There was a newspaper, trifolded, almost, with bits of feathers and cigarettes sticking out. Ground up tar, maybe. Someone had flopped it on the sidewalk, a collage, a homage to god-knows-what.
The lady with the belts was missing. I think she moved down a few streets.
The guys were still sleeping on the grass, except a policeman was nudging them with his feet. Then he started kicking them, his biker shorts making his white legs contrast the strangely verdant trees. Things are never green in a California summer. It was hot and his legs looked sticky, some mass of too-toned humanity. One man got up, his dirty clothes making him look like a Shakespearean fool as the officer made him put his hands on his neck. When the officer took off the man’s baseball hat, bill facing forward, the biggest surprise was that there was nothing underneath it. The other guy was still asleep.
I kept walking, slower than usual. An old woman sat on a wall. “That light won’t change,” she called out to me. I gestured with the book I was carrying, “That one?” I looked at the intersection and wondered if she was crazy. “I decided I won’t wait for it anymore,” she said.
When I was in Germany, I never thought the old ladies who babbled at me in German were crazy. Why do I always assume strangers who talk to me on the street are crazy here?
I kept walking. There was a dead honey bee nestled in the pavement. I looked back. The light had changed. I wondered if the lady had crossed and if she was still crazy.