Tim (littlebluedog) wrote,

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conspicuous but not too conspicuous

Having grown up in a small town, I'm not too street-smart, so I might be way off-base here. Or maybe I just clued in to a common phenomenon.

The past few months, mostly while driving around on errands, I noticed that there's one guy who stands at a bus stop not too far from my house and always wears the same outfit: baggy jeans, white sneakers, a red-and-blue striped polo shirt, and a white baseball cap.

One Sunday, I drove past the intersection about a half-dozen times over the span of as many hours; he was there each time. Sometimes sitting on the rail outside the bus stop, sometimes meandering around, but always within about 50' of the bus stop, and always looking at every car that drove by.

Then I clued in: he's looking for his customers.

After that, I looked for him every time I passed the intersection, regardless of the time: he was there just about every time I went by.

Then I noticed that it wasn't the same guy every day. It's different guys, but each wears the same outfit when hanging out at the bus stop. I've counted three of them. Same outfit, maybe even the same clothes, since they look to have similar builds.

A few weeks ago they switched outfits. Right now it's baggy jeans, white sneakers, a bright green t-shirt, and a puffy black jacket.

Part of me wants to start keeping a chart and try to do a bunch of surreptitious photography so I can have a hand at busting a huge drug or prostitution ring. But my fascination with trying to figure out if it's systematic or random will probably win out. But I wonder: at what point do my obligations to society pre-empt my own selfish delight at trying to figure out a puzzle?
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