Hot on the Trail of Dreadlocks

observer

Someone, somewhere, at some point in time, told me that humans are divided into two categories: participants and observers.

I’ve always considered myself an observer; not a terribly good one, obviously, since I can’t remember who told me that.

I think about this now. I am living in the suburbs of St. Petersburg. It is quiet; peaceful, almost. It is lonely.

It is two a.m. There was nothing interesting in the windows of the building across.

So, I stand in the hardware aisle of the 24 hour super-store nearby, observing power tools. A man passes me by. He is black. I start to follow him, subconsciously, at first. Then, with purpose. Maybe he speaks English, I think; Russia is not a very diverse place.

He has dreadlocks. He is wearing sweatpants; a nice pair of headphones hang around his neck. I wonder where he is from. He stops in the bread aisle. I stand at the head of it, scratching my face. He turns. I pretend to buy some flour, for my late-night bake-off perhaps. When I turn back, he is gone.

I catch up with him in frozen foods. I have instant noodles in my arms. A babushka watches me, watching him.

“What?” I snap.

She growls and moves on, cart full of jars, fermenting. The man I’ve been hunting looks up. He frowns.

I try to wave, dropping an instant noodle. I bend to pick it up. Another one drops.

I sigh, gather my strength and ferret the little packages into my arms. When I straighten up, he is gone.

The Babushka is chuckling at me, rolling away. I give the back of her head the finger.

I look around, feeling a bit panicked. I turn to find myself looking into a well-polished bit of freezer. My eyes are sunken, arms full of instant noodles.

“Are you following some poor man through a grocery store at two-a.m.?” My reflection asks.

I nod, guiltily.

“Go home!” It demands.

I nod, sadly. I drop my instant noodles into the closest freezer.

I head for the exit.

 

13 Comments

  1. At first I was wondering what was so unusual about a black guy with dreadlocks speaking English in St. Petersburg at a grocery store at 2 a.m. But then I realized you were talking about St. Petersburg, Russia and not St. Petersburg, Florida.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am surprised that your stories fascinate me so much. Usually, I do not like stories which have a sad, resigned, and almost hopeless mood. But your stories are written so funny. i have to smile always. Despite the gloomy subject. To the contents, as always, I have to sleep over it. ..;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank you very much. I am glad I can make you laugh. It was quite a funny scenario and I really did follow this poor man around. At the time things sometimes feel confusing and sad but in retrospect it was quite funny. Nikita and I just signed a book contract with a small publishing house. The book is very much in that vein. Nikita is doing the art for it now and it should be out by the end of the year. We will post about it when it does but I hope this same humorous gloom is something that comes across in there.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I must say this is so poignant and very well written.. I really enjoy getting notifications about your new story every day. A very relatable post this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Someone, somewhere, at some point in time, told me that humans are divided into two categories: participants and observers.” as a active participant in both categories this got me i kinda feel like someone somewhere is kind should really give people advice that bad its funner doing both, hell some people even learn better that way!

    great story

    Liked by 2 people

    1. haha..It seems as that I learn even better that way!
      Well, normally I do not like to be a participants. However as I started and so I have to continue.

      Liked by 2 people

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