Les Flaneurs

He buys a turtle and changes his name to Sebastian. Sebastian is a good name, the name of somebody who cares about art and graphic design and walkable urban environments. He buys a top hat and a suit with tails and a little leash for the turtle and they go walking through the city. They don’t walk very fast.

People slow down to stare at him, to honk and yell things. Everything sounds the same when it’s yelled out the window of a moving car, he discovers. Maybe they’ll write an article about him for the Stranger. Maybe he’ll become a fixture, the kind of thing they put in movies to prove they know all the local jokes. He’s trying to remember if they named a bridge after the Emperor Norton when three dudes in a blue pickup peg him with a plastic cup of… ranch dressing? He thinks it’s ranch. They shout “Fag!” and roar away laughing. “Fag” sounds like “fag” even when it’s yelled out of moving car.

Later he feeds a strawberry to the turtle and mourns over the ruins of his suit. Tails and a top hat are strange and classy. Grease spots and tails just look homeless. He runs his fingers over the turtle’s shell and thinks about moving back to Brier.

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