ying / yang may 27, 05
by alisa

Town was hot but here at the beach it was overcast and chilly enough to wear a sweater. Marine layer. That always sounds vaguely kinky. I walk down to the graf walls & take fotos. There a couple guys painting and a guy/girl/baby sitting under the palm trees.

I’m gonna introduce myself to the artists and tell them about my website, I think. I really think about doing it for half a minute. But I’m way too shy. I take pictures and wander off.

I see a girl on roller skates - headfones on - dancing in the skateboard park. Old fashioned skates, 4 wheels. She’s good. I sit on a park bench. I wanted to video her but she’s too far away.

There’s a guy standing closer, blowin’ a horn, he’s watching her too.

Played like he was just learning.

He kept stopping and taking a music cue card from his pocket. So cute.

‘I need a holder…’

He showed me how the little card could be propped up on the horn.

I smiled at him. I imagined an annoyed wife/girlfriend/roommate saying,

‘Hey baby, why don’t you go practice at the beach?’

I took some video & encouraged him.

Never too old to learn an instrument, I figured.

‘Name that tune…’ he said.
I had to laugh, ‘Umm…Blue Moon?'
‘Yankee Doodle!’ He laughed too.

Such a happy guy. Just blowin’ his horn on a gloomy day.

I walked up to him & showed him the pics I had just taken. He liked.

‘I play from in here…’ he tapped his chest.

He showed me his hearing aid.

‘I’m completely deaf.’

‘Wow, I never would have guessed!’
‘Yea, really.’ I meant it. I couldn't tell he was deaf by the way he talked either.

What a cool cat.

I walk towards home, thinking about Sweetie & his horn.

Turrned the corner and see a yupboy with expensive camera equipment. He seems to be hiding, so I look to see what he’s shooting.

It’s my favorite bum. A harmless, helpless, schizophrenic sitting in his usual spot writing in his well worn notebook. I tried talking to him once.

I gave him Chinese take out. ‘You want some food, honey?
‘No, no…thank you no.’

He was so painfully shy, he couldn’t make eye contact.
‘It’s not leftovers, it hasn’t been touched, I swear...'

‘No, no, don’t want…’ He briefly looked up and I realized he was suffering from just being talked to, so I left the food and left him alone. But I've always kept an eye on him, poor sweet bear.

Now Jerk was snapping away like Favorite Bum was an inanimate object.

‘Hey mister, do you have his permission to shoot him?’
He ignored me.
‘Hey you with the big fucking lens. I’m talking to you.’
He looked at me, annoyed.

‘I’m not shooting these for money…’
‘That’s not what I asked you. Did you get his permission?”
‘He wouldn’t understand.’
I got pissed off.

‘Just because he has a mental illness doesn’t mean you can take advantage of him. Fucking jerk!’

He whirled on me and started yelling. ‘I can take any pictures I want! I’m in a public place! You can’t judge me, bitch! Bla bla bla...’

I won’t get into a shouting match with an asshole. I just turned on my camera and took a couple pictures of him yelling; funny.

I remembered my Elph has video, but when I turned it on he shut his yap and turned back to his camera.

Mad at the prick, I gave him a piece of my mind anyway.


It was a ying/yang marine layer day at the beach.
Sweetie and Jerk within minutes of each other.
I wish I would have given Sweetie a hug and I wish I would have stood in front of Jerks camera and told him ‘shoot’s over.’

But I’m just too shy.

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