This one’s going to start off on sad note, sorry.
One night a few years ago, on a Saturday night I had plans to meet up with some friends at Raiford’s. As many of you know, I like to dress up when I go there, and I selected a baby blue leisure suit to wear, along with disco medallion and platform shoes. As I walked down the Main Street Mall, one of the local homeless guys called out to me. “Dude! That suit is bad-ass, man. Where did you get that suit? You lookin’ sharp, bro.”
From that point on I’d usually see him a few times a week. He’d often be sitting on the bench in front of Family Dollar, or I’d see him walking around on Main Street or Second Street. “Suit man!” he’d call out to me. He rarely asked for money – maybe one time out of 10. Usually he just wanted to talk.
He’d see me walking down Main on a Friday night and call out, “Suit man! How come you ain’t got the suit on?”
He’d see me walking down Main at 10:00 on a Tuesday morning and call out, “Suit man! How come you ain’t got the suit on?”
Last summer, my friends called and said, “Hey, we’re thinking about going to Raiford’s Friday night. Want to go?” Of course I said yes – doesn’t take much convincing to get me to Raiford’s. I was excited. Finally, the guy would get to see me in the suit. That would make his day.
Walking around that week, I saw him on his usual bench. “Look for me Friday night,” I told him. “I’m going to have the suit on!”
That Friday, I walked around all over downtown with that suit on looking for him. People thought I was out of my mind. Why was I wandering around in a blue leisure suit? Finally I found him. “Suit man!” he said. “Lookin’ sharp!”
A few months later, he disappeared. To tell the truth, I didn’t even notice. There were other homeless guys sitting on that bench.
So last night about 11, I went out, heading toward Blues City to see The Dempseys. As I walked down the Main Street Mall, a guy in a wheelchair rolled up to me. I started to walk away, since I didn’t recognize him and figured he was there to ask for money.
“Hey man! Hey! Remember me? You know me!” It took me a minute… he didn’t look like any of the guys in wheelchairs I had seen downtown before. Then he said, “Where’s the suit, man?” And I realized it was him. “Yeah, man, they cut my legs off, diabetes, you know, so I’m in a chair now.” Wow. I had seen him walking around for years, and how his legs were gone. And yet, he still had the same smile on his face. He hadn’t changed a bit except for the legs.
Maybe I’ll take a Tuesday morning off work sometime soon and put the baby blue leisure suit and walk around downtown, just for him. So what if the rest of the city thinks I’ve lost my mind.
Okay… on to happier things…
I went and saw The Dempseys last night. They had a great crowd… there were several girls dancing their hearts out in front of the stage. One of them had a tube top on but it stayed up. Blast!
In between sets I went over and sat at the bar at George Paul’s Last Call and watched TV, and saw a commercial for a DVD set that looked really cool. It’s called The Midnight Special, and it’s performances from a TV show of the same name that ran from 1972 to 1981. There are videos from bands of all genres of that era – Elton John, Ray Charles, Blondie, the Bee Gees, Aerosmith, etc. Looks like a fun DVD set.
So now it’s Sunday. I just posted my Deal of the Week on my Commercial Appeal blog. Here are the plans for the day:
11 AM – 2 PM: Sit at Sleep Out’s and drink
2 PM – 5 PM: Sit at Sleep Out’s and drink
5 PM – 9 PM: Sit at Sleep Out’s and drink
As you can tell, I have a full day planned. After 9 I may do something different, like go to the Flying Saucer and drink. And see the waitresses.
I would like to extend my compliments to NTN Trivia, provider of the video crack that keeps my ass glued to the chair at Sleep Out’s all day. They used to interrupt the regularly scheduled trivia with a game called “Raceday,” having to do with the week’s NASCAR race. Now I’m sure Charly would do well at that game, but could we have a non-redneck trivia option too? BOOGITY, BOOGITY, BOOGITY, LET’S GO RACIN’, BOY! So anyway, just now, Raceday was about to come on, when a new screen came on.
“Vote for what you want to play next – (1) Raceday or (2) Countdown.” Countdown is the normal trivia game. Needless to say, the bar voted 100% for Countdown. Goodbye, Raceday!
And hello, champagne. Time to put the laptop up and get this party started.