Frisbi Furbush

A short narrative based on a wondering man in my town.

'I was brought up in an unreal town, which was painted white or built with bricks all over the place, and planted around town with all sorts of flowers and beautiful shrubs.  It looked what your grandmother would dream about, reminiscing about decorative plastic rabbits and chickens stuck to real-estate windows in Easter time, and yellow twinkle lights wrapped around the bare and cold trees during Christmas.  The students were either afraid leave their mother's nipple and their honor-role in the little town, and the others were tortured that they had to be there, and thrust aside by the perfect little society.  But despite those who wanted a real part of the country, everyone was presumably conservative, wealthy, and white.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           That is all but one man named Frisbi, our last wanderer, and our only homeless man.  He was baked from the sun in the summer, when he dressed like a carpenter in his heavy yellow leather shoes.  But didn’t hesitate to walk in the winter snow, always more and more dry and bitter than the other years, at least for him.  He borrowed old coats from the favorite people he stayed with at the time, a little less than half wanted them back afterwards.  And if they changed their minds, Frisbi would throw them over in a creak nearby their lovely houses, and never came back to stay with them.                                                                            

He was the last and only one of his kind in the perfect little town, and seemed to live everywhere, and never stopped walking.  But when he did, it was sitting on the curb of a store I and my mates always went in, an Eckerd, smoking a cigarette half finished, looking at the clouds in a haze as the sun began to set and paint them.  He came back to earth with his infamous stone cold grimace, which gave him the reputation of our hard and drunken bum, when us and another band of young people I didn’t quite know  passed by.  They were all boys, one taller than Frisbi, and all wearing some sort of sports jersey or a flat billed hat.  Laughing their asses off and walking funny in their multicolored shoes, bigger than their own heads.  These were the boys whom would never leave their mother’s nipple, and Frisbi knew they were just by taking a peep.                                                                                                                                                                                   It was another special thing about Frisbi.                                                                                                                                                

  Just as he was about to wander again, maybe another mile away to find a place to stay for the night or a few, and a wine cooler to sip on, the boys seemed to recognize and walk him down right away.  Their leader threw his arms open as if he was seeing an old friend, and decided to tease the village punching bag; he wanted a chance like all the others.                                                                                                                                                                        

“Buddy!”  He paced towards the man he could only walk by all his life as his friends followed and snickered.  “Furbush!  Why are you walkin’ away so fast?”  Everybody knew his name, but no one really knew him.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Before Frisbi could take a stride away, the boy hugged the dirty man, an accomplishment no one could ever pull off without being abducted, some gossiped.  But Frisbi pulled away angrily and spit on the ground as he walked at his fastest pace away with those powerful legs of his, covered by ripped and yellow stained denims; probably the same ones he had worn for years.                                                                                                         

He had heard and was relieved that the boys weren’t going to bother following him, but only from fear that they would catch some sort of syphilis from his spit on the asphalt.                                                                              

Syphilis or AIDS, either was degrading to hear cried to the world.                                                                                                    

From those little words said far off behind him, from boys he had never cared about, a surge of rage fizzled through his spine, and he thrust at a tall green garbage bin that belonged to a tiny diner along the way.  The various kinds of garbage, papers, cans, juices, moldy food, and boxes flew out into the road as various cars tried to avoid hitting and splattering it even further.  Three or four glossy little cars honked in frustration at Frisbi on the roadside, and after the fifth he flipped the bird to the passing traffic, the furious look fading into embarrassment as he looked to his sides uneasily, and began to trot between plazas, a route he never takes.  Never the less he vanished, as the hopeless gang of boys had been watching him, cackling all the way from their viewing spot like drunken hyenas.                                                            

Little did I know that the very next day Frisbi would be in the same room as me again in the little coffee shop perched on a hill, just off of the main street.  I was alone that day, sitting at a little blue plastic table by a fridge of all sorts of sugary drinks, waiting for my light coffee and flatbread to be done.  But I sat uneasy, as I saw Frisbi in line with the same shirt as yesterday, the essence of anger and humiliation no longer hovered around him.  Instead his head hung low, like a guilty dog that had gotten into the refrigerator, the forlorn look on his face mirroring the grey downpour outside.  A man with the same look stood tall next to him, shoulder to shoulder.  He was bald besides his feathering grey hairs on the sides of his head, his new trousers and blue color shirt, covered by a handmade, top quality, premium black raincoat.  It was wet, but the water didn’t stick for long as it slipped of the material, next to shivering Frisbi who was soaked to the bone in his clothes.  He was our First Selectman, just as lonely Manuel Payne, standing the richest man in town next to the poorest man in town.                                                            

Mr. Payne ordered what I did, and turned to his somber friend and put his hand, knuckles lined with white hairs, on his shoulder.  He didn’t care how soaked he was.  “You want a coffee, Frisbi?”  He asked very softly.  Frisbi hesitated, looking at First Selectman Payne, to the cashier, then back at him, and nodded hesitantly.                                                                                                                                                                             

So I sat as long as they did, watching them out of the corner of my eye, all the way across the store, like they were avoiding me or something mental.  They didn’t talk, but still communicated through glances and gestures.  Mr. Payne didn’t eat his flatbread, but watched his out of place friend sip on his creamy and hot drink, the first one he had in a while.  Frisbi sipped on it thankfully, taking in every drop slowly, like I he was to die tomorrow.  Every now and then he would stop sitting and put the little cup down to stir it, or to wipe his eyes.  Until Mr. Payne furrowed his brow ever so slightly, and elbow on the table.  “You like your drink, Frisbi?”  He seemed to pause in mid breath, a hint of the anger he had felt yesterday afternoon flooding back, and overwhelming him.  He pushed the cup aside and hid his whole face with one thick hand, and stayed that way for as long as I stayed, trying to be as quiet as he could while he cried.  Mr. Payne gently placed his hand on his shoulder again, shifting it back and forth while he let Frisbi get it all out, and he stared at the television playing HLN hung behind in the corner.                               

I wondered while I sat and watched the two of them, especially Frisbi; I wondered if other people could look at him and say that our little town, conservative, wealthy, and white, had nothing to do with how weak our last wanderer really was.’       

The End

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