Observations from the Driver’s Seat of a Horse-Drawn Carriage, Redux

For several Saturdays running now, I’ve been back driving carriages in downtown Indy, and as usual you see all kinds of interesting things during the hours spent circling the streets. Here’s a few of the things I saw last night:

  • Inevitably, there are always a handful of bums and homeless people on the streets. And, also inevitably, they tend to exhibit some of the most peculiar behaviors. One gentlemen, early in the evening, began to serenade one of our female drivers, who then looked like she could have crawled under her carriage and died. Another fellow randomly walked up to a couple of mall employees, who were outside on their cigarette break, and without saying a word, began dancing in front of them, glaring all the while. Then he walked away, leaving those of us watching stupefied and moderately amused.
  • There are always people downtown begging for money. Maybe about half of them actually look like they need it – filthy clothing, matted hair, actually look like they’ve been living on the streets for an indeterminate amount of time. Another quarter of these people attempt to earn their income by playing various instruments, the saxophone and guitar being the most common. The rest, however, look like they got out of bed that morning, took their daily shower, put on their nice clean clothes, then grabbed their plastic cup with two or three quarters in the bottom on their way to stand out on the sidewalk to beg. Near as I can tell, most of this latter group of people _should_ be able to get a job.
  • And speaking of the guys who play sax downtown, one last night was really good. He seemed to really know how to play jazz and was jamming it up. The other guy I had to wonder about – has anyone ever told him that what he was playing were the saxophone accompaniments to larger works? Apparently he couldn’t tell that his ‘music’ held very little melodic value, which made sense, considering he _wasn’t_ actually playing any melody. Oh, the amusement level there was high.
  • I stopped at a light at one point in the evening to see a kid of perhaps 10, 12 years of age rolling across the crosswalk. No big deal, right? He was probably roller blades. Actually, he was wearing roller sneakers. I’ve never seen anything like this – he had a wheel in the heel of each of his tennis shoes and would lean back on them whenever the ground tilted downward.
  • Lamborghinis are old hat by now. Same with Ferraris, Porsches, and every sports car of every variety. These vehicles are all too common downtown, especially on the weekends and especially around Formula One. (I don’t even think those cars are all that pretty.)

That’s just a taste of what I usually see in the course of an evening driving carriages, and it generally only gets more exotic and interesting after 11:00, when the night club crowd hits the streets in force. One never lacks for entertainment, that’s for sure.

2 thoughts on “Observations from the Driver’s Seat of a Horse-Drawn Carriage, Redux”

  1. I’ve seen those roller sneakers! A kid in a restaurant was wearing them one night, very cute.

    I also checked out Flashes of Speculation and am considering reworking a couple flash pieces I wrote to submit. Don’t give up just ’cause it’s slow.


  2. Thanks for the comment and the encouragment, Missy. I definitely won’t give up on it. I think there is a definite market for a flash fiction site of this sort, so I have high hopes that it will eventually begin to really take off. I think I just got spoiled with the first week, so the last couple of days have been a bit discouraging. I know of at least three writers, though, who have mentioned an interest in contributing and another who wants to contribute more, so we’ll see. Hopefully some more stories will start to trickle in soon.

Have anything to add to the conversation?