cross-legged on the sidewalk. There is a chill in the cement, but the air is warm
and the sun has finally come back from months of winter. People pass by but
donít see him. Crowds subconsciously change their path to avoid him. His back
is getting uncomfortably warm and he wants to take off his jacket, but itís
part of his uniform. So are his aviator sunglasses. He takes pleasure in
staring at them. The oblivious hordes, hurrying about.† He doesnít want them to see his eyes. He
doesnít want them to see where he stares. His empty coffee cup sits in front of
him,t part of his uniform. It is to collect the
change they drop in. Its bigger purpose is to complete the illusion.
Teri looks in
the mirror. She is gorgeous and knows it, but she thinks everyone is beautiful.
Everyone knows Teri and everyone loves her. She makes friends easily and holds
friends dear. She comes from a small town where she attended the local college.
She is not overly interested in boys. She dates a few but never for long. Boys
are for later when sheí
s ready to
get married and have a family.
His hands are
filthy and his fingernails packed with dirt. His pants appear stained from a
hundred wine spills and perhaps many nights sleeping in puke. Passersby donít
look close enough to see itís not real. Thereís no printed sign in front of
him. He doesnít bother with one. Yet, to the unsuspecting crowd, itís obvious
why he is there.
He deliberately sits in the centre of the
sidewalk. He likes the view as they absentmindedly walk around him. The closer
they get, the better. With spring in the air, it is unwrapping seasonóharvest
time for his prodding eyes. Long coats and boots replaced with pantyhose and
high heels. He feels a stirring.
Teri got by
in school, finished college and moved to the big city. She isnít passionate
about pursuing further education. Teri only wants to be with her friends, share
time with them, travel, explore the world and shop. She has a wonderful fashion
sense. The girl has never worn a pair of blue jeans in her life. She prefers
skirts and dresses. She likes high heels instead of sneakers.
He keeps the
empty coffee cup close but not because someone might snatch it. And he isnít
worried that it will get kicked over. The coffee cup collects the coins, but
itís also a lure. It draws them in close. He watches their legs, their shapes and curves. From his street-level vantage point, he
can often see up the thighs. He can imagine the rest. He sits on the cement for
that very reason. Begging for money is not his primary purpose. He is hunting.
see Teri as a snob. She is kind and generous and has friends from all walks of
life. Teri doesnít see herself as naive, but she is. She is far too trusting.
The girl believes bad things may happen to other people but never to her. Teri
travels the city streets with the same fearless innocence she has when she
travels the world.
nothing when someone contributes their silver. He doesnít look in when the
coins hit the cup and he doesnít count them. The money doesnít matter and he
doesnít say thank you. They donít make eye contact and they donít see who he
watches, where he looks. The sunglasses are there to make sure. Girls donít
notice when he allows a small smile to escape the corner of his mouth.
She has an
office job in the city. She has a basement apartment in the suburbs and
commutes. Teri smiles whenever she hears the old BTO song about taking the
8:15 into the city. Thatís her song, her motto, ďtakiní care of businessĒ.
Work hard and play harder, right? Teri likes her office job. She enjoys
dressing up for work and wearing fancy clothes. Teri thinks her life is
The men are
disgusted by him; the ladies fear him. He is dirty, but the ladies are what he
desires. They are the ones most likely to fill his cup. He smiles as he thinks
about their guilty need to give money to street people. It pleases him to know
that they would be horrified if he were to touch them. They do not see him
smile. He is invisible. An old hag walks over. Even to him, she is hideous. She
is bending over, trying to hand him something. It is a Jesus pamphlet. He will
not take it. She is blocking his view. He wants her gone. She stuffs the leaflet
in his coffee cup. He silently curses her as she wanders off to save someone
else. She ruins his day.
brought home a kitten.† She always
laughed at crazy cat people and now she knows she is one. Teri names the cat
ďPounceĒ. She likes the name because it is simple. Pounce has an annoyingly
cute way of laying upside down, paws in the air, watching Teri move about. They
stay together at night. Pounce claws up under the blankets and burrows around
until she falls asleep.
Their legs are
at eye level to his stare and he watches them all, coming and going. He sees
the curves and he prefers seeing them from behind. He allows his eyes to wander
up to their ass. Donít they know he can see their asses? Spandex and Tights are
okay, bare legs are better, but the Holy Grail is a pair of high heels and
pantyhose. He likes them black with a pattern running up the back. He picks
them out of the crowd. He discreetly sniffs as they pass.
