There’s a man that stands in the middle of the road, at the robots at the corner of Jan Smuts avenue and St. Andrews in Johannesburg.
While waiting for the red to merge into green, you notice the way he’s just there, an island unto himself.
He doesn’t look up, so there’s none of that awkward avoiding of eye-contact that usually goes on with the guy who hands out flyers or the woman with her blind companion and enamel cup.
He’s so still.
And in a sort of delicate and ironic caricature, he stands there with his pockets turned out, fingers gripping the inner seams, holding the white cloth out like banners, while his eyes drill through the tarmac
Such a clever bugger.
See how he’s reversed the roles!
He’s ignoring you, but look how at you’re seeking him out, wondering about him.
Don’t you want to ask him things? Like where his favourite place is and if he eats the same thing every night.
When Adam Duritz bled his words on stage Friday night at the Dome, I wanted to ask him these questions too.
Duritz and the turned-out pocket man, grand canyons apart but their rocks grind down to the same dust for me.
Pocket-man is as much celebrity to me as Duritz is.
While I sing along to the Counting Crows slipping out of my radio, I scan the street for Pocket-man. I want to know about him, things I can’t get on rss feed or google.
Like Duritz; who’s lit up with more poetry than a cemetery at sunset, I’m sure Pocket-man has words in him too.

Click here for a bootleg version of one of my favourite Counting Crows songs.