The Finger Puppet Brigade

(2 a.m. Saturday, Geyer Avenue between Ninth and Tenth streets)

Jan 19, 2005 at 4:00 am
He is an enigma, moving with cartoonish animation -- a little larger than life, even, teetering peculiarly on the curb while his entourage of giants stumbles alongside: the finger-puppet brigade. And (depending on the direction of the wind) the things that spill from his mouth, as his friends can attest, might be slanderous or vitriolic, sweet or bitter; intelligibility and illiteracy crumble into one another like a forming ruin. He is a crooner, he is a fart. His wailing voice ricochets off the red brick façades, echoing down the otherwise sleepy street at two in the morning, a prophet of garbage. He speaks of dirt and graveyards. He speaks of things that float in the toilet. He personifies the things of which he speaks. And his entourage wears expressions of encouragement: The walking dead, they are, dressed in the clothes of the dead.

I can feel the haunt of his voice squeezing my brain like a torture instrument. I will salute this hero by going mad.