On the subway a Hobo Clown with a clothespin for a tie clip yearns to strike up a campfire conversation with a Deaf Old Fire Eater. From scratch. Pantomime tales of boxcar couplings and Thunderbird wine. The Hobo Clown slaps the Deaf Old Fire Eater upside the cheeks once each and blows into his crimson mug, but no soap. No deal. The Hobo Clown stuffs the nose of the Deaf Old Fire Eater with dry grass and tinder bark shreds and feverishly fans the thread of smoke wisping out. Still, no sale. This is all too much and the Deaf Old Fire Eater bursts into a belly laugh that toasts the eyebrows of the Hobo Clown and singes the hairs on the rims of his outsize ears. The Hobo Clown flees down the aisle and smacks frantically at the flames eating his ragged coatsleeves. The subway plunges on deeper into its cave. The doors slide open and close at every next empty platform edge. A perfect calm settles upon the Deaf Old Fire Eater as he patiently mouths the WOW on their lips.


Photo by Nathan King