No, not Johnny Cash. This was some creep who was standing outside my building last night as I went out to pick up some roach motels. I feel bad for all the roaches living under my sink and think they have the right to watch softcore porn movies on lumpy mattresses too, so I like to pick up a few motels a week to keep them happy.
Anyway, I digress.
I walked out of my building and a small man wearing a black suit was walking around in circles. As I walked by him he stopped and touched my elbow. “Merry Christmas.” he said, then added: “What is your time?”
“My time?” I asked. “Well, it’s isn’t Christmas, I can tell you that. It isn’t even Halloween yet.”
“I’m looking for meat.” he said, which I have to admit caught me off guard.
“Oh.” I said. “Well, good luck with that.”
“Are Platypusses poisonous?” he asked as I walked away. Remembering my encounter with the large Platypussy the night before I stopped, and turned back to him. He was standing very still and had a large grin plastered across his face, like he knew something I didn’t. And what he knew was apparently very humourous.
“I’m not an expert on Platypusses.” I said, walking closer to him. “Are you?”
He kept smiling. “I’m looking for meat.” he repeated.
“What’s your name?” I asked him.
“You can call me Mr. Eye.”
“Is that your name, or just what I can call you?”
“What is your time?”
“It’s dark,” I said. “That’s all you need to know.”
“That’s all I need to know.” he repeated, still grinning like an idiot.
At this point I was beginning to become a tad unnerved by this gentleman. “Look, who are you?” I asked.
He said: “I’m one of you.” Then added, “Aren’t I?”
“I’m sure I don’t know.” I said, with all honesty. “Where are you from?”
He looked around, and then said, “I live between the cracks.”
“I’m looking for meat. For the others. They show up later. Or before. I don’t know. I don’t know the time. What is your time? They show up, but they need things. Sometimes we are light. Merry Christmas. At night it is easier. Please turn off cell phones. Am I falling apart? What do you talk about at night? Am I speaking to the correct person? What time is it? What is your time? Sometimes we float. It’s hard to know which way to go. They are coming. They are here. They have gone. Have they? What is good to eat? How long? How long until now? What is your time?”
I started to worry that he was autistic or drunk. “Do you need help?”
“No. I need to know the time.”
I made a time up. “It’s eight thirty.”
“You lie.” he said. “It is five o’clock.” and with that, he turned and walked down the street. I watched him cross to the other side, and crouch down to tie his shoe. It seemed to take a long time. After a couple minutes I shifted my position to see around the car he had crouched behind. He was gone.
Suddenly the roach motels didn’t seem so important. I went back inside and locked all my doors and windows.
I wonder if he found any meat?