the junkman

The Songkran water festival is over, and street life returns to normal. The neighborhood’s singing junkman peddles by on his tricycle with the first of the morning’s cast-offs culled from his rounds, a Thai flag fluttering in the breeze behind the cart that overflows with oddities, a single plastic leg, a motorcycle wheel, bright scraps of cloth, a few water gun rifles and pistols, some clay pots. He has a handsome movie star Western face, confident, secure. It says, “I’m a loner. I  love my life.” He uses his time efficiently, always busy, resourceful. By evening, he’s parked beside Heaven’s Beach, the local Rasta bar, and the cart is a rolling found-art exhibit, its sides covered with his neat, handwritten Thai script quoting Buddhist aphorisms: Silence Speaks Loudly, Think Like a Flower, A Strong Tree has Deep Roots.

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