Somewhere on Hollywood Boulevard by Mathieu Cailler

photography by Amadeus Long | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Somewhere on Hollywood Boulevard

Today, on Hollywood Boulevard, near the Rob Lowe
star on the Walk of Fame, I passed a sitting bum
who wore cargo pants and a World’s Greatest Dad
t-shirt. His feet were bare, grimy; and he was eating
an orange like an apple—gnawing right through the rind.
A copy of Les Misérables lay next to him, its pages fat and
swollen, and when a breeze pushed through, the sheets
ruffled; a pleasant sound, like leaves in the wind. I said,
Hello, and the man said, Hey…what’s up, muchacho?
I reached for my wallet. I only had a five spot, but
since I’d already cracked the leather, I had to give him
something. Lincoln, he said. No shit. Good prez.
Better beard. Hell, sometimes I wish I’d gotten shot
in the theatre. Nice way to go out if you ask me—
just bam, right there, while watching Bye Bye Birdie.
True, I said, before walking off. Wanna sit down?
he asked. I got some orange left, he said, and this
book here, that’s depressing as shit. Fucking French
guys, right? Hard to get through even five pages
without tearing up a bit. What do you say?
Uh. Sure. Okay, I said. So I leaned up against a building,
lit a smoke, and listened to him as he cleared his
throat and started in. He had a pleasant reading voice,
especially applied performing dialogue,
so I closed my eyes as his words blended
with the shuffle of passersby, the rumble of engines,
and the day-to-day buzz of honks and hollers.

Mathieu Cailler

Mathieu Cailler’s poetry and prose have been widely featured in numerous national and international publications, including the Los Angeles Times and The Saturday Evening Post. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, he is the recipient of a Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry. He is the author of Clotheslines (Red Bird Press), Shhh (ELJ Publications), and Loss Angeles (Short Story America Press), which has been honored by the Hollywood, New York, London, Paris, Best Book, and International Book Awards. His poetry collection, May I Have This Dance? (Black Magic Media), is slated for publication in December of 2017. :