Friday, June 18, 2010

The Two Georges

George is the Mayor of Central Street. He is sixty plus years old, puffy, balding, usually unshaved, and developmentally disabled. His clothes are threadbare, stained, too small, and mismatched. Yet he reigns regally. He has been a presence on Central Street for at least twenty five years. If he knows you, he greets you as you walk by, shouts to you if you are across the street, waves if you are too far to hear.  If you are a shop owner he offers to wash your windows or sweep your walk. When tired he lowers himself to the curb from his cane and rests on the curb while pulling weeds from the parkway. To hurrahs, applause, and accolades, George has appeared on his own “Mayor of Central Street Float” at the Fourth of July Parade for as many years as I can remember although I cannot remember who sponsors the float. George is a loving, kind, caring, helpful person in the neighborhood and enjoys his role as Mayor of Central Street.
The other George is the Security Guard of Church Street. He is in his forties, overweight, has slicked down black hair, wears dark sunglasses, and is developmentally disabled. He wears tight fitting black shirts and pants, short in the warm weather and long in the cold weather with the addition of a black leather jacket and gloves. On his head is a black baseball cap and on his feet, black sox and heavy black boots. On his belt hangs a ring or two of keys, two cell phones, a walkie talkie, a black leather pouch and handcuffs. On a black leather leash, just a few steps ahead of George and equally as self important is his black and white bull dog: overweight, squat, bowlegged and wearing white rimmed dark sun glasses. As they pass to stares, questioning brows, and whispers George does not talk, does not acknowledge, does not look. George is a frightening, mean spirited, strange person in the neighborhood and enjoys his role as Self Appointed Security Guard.

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