I know you follow this blog on a daily basis from your outpost in southern Rhode Island, the twin cities, San Diego, etc., and so you’ll fondly recall my blog post from November, 2013, in which I talk briefly about a certain portly, aged gentleman clad only in a loincloth, who rides up and down the streets of greater Boston on a scooter. I’ve caught sight of him in Harvard Square, in Brookline, in West Roxbury, and just last week spotted him motoring through Cleveland Circle in Brighton. He’s unmistakable, an aging Sasquatch of a man, mostly nude, riding around on secondary roads with his baggy white flesh exposed. It’s like this is the only way he can cool down during the hot summer months. Hey, I get that. It’s why I ride my scoot.
Of course, I don’t ride nekked.
I can’t tell you his brand of scooter because I’m always caught unawares by his sudden emergence, riding across my field of vision. And then he’s gone. He’s like a rare bird alighting in your backyard maple tree long enough for you to spot him and yell for the kids, but not long enough for them to see him too. In those few seconds, it’s impossible to pull out my smaht phone and git me a pitcher. Perhaps if I spent more time staring at my phone whilst driving I’d be at the ready when the naked scooter man happens by. Of course, then I probably wouldn’t see him.
Truth be told, he’s not totally bare; he does us the favor of covering up his groinal region – previously employing a loincloth, and last week opting for something more Speedoesque – but otherwise he hasn’t changed: still plump; still with thin wisps of gray hair sprouting from the sides of his helmet; still on that scooter.
The first time I saw him was so long ago (like decades) that I should be forgiven for assuming that he must have passed on to the next life by now. The naked scooterist is a survivor.
I’m suddenly reminded that in the late 1980s, when I worked at Mass General Hospital, there was a guy who used to roam around the Charles Street area wearing nothing but a speedo and a little holster for his essentials (keys and a few bucks?). Short, sinewy, with black hair in tight curls, he seemed perfectly normal but for the lack of clothing. I imagined back then that he must have had a mental illness. Perhaps exhibitionism is the word.
You’re probably wondering if I ever roam the streets similarly scantily-clad. The answer is no. It turns out I’m not one of those very few (if any) people who look good in a speedo. (Or a loincloth.)