The Purple Man


I work in a very strange area. The part of town my primary employment is in is the hip part of town, and it’s Portland, so the hipper one is the weirder one must strive to be (apparently.)

My co-workers lovingly refer to it as the Hawthorne Freak Show.

For the most part, I like it. Anyone who is so into being weird that they make me seem like a mature, together, and reasonable human is all right in my book.

Occasionally, though, I meet a real winner. Last night was one of those times.

Close to closing time, around 9:45, I was talking to a regular about the benefits of listening to music on vinyl versus digital, and someone going by the window caught my eye.

Normally, I wouldn’t give a human male wearing basketball shorts and shoes a second look. But this male was engulfed from head to toe in a vivid purple unitard, complete with facial coverage.

Since I assumed he was simply a hipster who fancied himself a performance artist, I quashed my instinct to get the security guy Tyson when he waltzed into the shop and sat down across from a customer, who looked rather frightened as she asked “Do I know you?” He simply shook his head, stood up, and walked over to the next customers. They were a middle aged couple who found him to be quite droll, and their laughter assured me they were not disturbed.

Then, since he apparently got tired of not talking to the laughing couple and there were no more customers in that direction, he walked over to me, placing his elbow on the counter and his chin in his hand.

“Hi,” I greeted him, pretending not to notice his lack of speaking and severe purpleness, “How’s it going?”

He gave a thumbs up, and then pointed at me, apparently asking the same question. “I’m doing all right,” I responded, “Is there anything I can make for you?”

When he shook his head and continued to stare at me (I guess since his face was pointed at me,) I went on “Okay, well, I’m closing up in a few minutes. Just so you know.”

He nodded, and turned to leave, waving at the still-giggling couple as he left.

Somebody’s parents couldn’t afford mime school…

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    • jewel.ink
    • August 17th, 2012

    Ahaha….sounds like Hollywood. ;)

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