Today at the bus stop by the mall there was a guy sitting on a bench, tearing images of people out of a newspaper, and barking. The barks were very convincing: I was looking around for a dog for ages before I realised they were coming from a person. I’m not sure if the barking was a compulsion, like Tourette’s, or if he was just doing it out of excitement, but he had a huge grin on his face as he ripped up the sheets, delicately removing pictures of politicians and celebrities. It seemed practiced and familiar. This was clearly a regular activity for him. When he had torn out an image he put it into a plastic bag at his feet, and he did the same with the sheets that didn’t have pictures, which he folded with care. His appearance and mannerisms otherwise seemed entirely normal — his hair was cut neatly and he wore clean blue jeans and a plain black jacket, and he looked up at each bus that passed by as though checking to see if it was the one he was waiting for. But he never got on a bus. At one point he just suddenly put his newspaper into the plastic bag, gathered his things, and walked off. I’ve been thinking about him all day.