Teri ran out
of cat food, so now she feeds Pounce tuna. Pounce is finicky and it will be
tuna only from now on. Teri does not mind. Tuna costs the same. Teri goes to
bed and lets Pounce drink water from a Dixie cup. Teri thinks about what she
will wear to work in the morning. The girl has two closets stuffed with
clothes. The weather has been warming up and she is thinking about breaking out
some of her spring pretties.
He gets ready
for the day. He never shaves. It is part of the look. He pulls on his ripped,
grease-covered jeans, a few layers of torn shirt and nasty running shoes. His
baseball cap and, of course, his sunglasses. Itís been a month since his last
selection and the urge is growing strong. Finally, itís time to choose.
He takes his positionóa rowdy group of boys approachóbaseball fans,
perhaps. One of them throws pocket change at him. The coins miss the cup and
scatter. The young lads laugh, possibly expecting to see a bum scamper around
chasing quarters. But he does not move. Instead, he bites his lip to contain
his rage. He wants to rip these assholes apart and
lets out a low growl. The boys donít hear it, but perhaps they sense something
is wrong with this picture and they quickly move along.
Something delicious approaches and he lowers his sunglasses. He sees
milky white legs, bare and flawless. The girl has a frisky bounce in her step,
almost teasing. She gets closer and he stops breathingÖ She is not the one. Too
young. She is just starting to bud. He will give her time to ripenóa prospect.
For a second, he smiles.
Teri strolls towards the commuter trains. She is
thinking about making Guacamole.
her today. She might as well have had a giant neon sign floating above her
head. His radar picked her up before she even crossed the street. Her walk was
just right. She moved slowly with confidence. Her skirt was short and her legs
went on forever. He could see better now, black pantyhose indeed! He rattles
his cup as she nears, hoping to get her attention. Just a momentary pause. Just
enough to smell her. She doesnít miss a step and her pace remains the same. Her
mind undoubtedly elsewhere. He breaks protocol and turns his head to watch her
walk towards the trains, to follow the black pantyhose with a simple line
running up the back. He tingles.
Teri is in
the shower. The girl hears a noise and it freaks her out. She is paranoid and
the splashing water drowns out her ability to tell if someone is there. She
holds her breath as she grabs the faucet. She pauses and considers that once
she turns off the water, the intruder will be on alert. Screw it; she turns off
the water and hears a yowl. It is a long sorrowful cry. Forget drying off, Teri
sticks her head out the bathroom door. She is naked and dripping water
everywhere. Itís only Pounce. She has one of her toys in her mouth. It is a
small stuffed animal and the cat is carrying it around like it is her dead
baby, howling out a mournful cry. As soon as Pounce sees Teri, she drops the
dead baby and her crying ends. Teri wonders what else Pounce does when she
thinks she is alone. Strange frigging cat.
He sees her
at least once a day, twice if he gets out early enough. She always crosses in
the late afternoon, merging with the sea of spawning people swimming upstream
to the commuter trains. He has given up trying to get her attention. She passes
him every single day and doesnít appear to notice him. He will make sure she
sees him soon, but not today.†
The authorities have never questioned him and he fits no profile. He
is invisible even to the police. There are no reasons for his method. He hides
in plain sight. He hunts in plain sight. If the ladies could see his eyes, they
would see the lust, but his sunglasses do their job.
He sees her coming. Can he really smell her from where he sits? He
believes so. He raises his head and watches her approach. This is not in
character. He needs to keep his face down, but he canít help himself and he
breaks his own rules. She passes on his right, dark nylons, no lines, but
killer high heels. He can see firm muscles on the back of her legs, on her
calves. Once she passes, he moves quickly. In one continuous movement, he sheds
a few layers of filth and slides these excess clothes and the coffee cup into
the first trash can he sees. He doesnít need this uniform anymore. He will make
a new one next time. He smiles, already thinking about another hunt.
He jogs to catch up and falls in a dozen bodies behind her. He is
confident and prepared. The commuter trains only run east and west. She goes
through the westbound gate and gets on the first car. He pauses, watching
through the windows, tracking to see where she sits. He climbs on board and
picks a spot several rows behind her. He doesnít stand out and nobody seems to
notice him. The glasses prevent eye contact.
On the streets thirty minutes later, he sees her enter the side door
leading to what must be a basement apartment. He allows himself a rare teeth
exposed smile. Her residence is ideal and he heads home. He will sleep well
tonight. It will be an early morning.
her apartment and instantly feels eyes on her. Itís that creepy feeling she
gets when someone is watching. She turns quickly to see a furry face. Perched
on top of a bookshelf, Pounce controls the highest point in the room. Teri
calls her a little bastard. Pounce lets out a soft
meow and jumps down. The cat circles Teriís legs, looking for food. Teri
relents and grabs a can of tuna.