Boys clubs and farmers markets

In Other on February 17, 2011 at 12:33 am

I sort of have a thing for boys clubs. Think “Stand By Me.” Think “The Outsiders.”

But by “thing,” I don’t mean the kind that I want to get involved in. It’s pure voyeurism. Being a part of it would just ruin it. Seeing one of the “old ladies” approach with a dirty child makes things awkward for everyone, those watching and those involved. Without these calls back to reality, the camaraderie among the boys and men of the world is something to behold.

Stand By Me

There was a particular set of men today at the farmers market downtown, but it’s easier to call them boys. Next to the brick sandwich place, squeezed in among the greens and crafts, a half-dozen twenty-somethings covered in tattoos had found a spot.

There was a smaller one with a weak mustache who braced himself under a tree as he sadly ogled women of all types. Mothers carrying wheatgrass toward their juicers. Professionals in pencil skirts, black stockings and 5-inch heels who had come straight from work for a beer with some other women.

There was a bigger towhead with a barrel chest and thick neck who grasped a skateboard easily in one hand and swiveled it under his leg as he people watched, or maybe more accurately, stared them down.

The one who looked like he talked the opinions of the group sat on the edge of the bench with a bright and multicolored messenger cap. He wasn’t the biggest but he probably had the biggest mouth.

The attractive one arrived shortly on a pink and green road bike. His face was shaved, and it made him look cleaner than the others, though he probably wasn’t. The tattoos on his shoulders emerged just below the sleeves of his purple tee.

The fat one stayed close to the small one.

The Outsiders

All of them smoked cigarettes. It wafted back towards me but smelled good.

Then my people-watching digressed. A big man with a red beard and glasses held a chubby blond toddler. She walked by me and bravely stared at me several times. She looked like her father, and I imagined her as a linebacker.

A boy of ten with long brown hair and a body grown in the sun stalked from the fields of children to the adults he knew on the patio. He was shirtless and had jeans he would grow into in a few years if they hadn’t already started to tear.

Providing a satisfying break from drudgery, among the organics and the fruit, it is also possible to absorb some humanity.


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