My father spoke: Look at this, he said to me. We were walking through
an alley from somewhere to somewhere else in Brooklyn. In front of us,
a man with white hair and a white beard reached into a dumpster,
plucked out a bag of potato chips, stuffed his arm up to the elbow
in the bag, let it flutter to the pavement at his feet, and shuffled ahead.
Look at this, my father said again. Sometimes, he would repeat himself.
He walked up behind the white-haired man, called Good morning, sir!
so the other man wheeled around to see us, shook his hand and left
a twenty-dollar bill in the handshake, all without slowing down.
We never spoke of it again. The day we left Brooklyn, he drove away
away so fast he left a stack of his 78s in the closet of the apartment
in the projects. Look at this was all he said, and all he had to say. Look.