He was there again, as I drove home from my evening cello lesson, sitting on his bike in his army coat staring out over the field where the gypsies camp when they come to town. The same brainless smile on his face as always. Frightening in his simplicity. He is young, but not so young anymore. In his thirties. He is going to seed.
I don’t know why he is the way he is, whether something happened to make him that way or whether he’s always been like that. He has a savant’s knowledge of local plant life and, I suppose, gardening, and oddly strong opinions about the appropriateness of plants occurring naturally in the local environment – which have always been there, which are recent imports running wild.
Mostly he rides his bike.
Here and there. He is a fixture. You see him everywhere you go, everywhere within bicycle range. It’s as if he’s a set of energetic, smiling, cycling, muscular quintuplets in matching army coats.
I don’t know how he lives or any other circumstances of his life. When the reporters come around and stick a microphone in my face and ask me, “what do you think about that?” I won’t say, “I’m shocked, he was always such a harmless, quiet man.” I will say, “I always thought that nutty, smiling bastard was up to something.”