2/7/2005, 11:10PM?

BUS STOP

From a block away, someone approaches, slowly, softly teetering back and forth, a silhouette masking a streetlight.

Shouting in the street. A car screeches. People laughing and yelling in the street. "You asshole!" One of them is limping in one leg. Car lurches forward. People run/limp after it. Get in. Drive off. The streets are empty.

Someone is still teetering, half a block away. Still a silhouette, but now I can see they're dressed in black. Slowly, softly teetering shuffling closer.

Read my book. Page 234. "Whatever one thinks of this Romantic theory, it is startling to note that a great deal of the evidence used by Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln deals with the still unresolved murder of the last Merovingian king, Dagobert II."

Watching the shuffler out of the corner of my eye. Black pants. Black hoody. Head hung low. Feet don't seem to work right -- pain? Ten, twenty feet away. "Dagobert was killed on another damned day with a 23 in it--" I stand up.

He's standing at the bus stop sign a few feet away for a moment, and then he shuffles to a door stoop behind the bench. Sits. Takes off his shoes. Socks look damp.

Should I feel guilty?

Bus pulls up. Driver greets me? muttering, "Told her she shoulda worn a hat." Oldest bus I've seen still in service. Interior has faux wood-grain panel accents. Go to take a seat halfway back. Seat is torn out, just springs. Take the next seat forward, which sags to the right.

Bus drives off. I think for a moment, and take out my notebook.

11:41 PM.

(Regarding a certain personage...)