"Dude come to the window! he's back doing his thing," said J pointing at the homeless man on the other side of the street. The man was pulling a box closer to a mailbox. As he stepped on it, he hit a broken stick mended with tape a couple of times against the mailbox.
With straight back, arms spread apart, he started conducting an imaginary symphony. The man, with dirt on his face and a long black coat with only one glove left, seemed to know what he was doing. Kept the tempo and the rhythm and the turn of every instrument, and as always after holding his hand and the stick on the last big crescendo he bowed to an imaginary standing ovation.
" what do you think he's doing J?" asked K " no idea but it seems important. Maybe in a past life he was a conductor, you know? Suit and the whole thing," said J
That day before the shift ended as they were cleaning it started to rain. " dude look: he always gets so mad when it rains" said J " of course! He has no house...." said K " no but it seems different look, he doesn't look for shelter he just curses the clouds and screams at them" said J pretending to clean window.
The line at the coffee shop was getting long so they forgot about the man in the street. when they remembered they looked out to find the man still conducting, it had been hours now and it was almost closing time.
" are you sure you're good to close it J?" Asked k " all the cleaning is done and I'm taking a couple of donuts home all that's left is moping and locking up".
" Yeah, I got it, " said J still cleaning the window.
J watched the man and for a small second, he even thought he could hear the music, he saw the theatre full of people and the man clean cut with a new suit, with his back to the audience.
The man vowed and J came back to reality, J ran to see if he could follow the man forgetting completely to lock up and mop.
The man picked up his box and started walking mumbling words that sounded angry. J was close but not too close, he wanted to try and listen to what the man was saying but he got nothing but the low rumble of a deep voice.
The man looked back for a second, feeling he was being followed but J got to hide behind a wall just in time. Or so he thought when he picked his head to the other side of the wall he found the man staring right at him.
The man grabbed J by his shirt with the hand without a glove and pushed him against the wall. " it's you kids the ones that are always watching from the window! What do you want?" Said the man screaming.
" uhh I was just curious and wanted to know your story, what do you do all day and why do you get so mad at the rain? And what were you before you were.... uhh this?" Said J so fast he had to stop and take a breath.
The man calmly put J down, " you want a story boy?" Said the man in a low raspy voice. "Then listen to the wind there's a war among us and you don't even know it"
"A war?" Said J confused.
" A war boy, I tell you. The only one left to protect this wretched fucking place is me and I'm old and no one seems to care anymore about it either" said the man sitting down on his box. He didn't look that old but maybe J was wrong and didn't know how old he was.
" who is fighting this war?" Asked J
" Everyone, they just don't know it. Or most of them anyway" said the man
"How do you fight it? How do you protect this place?" Asked J
" I conduct the storms, build them up and send them to the other side of the world. Where the enemy is. Then I make it so that the ones they send aren't as bad" said the man
" that's what you're doing when you stand on the box then?" Asked J
"Yeah. My father was a musician, violin 3 chair. He used to take me there to watch and then I would get home and move exactly like the conductor" said the man lighting a cigarette.
" who is attacking us then?" Asked J
" A man like me," said the man.
As J walked back to the shop, he couldn't remember if he saw a lighter in the man's hand, he couldn't remember if he saw fire at all or the flicking noise. But the cigarette was lit somehow.