He was one of those characters one catches out the corner of their eye. The mind reels in momentary disbelief. All too often the lament is the same, “I wish I had a damn camera!”
This time I did.
It was a bright and humid Saturday morning 2009. He was standing in front of a dark store window, his sandaled feet planted firmly as he dragged a comb slow and smooth back across his thick black hair. It was the sort of stance that I half expected he’d finish the motion of the comb and drop his arms into an air guitar pose. I wanted to see that leg move, bending outward, heel off the sidewalk and pumping rhythmically like Elvis Presley.
He didn’t. Instead, he slid the comb in his back pocket, leaned in close to the window to regard his reflection with not a small amount of supreme satisfaction one might reserve for a classic piece of sculpture. Turning up the street, he swaggered as if he own the place, bare-chested and proud of every rippling ounce of that swarthy girth.
Thankfully traffic was light that day. Usually it is tail light to front bumper through the densely populated Devon corridor between the River and Clark Street. If it had been I would never have turned around in time before he disappeared for good. Indeed, I managed just one picture before a truck passed and the Elvis of Devon was gone.