I used to know this kid who lived in unit 547

He never said much, but the dialogue pouring forth from his eyes was oftentimes more than enough.  As we rode the elevator to the fifth floor, verbal communication bored, as his eye bore into mine.  Like construction worker equipment he drilled into my mind… Haunting me with silent pleas, and silent cries… Fleeting hellos and all too familiar goodbyes.  I tried to smile at him, strike the flint of my tongue to the air to try and spark a conversation in the atmosphere… But his eyes coolly blew them out.  Only five floors we rose, but it felt like eternity, it was baffling, how this small child was unnerving me, it’s almost as if….. he was the next milestone to my destiny… The elevator stopped, and he waited for me to exit.  I did and headed to the left, then spun around as he paced slowly to the right, but my presence mispronounced its silence like enunciating the “k” in knight, and before I knew it he had spun around and pressed his eyes up against my mind… I hurried away.

I used to know this kid in unit 547

I always wondered what he did at school, and what his home was full- of.  From my balcony I watched him one day, as he made his way to the main gate.  He strode away from the bus without so much as a second glance, and the eerie timing of his approach just as the gate slid open made it appear as if the world was submitted to his trance… Following his mental path- head down at all times- he walked the maze of the living complex pausing only at a patch of grass… to count them.  One by one he fingered each blade with eyes closed, and faced upturned towards the sun, and I perceived a miracle- one shiny trail leading from his left eye betraying the road his inner emotion had run… Elated I raced downstairs to catch him at our elevator.  Ten flights of steps I pounded down, my lungs bargaining with the air for sustenance until my heart rate slowed down… I approached the elevator I knew he would take… But then I remembered that little boy was of no ordinary make, and as my blood ceased screaming in my ears I could hear little feet escalate… He had taken the stairs.

I used to know this little boy in unit 547

I remember right before summer began, I resolved to meet this wonder… To confront this terror of the mundane face to face.  My own was scrunched up trying not to be afraid, but the scrunches stayed put- I was betrayed by the wrinkles in face.  My mind became a Nascar race, all my thoughts racing down the lanes, and my resolve became soft as cake, patty cake patty cake baker’s man… And that became the plan.  I baked this kid a cake, faster than a dancer hits the floor soon as they hear their jam.  I jammed on my hat, and vanished out the door… Suddenly time slowed as my feet hit the hallway floor.  Beads of sweat began to crinkle around my dome.  My heart debated my will, urging me to go back home.  Years came and went, empires rose and fell, and suddenly- I was there.  Unit 547.  My hand flew out like a gun shot to strike the door before a hesitation could cost me my effort… A woman opened it up… My voice explained why I had come… Then my eyes noticed the barren room and wet in her pupils, and my ears kicked in picking up her final words “… the little boy- is gone.”


~The Wordsmith


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