Thursday, September 28, 2006

the man in the orange sweatsuit who plays the flute

Every day, between my 12:05 and 2:20 classes, I take the long walk from the southeast dorms to the peak of Bascom Hill. On the way back to the dorms, besides the fruit stand and imported food vendors, the men handing out bibles and the socialists, the library and the University Book Store, I see the man in the orange sweatsuit who plays the flute.

Who is this mysterious white-bearded man with the tiny lizard companion(also in an orange sweatsuit), playing the Star Wars Suite, Hey Jude, and various mid-sixties Motown hits? He is such a staple in my day, it's like a ritual seeing how far away I can hear him. Truth be told, the kid can play. The weirdest part of the whole situation is the man's apparent success. To his credit, he's wearing a bright pair of orange Crocs, has real suitcases for his clothes rather than just University Book Store bags, and his white beard is neatly braided. I've decided I consider him more of an occupational hippie rather than the standard Madison vagrant.

For that matter, there's a wide variety of homeless here at Madison. Every profession from "I sell stolen backpacks" to "I can make a rythmic can of change sound better than Keith Moon" can be seen on State Street. Then you have your grunge hippies who look so unkempt you can't tell if they work at the feminist book/pipe store or just smoke all their weed outside them. In any case, I still say that shoeless lesbian hippies are the spice of life, but I guess I'm just old-fashioned that way.

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