Monday, August 23, 2004

The Wisdom of Elijah Sharpp 

“Oh. You see that?” Elijah Sharpp asked.

I looked up from the Wall Street Journal. Elijah was behind the steering wheel of the taxi cab, looking out to our right. We were stopped at a light in midtown, and beside us was a motorcycle with two passengers—a man and a woman holding on behind him. She had black hair braded into thick ropes and long legs flowing out of a pleated skirt.

“Hoo-weee. Legs like that would wake a dead man up,” Elijah said.

“And an extremely hungover man, too,” I said.

“Son, how old are you?” he asked. I told him. “Hmmm. I’m sixty-five years old, and I aint never lived with a woman. You work too much, you got a woman at home, you don’t have time to fool around on the side. You see?”

I had no idea why he decided to tell me all this but I grunted in acknowledgement.

“I came up from Georgia with my brother when I was twenty-one. Coming to New York, that was no mistake I’ll tell you. Hoo-weee. A lot of fine women in New York. I like a fine woman. Can never be too fine. But I guess most men do.”