ArtWrite 8/11: Igor Moritz
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Before she even recognized Charlie, Joely had been watching him from her table at Corner Bakery while he waited on line at the counter. He never stopped moving. His head was popping in and out like a turtle while his fists surreptitiously mimed a drumbeat behind the back of the man in front of him.
When it was his turn, Charlie drummed on the countertop, putting a beat to his multi-part coffee order and making the cashier, whose braids were coiled like a basket on top of her head, roll her eyes and grin.
Joley was dumbfounded. This was not the Charlie she knew. She’d only ever seen him in his self-imposed uniform of white sneakers, khaki pants and an immaculate, logo-free, polo. A far cry from the jeans, black t-shirt with something in blocky graffiti, and Converse high tops he was wearing now.
The only thing that connected the two Charlies was his hair. Joley had always found his ponytail to be odd; he barely had enough hair to pull it back, so why did he bother? Now that it was set free, he had tucked it behind his ears, and she noticed how some of the wiry ends curled in different directions.
The Charlie who spent hours with Robbie at the aquarium or the Museum of Science and Industry emanated calm. Not a saintly, enlightened calm that made Joely feel like she could never achieve it; it was more like being in the presence of someone centered and reliable as if his hand were always gently pressing against her back.
Paper bag in hand, Charlie swung around and headed out the door, still bopping to the internal beat playing in his head. Was he on something? Joely was dumbfounded. Maybe he had a twin.