A People Person
Some believe we have an angel and a demon on our shoulders, that we have an inner voice or even a higher self, but the Man had more than just so, why, he had all sorts of people on him. There was the Fisherman on his knee who’d cast a line whenever the Man sat. There were the construction workers that zipped up and down his body with tiny, tiny cables, (nasty fellas on their lunch breaks.) There was the Lipstick Lady who had a blotch of red over her mouth and a rogue line across her cheek as she scurried around his chest. There was the Baker, who would hang around his bum, making buns, (harmless really, if anyone’s mind was outside of the gutter, it certainly was the baker’s.)
My goodness me, there’s even lawyers, doctors, businesspeople, vagrants and even a 5’O Clock Joe who appeared every now and then, sitting melancholically comfortable, nestling his tush on the corner of the man’s fading curly hair, (sometimes on the brim of his hat when the Man was feeling self-conscious). Why, there was even a clown named Vulvina, (don’t ask, please don’t, just forget I said anything.)
The Man walked with all the people in constant motion, doing their things, making noises, all at the same time with many going to and fro, up and over and all around the man. And on a day like today, the congestion of people-traffic was higher than usual. Some made conversation and some repeated the same movement over and over again, like the miners who just mined, then sat and kept mining. The Showman would walk, strike a pose, then glitch back and walk up to strike the same pose again, over, and over, except on Tuesdays. And on Wednesdays he’d just sit in a squat, all hollowed eyed.
The Man was navigating through the rich sidewalk life of the big city and continued walking through the multitude of people moving along. The man walked into the deli and clink clink went the door chimes. In entered the man wearing a beige corduroy suit, a yellow shirt, and a dark beige fedora.
“Heyy, weekend’s finally here.” said the Deli-man with his hairy arms thrown up.
“Whew I know, thought I was going to burst.” said the Man with a deflated tone.
“Mm smells good in here.” said the Lipstick Lady standing on the man’s sternum.
“Long week huh? It’s not too bad, some of us never stop.” said the Deli-man.
“And what good does that do you?” said a construction worker, hanging from a steel line. “Ahh I guess.” said the Man with a shrug.
“Christ don’t you ever get tired of eating at the same spot every day.” said the Construction worker.
“What do you care. It’s a convenient spot” said the Angel-man sitting on the right shoulder.
“Wha—I gotta see it every friggin day.” said the Construction worker.
“You gonna switch it up today?” asked the Deli-man.
“Mmm, I’m still looking.” said the Man.
“Ah, but anyways guy, that 9-5 sounds good right about now.” said the Deli-man.
“I swear half the time, all you do is complain. Fat fuck.” said the Devil-man in a red onesie with devil horns.
“Excuse me you little shit?” said the Deli-man leaning towards the man’s left shoulder, nose inches away with his eyes flared.
“Excuse yourself, ever heard of mouthwash? Heh, heheheh.” said the Devil-man.
The Man continued looking at the overhead menu with a blank expression.
5’O Clock Joe sighed.
“Oh yeah? What do you do all day huh? What do you know about stress?” said the Deli-man.
The Devil-man jumped up and down, blew a raspberry and turned around to moon him.
“Whatever you punk, Jesus.” said the Deli-man.
“Don’t give him any attention. What you said was true. He’s just a sad, sad toddler.” said the Angel-man in his white onesie with a halo held up over his head with a stick taped to his back.
“Hah, yeah, definitely not worth the stress, especially since my last bloodwork results came in, yeesh.” said the Deli-man, now talking to the right shoulder.
“Yeah I think I’m gonna go with the Italian sub.” said the Man.
“Yeah I gotchu. I was wondering when you’d get sick of meatball subs.” said the Deli-man.
The man shrugged with an indifferent expression. After receiving the sub, he continued on towards the subway, munching on the go. The people walking and talking all over the man had created a humming aura around him and as the time went by, the buzzing grew. What else would you expect on a Friday?
The Man took a seat in the subway train, mindlessly chewing. As the train gained traction, so did the hubbub. An old lady dozing off next to the Man turned and said, “Would you turn that shit off?”
