Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Everything Man

I went to his house because they said he had everything.

“He has everything,” they said.

I knocked on the front door so it was apparent he had a front door. There was even a welcome mat, so welcome mat, check. Two down, everything else to go. The door was to an apartment. Rented, so no truck there. I figured he must own an apartment somewhere though. Apartments are part of everything.

I started to second guess whether I should really count the door to a rented apartment at all because then isn’t the door rented as well when he opened it. I mentally checked a few other things off the list. Shirt. Pants. Socks. Gold necklace. Silver necklace. Necklace of plastic beads. Locket. The Everything Man was demonstrating a concentration in neckwear upon our first meeting and I appreciated it the way one would a street sign with an exclamation point.

“They say you have everything,” I said. 

“I’m the Everything Man,” he confirmed.

I looked around, and sure enough, things were in abundance. Without another word I started scribbling down every single item I saw: paperweights, gum wrappers, a curling iron, sheet music from Meet Me in St. Louis, a bucket of crayons, a scrap of polyester. The Everything Man asked me if I wanted a drink, I nodded and jotted down “drinks.”

“I’ll take a Fresca,” I said.

“Nah, man. Don’t got any. Can’t stand the stuff.”

The falsehood of the Everything Man struck me like a bat. The impact left a spider of fire digging its legs down through the crown of my skull until I could feel my cochleas get hot. I exhaled sharply, my throat more pressure valve than breathing tube at this point. The Everything Man didn’t have everything.

He may as well have had nothing at all.


Baggadow Street

Baggadow Street was a tall man’s game.

“Only the brightest and the heightest,” as Mell would say.

But “heightist,” (that’s with an –ist, you see) was more the thing. All the shops had been elevated off the street. You need a ladder or something to get up to ‘em now. It was a direct appeal to the influx of Lankees that the city was experiencing.

“Come one, come all, it’s the mall for the tall,” Mell would say. I got no problem with Lankees comin’ over here, really. Nation of immigrants and all. But they scare the plums out of me. People weren’t made to be that tall. It’s unnatural. And there’s no talking to ‘em. I’m not saying they’re dumb. It’s a matter of convenience. When another person’s ears are 20 feet above your mouth, it’s just not worth the time. With every how do ya do, I’m reaching for a lozenge—such is the screaming I’m doing.

But back to Baggadow. Mell sent me down there to get him the bread he likes. I like it too. Good bread. But now Jake’s Bakes was on stilts and the only access for non-Lanks was a rope dangling down from the entrance. You believe that? A single rope like you see in movies about gym class. Jake didn’t even put knots in the thing.

I didn’t understand how elevating the stores made sense anyway. Lanks were still too tall to get in them. Guess it’s for the window shopping. So they can peek in and what not. Meanwhile I’m down here browsing by periscope, so go figure that one out.

“Settle the score and I’ll show you two more,” Mell would say.