He spoke in a strange, scratchy, flat Midwestern male voice that cut through her thoughts like a rusty knife: "What's the problem?"
What she beheld was an unkempt, elflike man in a cap, sporting a two-day beard and a whiff of body odor, or possibly whiskey. He seemed neither old nor young, and carried himself in an elegant, almost formal physical manner. He looked, she thought, like a hobo with a touch of class.
"How did you know--?" she started to say. He smiled brightly at her, his dark brown eyes pushing themselves into her gaze.
"Up in the Haight, I'm called the Gardener," he said by way of explanation. "I tend to all the flower children."
The Gardener. What does a gardener do? A gardener...plants seeds, she realized, suddenly feeling dangerously exposed. She held her legs together, tightly.