This I Believe

Pamela - Balch Springs, Texas
Entered on April 18, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

Showing the Sidewalk Man How to Synchronize His Show Steps

We’ve all seen him. The sidewalk man, lurker of the streets day in and day out, scrapes up just enough change to buy another breath of life with busted and broken down routine. He’s been jogged by, passed through, gassed up and caved in. He’s gotten spit on, beaten up, taken away and held down. All this could happen during a single day on the job for the sidewalk man, better known as the beggar. Stuck between Rock Avenue and Hard Place Lane, the sidewalk man will try to dazzle us with his rhythmic footwork hoping to catch the jingle of rusty nickels in his dirty old derby cap. The only problem is that his footwork is out of order and his rhythm is out of tune.

I believe in showing the sidewalk man how to synchronize his show steps.

I’m talking about walking up to him, snatching and throwing the, “I’m a lazy bum sign” he usually carries, dust him off and synchronize his show steps. Teach him the art of getting off his butt and moving to beat. Let him know that his tired routine isn’t making the cut. After all, the sidewalk has been out of touch with society for so long (due to his lack of showmanship) that he doesn’t know what pleases us anymore. Us being the attentive fans, not the cold, hard sidewalk sweepers who ruin the show with phrases like, “get a job ya bum” or “I can’t believe I pay taxes for guys like you.” Whatever the case is, I think we should be considerate of the fact that the sidewalk man doesn’t take ballet lessons when he’s eight years old and he isn’t enrolled is a weekly rumba class. He’s never attended a hip-hop dance club so he has no prior knowledge of what is to be expected of him. All he knows is getting out there and tapping the feet any sort of way that’ll get him some quick change. I believe in giving him a quick lesson or two on what is effective. I as a viewer wanna see a spectacular vision of harmonious art on foot swaying to the vibration of the rhythm of the drum crescendo bending the beat to where I myself am instantly…getting down. That is the part where I reach into my pocket and drop off end’s meat.

But understand the dance of the sidewalk man is not just a foolish attempt to fool us into feeding a lazy fool. It is in fact a metaphor. It is a cry for help, a red flare rooting from a deserted island in which everyone sees but never stops to look. I believe in showing the sidewalk man how to synchronize his show steps, cause if he’s never taught… he’ll never learn how to please the masses and earn his keep in the drawn out nightmare he calls home.