Skinny prostitute dressed in blue, to match the cold goose-bump flesh on her unclad legs. Red stained lips. Protruding teeth. Pin hole eyes. Another junkie bride.
“Check out that mad bastard”, she points the blue stick that is her arm towards a man across the street. “He’s throwing money away”.
She shakes her head, disbelieving and then turns to smile at the next male passerby. The hunter needs a fix.
I laugh at the irony of it – the pathetic blue praying mantis calling someone else mad!
I hear tinkling, like tiny bells, strange, sweet music. It is compelling, so subtle in this place of in-your-face, hard-hitting,vicious reality.
I am with friends. They hear it too. And they are compelled like me to find the source of this heavenly sound. We are like tiny children wooed by the piper, we have to follow, to find out.
It is like musical rain, tiny drops of sweet sound.
And then we see him. He is dropping thousands of ten cent pieces from his fingers, one by one.
We follow, fascinated as he walks the length of the Strip – ting, ting, ting, ting, ting.
There is money everywhere. People are going crazy, grabbing, gathering, laughing.
Old men, young women, rich boys, some young Lebanese with shiny black slicked hair, large white smiles, immaculate clothing.
I am angry with the rich boys. I think they should leave it for all the poor scavengers that work the street so hard to find some joy, anything they don’t have to pay for – cigarette butts, spare change, something for nothing.
But the giver seems unconcerned about who collects the coins. He doesn’t watch where they fall or who picks them up. His mission is simply to let the money fall through this fingers to the dirty pavements of the Cross.
We speculate about his motivation: a social experiment? mad? benevolent? an angel in tatty disguise?
We each take one ten cent piece and call it our lucky ten cents. We promise to keep it forever to remember the magic of this night, the musical manna.
We approach the man, take his photo. He growls, unhappy with being snapped out of his mad mission. We offer to delete it but he says he doesn’t care.
And then he is off again. Tinkle, tinkle, shuffling down the street with his silver magic.