The man looked over calmy yet puzzled, “Hm?”
“Oh for Pete sake. Don’t play dumb with me. Do you know how obnoxious that is?” said the lady nearly shouting.
“Ma’am, it’s okay I assure you. But there’s no need for that tone.” said the Man with a burning blankness.
“Lady, I’m just trying to enjoy my cocktail. Are you too old for headphones or something?” said a businessman chilling in the man’s belly button.
“Why you!” said the lady as she hunched over the Man’s belly, giving a piece of her mind. The Man continued eating his sandwich, staring off blankly, dropping crumbs on her grey frizzled hair as his eyes detached their focus.
5’O Clock Joe sighed.
A young woman on the opposite side stared at the two all bewildered and concerned.
“Umm is everything alright?” asked the young woman.
The old lady looked back at her nervously and curled up to nod off again. The young woman then dropped her raised eyebrows and proceeded to stare forward as she previously was.
The metro got off and the man continued walking with that aural hum turning into a loud buzzing of miniature commotion. Some people fingered their ears as they walked past him, hearing the tiny screeching that resembled the sound of flies that had swirled too close to one’s head. Some didn’t bat an eye and just stared blankly, while others gave him a strange look. The man continued onward, although his face gave way to a slight frown as his eyes looked straight ahead like balloons too full to pump. Now arrived, the Man paused just outside the doors of his destination and 5 O’Clock Joe gave a really really deep sigh.
“Tell me about it.” said the Man before entering and greeting the Receptionist.
“Heyy, good to see you again.” she said.
“Yeah its time.” said the Man with a small frog in his throat.
The commotion of whizzes, whirls and shouts encompassing the man grew and grew along with some of the people dancing, and jumping up and down, while others ran around rampant. The Angel-man and Devil-man tussled, rolling down the Man’s sleeves.
“Well that’s what we’re here for.” said the Receptionist.
“Yeah. How’s everything going for you though?” asked the Man.
“Well,” The receptionist continued, and chaos ensued as areas of the man’s body had riots and the drunks went out and scuffled with each other. The vagrants sat on the man’s shoulders and spat their dip out, sprinkling the receptionist with brown dip spit, managing to land some of it in her eye not resulting in any twitch or reaction from her.
“So long story short, that’s why my in-laws aren’t coming over any time soon.” she said with a chuckle.
The man smiled and nodded and held his unsteady hand out and scanned his tag. He knew where to go and hung up his coat and hat outside the door. He entered into a yellow and red room with cushioned floors and walls. He stood in the middle and “AAAAHHHHHHHH” screamed the Man as he grabbed and tugged on his hair, screaming as if his tongue was vacating the premises.
He jumped and stomped, jumped, and stomped. The Man pounded the floors and rolled over with his face burning red with salty sweet tears leaking out from the sides of his face while choking on his sobs. He flailed his legs and banged his head. The people on him were throwing punches and whatever they could find. The Miners kept mining and 5’ O Clock Joe kept sighing. The Showman kept glitching, and the Devil-man and Angel-man had taken off their costumes and rolled around in the bush forest with the other hobos, always careful to maintain their distance from the clown who was just a little ways below. The baker poked his head out of the two bum cheeks to peek before quickly withdrawing back in.
Running with her fuzzy red hair that stretched to form a three noodled triangle, the Lipstick Lady shrieked and pounced on a businessman, stealing his cigarettes, and lighting them, one in her mouth and two in each hand.
“Fuck you.” she said, squinting down hard at the businessman, who sobbed pathetically while laying limp over the man’s nipple.
While hyperventilating and sniffling in the fetal position, cradling, sucking his thumb, the Man paused, then calmly sat upright while everyone ceased their rampaging as well. The Man cleared his throat and dusted himself off as the people sluggishly returned to their calm musings with some making up and hugging each other. The Man’s face returned to a nonchalant expression although a new wrinkle creased his forehead and his hairline moved by a sliver. He exited the door and waved to the receptionist.
“Goodbye, have a nice weekend.” said the Man.
“You as well! Same time next week?”
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