I have been at the party all day.
“… and I think of you every time I see him.”
Lisa is talking.
I like Lisa. She is what is right with the neighborhood: She’s smart, easygoing, and she knows her beers.
I don’t see nearly enough of her.
I blink again.
The better to focus, my dear.
I giggle to myself.
Lisa grins. “What time did you get here?”
I check my non-watch-wearing wrist, look at the sun, lick an index finger and hold it aloft. She laughs. “I really gotta start arriving at these things earlier.”
I smile. “What were you saying now? Something about seeing someone somewhere maybe?”
She nods. “That guy at the tennis courts.”
“With the boombox? Best of Bad Company?”
“You’re kidding me,” she says. “Has a boombox the size of one of those old aluminum Coleman coolers, blasts 70s rock? Does this weird interpretive dance? Wears those old tight basketball shorts and suspenders? No?”
I shake my head. “And you’re saying that while I’m missing all this, you’re thinking I’ve seen it?”
“Great googly-moogly, girl! I’m thinking you set him up to it!”
Three weeks later, I get off the afternoon bus a stop early.
It’s good for the legs.
And there he is, at the tennis court: A man in a pair of old-school basketball shorts, a size, perhaps two sizes too small for him. He is wearing a baseball cap turned to one side, a purple tank top, rainbow suspenders.
He drops to one knee, does a mad windmill with his right arm, his left one holding the neck of an imaginary guitar and howls “Bad Company! And I can’t deny! Bad Company! ‘Til the day I die!”
I stop in my tracks.
The boombox is the size of one of those old aluminum Coleman coolers.
Lisa, I whisper.
The guitar forgotten, he rises, runs, elbows and knees pumping, from one end of the tennis court to the other. In the background, Bad Company plays, the soundtrack to one man’s public devotion to performance art.
I stay for the full song. He never looks at me.
But we both know.
Oh, we know, baby.
He’s bad company.