Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Cool

I seen him on the subway on my way to .... Downtown. I have no idea what his name is but I know him by seeing him around. I've chatted with him before if chat is what you do with someone like him because undoubtedly this is the coolest character I've ever met. Remember when Ra said "Cool I don't get upset" well I think he was referring to this character.

First saw/met him a few years ago selling some pretty creative style jewelry in the market with his kin. Then I saw them other places peddling their wares and since my wife likes their stuff (and its cheap but well made) occasionally I'll stop and grab some small gift.

Something about them intrigued me too. I thought they were Bobo dreads at first just by the way they were dressed but they don't have locks do they and one of the females cut her hair off at one point which is usually a no no for rasta isn't it? Naa I have no idea what tribe or religion they represent all I know is that they are the most laid back people I've known.

My boy thinks its a weed thing. He thinks they are always just so damn high that they have achieved some sort of zen like state or rather a state where as they themselves would say 'everything is everything'. Not a care in the world.

Its cold out today but on our subway journey homeboy is still dressed like its the summer. Well dressed like he is always dressed I should say, regardless of weather, with the long flowing robe and his head covered. He looks like a cross between some sort of Biblical Galilean and an Arab Bedouin. He'd be right at home in those biblical stories actually ....Well except for the sweater he has over his robes. I guess one does have to make some amendments or adjustment for Toronto weather.

Still I'm sort of thrown off by the fact that he's wearing sandals on a day like today. True its not as cold as it could be but sandals on this wet, rainy and somewhat cold day? I don't know about that.

My wife who has actually had mini conversations with him and his kin as she's perused their wares at various locations, hyped me to the fact that they all have like the most flawless skin ever. She notices details I usually don't but today I take a close look and yea she's right. I wonder what their secret is?

We sit opposite each other and my workmate is probably alarmed that I'm communicating with this strange character who most would rather ignore but like I said something intrigues me about the guy plus like I said we've "chatted" before.

He recognizes me and smiles a rather disarming smile. Its the smile he gives everyone but it contains a warmth that is almost like we're friends yet we're definitely not.

I say how are you, he nods a greeting. "Haven't seen you in the market lately" I say. He smiles seems to think of what to say for a minute and its almost like I can see his brain turning trying to minimize the words used in the conversation. But not in a rude way just his normal way with words.

"too cold" he says finally.

Well there it is in a nutshell. I nod in agreement, he smiles, I cant hold his gaze for too long for some reason. Its the disarming thing again.

He's looking at me and I'm thinking there is just something deep about this guy , not just because of his garb but because of his eyes and that smile.

He closes his eyes as the train continues and this is how we spend most of the rest of our journey with him giving me the occasional smile. I felt like he was trying to communicate in his own way but I just wasn't getting it. Maybe his aura of cool came from him having perfected a new non-verbal communication mode that I as a mere mortal just wasn't able to decipher. Or maybe as my friend said he was just high.

Nope I ruled that out on close inspection. His eyes looked fine, no red no glazed over look nothing to signal drug use. I noticed his hair getting some grey. Hmm hadn't noticed that before.

I had questions. Who are you, why do you dress this way, what's your religion? But nope I asked none of them. It really wasn't my business. I mean I'm curious but not that curious plus maybe if I asked he would be insulted.

He got out a few stations before me. I nodded a good bye and he said have a nice day and as he passed by my seat to reach the exit he extended his hand to give me a light pound.

that's never happened before I thought. Has our relationship as such progressed? Maybe next time I could ask him those questions although I'm sure I'd get those three and four word retorts leaving me even more perplexed than before. Still we did share a subway and a conversation or rather some sort of exchange of communication so who knows.

Oh well I'm sure I'll see him again sometime.


Anonymous said...

you meet some interesting characters. Next time you should definitely prod...who knows what you may find out.

Luke Cage said...

Your story sounded like an excerpt from an HBO program a few years ago called Subway Stories. It had all of these mini-vignettes of tales told from the Subway. I could see this one turning into something that would have fitted that format. Definitely.. "cool"

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a interesting fellow. He seems like a modern day hippie.

Miz JJ said...

I wonder what makes their skin so smooth. Find out!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, that first line got me lost in Rakim's "What's On Your Mind". I'm gonna need to re read! LOL

Anonymous said...

wish i had some of that peace right now!

brooklyn babe said...

Whats bobo locks? and yeah ask about that smooth skin.... inquiring minds wanna knoq.