millionaire misanthrope from a cartoon. But it is the first thing that pops in to her head when she sees him near the broken bench taking small, measured steps. His skin a patchwork of brown, beige, pink and white each piece irregular and seamlessly merging with the next forming a quilt that is neither comforting nor welcoming. Even the baseball cap, shirt, trousers and sandals he wears look like they have melted. He scouts the area before settling down on a low wall, his body fitting snuggly in to its graceful, curved surface. He opens a greasy newspaper parcel and proceeds to eat some sort of mixed rice. Finished, he wipes his hands carelessly on his shirt, opens out the paper and proceeds to read it. He looks cool and relaxed unlike the other park loafers whose bare brown bodies look like parched river beds, irrigated only by small rivulets of sweat that dry up as soon as they appear. Perhaps Mr. Burns is used to the heat.