A scoot-shaped scoot entered the shopping center some distance ahead of me. Later, when I came crabwalking out of the pharmacy with my prescription bag in hand, it was parked up by the grocery, and I hoofed it over to take a look. It's not much of a shopping center; working class like this, my neighborhood, like me. The supermarket is worn, shabby, not real clean, but cheap. I've known the drugstore manager ten years, and he can accurately gauge the general economy by the volumes of generic cigarettes and discount domestic beer he sells on a given Friday afternoon. Pharmaceuticals and health care products are a dim third place. The bike is on its stand between potholes in the clouded pre-Sandy gloom, and I see that I called it right by the de trop headlight; a Yamaha Vino 125 with some years on it. Did that headlight come out of a '61 JC Whitney catalog or a Godzilla movie? I bought mine used, a most excellent flat-floored errand-runner and carter of packages and parcels around town, simple and dead reliable, plain but wearing that bizarre oversize chromium-plated plastic hat. Some unsung Yamaha designer thought it was the cat's nutz, no doubt. It always made me laugh. Now I am taking in the riding-dirty, no-tag, no-sticker, scuff-on-scuff, cracked and beat used-to-be-blue plastics, the tires, the tires, my God, tires can't be that worn and still hold air. They are sanded-down smooth and patternless across the whole breadth of contact patch, with a faint memory of tread along the edges, and I am grinning at this absurd scooter remembering my own silver 125 when the owner comes out of the market with a loaded plastic bag in each hand. "Hey, man; Vino 125. Cool" "Oh, yeah," he says, grinning back," 'at's my baby!" He's late forties, two-day growth, stained carmel Carhartts, on a jobsite someplace here in town, a roof, a porch, something. It's about lunchtime. He sets his bags on the ground, sees me looking at their bulk and shapelessness, and says, "Meat Day." "How's that?" "Meat Day. Friday at ten they mark down the meat and put it out. I'm late." He can't be too late. There's gotta be about a dozen pounds of slightly aged but saleable meat there, and he pops the seat. A caged trouble light at the end of a six-foot orange cord falls out on the ground; he also removes a carpenter's square and a scissors jack. Screwdrivers, sheetrock bits, and sockets stay rolling around the bottom. "My daughter is fifteen," he says, "and she loves to cruise through the neighborhood on 'er, she looks just like a princess in her white helmet," and he says this with no hint of non sequitur because we're talking about his scooter and all things attendant to it. He is as foursquare, open, and friendly as you could wish a man to be, and he starts packing meat into that gritty storage space, chatting as he goes, and when the meat's away, he puts the light, square, and jack into the plastic bags and ties them somehow to the handlebars. The bike starts right up and runs well, no smoke, no tick, and I wish it were mine. It's not abused, exactly, just well-used as he and his family need to use it, but, well, you know their dog probably sleeps outside in a doghouse, too. It is loved, no question, but has a job to do, and the job's outside.