The funny man
The funny man appears at the top of the porch stairs, right on time. He starts down the first stair but today he slips, falls, head hits the railing. I hesitate for a moment before running down to help. Who am I? he groans.
You are the funny man who lives on the third floor of house 8. You come down with two recycling bags each morning and carry them down like women’s purses, elbows locked at 90 degrees. You wear pink shirts that tuck into your kakis, which sit high on your waist. Before you leave for work, you change for a striped shirt and a hat. You live with a man who never helps with the recycling but goes for walks with you after breakfast. He watches you from the balcony sometimes but loses interest quickly. You look at him like you would at a child – admiration, an impatience for him to grow up, and a fear that he will. You appear at the balcony in the evenings with a red scarf. It’s not red, it’s distinctly scarlet and perhaps too thick to be a scarf. You shake it off thoroughly and afterwards bury your face in it and inhale deeply.
But the funny man pauses at the top stair only to fix his belt, he would never fall with those deliberate steps he takes.