I suppose this is as good of an introduction as any other. I am walking from downtown. I am walking from a day of walking. From a day of coffee and a day of thinking—where, of course, thinking is too strong a word. It’s more of a day of considering and observing. But mostly it’s been a day of waiting. I’m leaving downtown, passing on the left of central campus. I’m on my way to somewhere else. I’m expecting a phone call.
A kid shuffles out of the shadows, stoned immaculate. He looks at the sky sincerely puzzled and relentlessly confused. He asks “where’s the rainbow?” It’s a fair question. It’s been drizzling or raining all day. I don’t want to be impolite, but I don’t know how to respond. I smile and gesture. I am surprised with the subtleness of that gesture. Is this me, in the mist, conveying [camaraderie / comradeship] with this lost leprechaun?
He doesn’t react. He doesn’t budge nor flinch. His keeps eyeing that bit of sky a rainbow would be if there was going to be one. I continue through campus, through yet another campus and then…
I’m at the busstop. It’s almost seven. No-one has gotten back to me yet. On the ground are three Uno cards. Two eights and one face down. I check the bus schedule, I have 20 minutes until the next bus.
The cards have me crazy with curiosity. I have to know what that third card is. I either wonder if, or hope that, it’s another eight. But mostly I need to know. I want to prove that it is in fact a third eight. As if that would lend some meaning to the day. As if everything would click into place with the reveal.
But I’m terrified that it’s not. And what if it’s not? What if it’s a five or a four or a reverse? I am frozen between my desire to know and my need to turn the other way. I don’t know what to do. So I stand there, eyeing the three cards. Perhaps hoping for a strong wind gust, or for someone to wander by with the answer. The homeless guy on the bench in turn eyes me with suspicion. He has a long white beard. But I need to know and need to not know what that facedown card is.
I flip it over with my cold sandled feet. It takes longer than I think it should. I stumble, almost loose balance, but I eventually flip it over. It’s a wild card. There’s your rainbow, kid.