sold. They have Stella Artois on tap. Excellent. Behind the table is a small
slice of the park—some trees, bushes, benches. I buy the beer, unfortunately in a clear plastic cup, slip into the park behind a tree and pour the
beer in the bottle. Toss the clear cup away. No one the wiser. Ahh, beer!
I go back to my blanket and sit down. I take a long, beautiful swallow
of the beer. A shadow falls over me. I look up. Andy Sloth. I try not to
“You don’t strike me as a jazz fan, Andy. I’d say you’re more of a
country boy, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Reba. Something like that.”
“Totally wrong. I’m a Deadhead. Actually was a roadie on their very
I’m somewhat impressed, though I won’t own up to it.
He sits down on my blanket without being invited. Gestures to the
band. “They’re not bad. Especially the drummer.”
I make a noncommittal noise.
“I’d like your help rounding up Jesse,” he says. This makes Jesse
sound like cattle. “He’s on a bender. I’ve got a good idea where he is, and
I think seeing you might just do the trick.”
A bender. So my hunch was correct. “I’ve heard that, and I’m really
sorry. I thought he was Superman.”
I’m itching to take another drink of the beer.
“Well, there’s always kryptonite.” Andy Sloth is looking me right in
the eye. He has startling amber eyes, like a great cat or something. I’ve
I love a good street festival, the vendors and food
trucks, the anonymous crowds, and, yep, the booze. I
love watching the evening as it comes on, how the light
leaves the sky, the gloaming arrives, and the streets
take on a soft glow. All the people, the total strangers,
seem tender and beautiful. You can believe that the
world is kind and good.