Old Man on a Scooter

Walking along a downtown avenue after dark, hands buried in fleece mittens, freshly-shorn head tucked under my trusty watch cap, steaming hot choc in hand. The usual drunks and punks down here tonight. The bus stop across the way is busy with riders and hangers both. The square is empty, save a young man with crutches hobbling beside the flashing light display. Down the ave, I spot an elderly brawler driving his battery-powered scooter down the middle of the road. He’s giving her the gas, keeping a good clip, and he’s holding up traffic. No less than five cars crawl behind him. I don’t know whether to cheer the guy on or tackle his sorry ass to the safety of the sidewalk. I can’t see his face yet – he’s too far off – but I expect that he’s got some sort of maniacal grin happening. He passes by and I see that he is absolutely stone-faced. Not good. I’d take a crazy grin over straight-faced insanity any day. I cringe as he blows through a red light after stopping for a cursory, one-second glance across the intersection. Kicks up a bit of snow from his 10” tires as he goes. Crazy fucker spins wild towards Jasper. Down the street, I pass a beggar with tattered gloves and a cracked, winced face. He appears to be in great pain, but I’ve no change and I have to get home. I say nothing and give him nothing as I pass. I turn around only once to see him again.