Tripped over his damn shoelaces for the 95th time. Grunting, he bent over to tie the bane of his existence.
He would have bought new laces but they were 79 cents – meaning, he’d have 79 cents less than his last remaining hundred dollar bill.
How much farther could he stretch that money?
Summer was nearly over. The air had begun to chill.
How much longer could he last living in that decrepit rundown building that smelled of rat piss and dead dreams?
He was still happy he found the spot. For the first time after a year of sleeping – his sleeping body exposed to public – in train stations with their blinding lights, mall entranceway’s with screaming children (and their stressed out mothers), or on garbage-ridden sidewalks, he felt like he had found a home he could call his own.He bent over, his rear jutting out in midair, murmuring to himself, “Rabbit runs into the hole, his friend follows, they meet and kiss…” as he twined the threaded the flimsy stalks of cheap polyester. He remembered his grandmother.
Taxis, buses and rushing footsteps reverberated around him.
He had gotten used to blocking out the sounds of the city, until they faded to a faint echo.
A girl’s laughter pierced through the trance. Her high-pitched chortle rang louder and louder until he realized that she was standing right behind him.
She stood there. Just laughing.
Unencumbered. A five-year old in a woman’s body.
She laughed…And laughed and laughed and laughed. Her thin skin stretched over ivory-white teeth and the sharp angles of her face and forming a joker’s smile.
She did not move, turn around or walk away, despite his obvious disgust.
She sang out, “Rabbit runs into the hole…”
He whipped around, face burning, eyes straight ahead, lumbering as fast as his twisted legs could take him.
Until her voice faded, like all the other sounds of the city, into a faraway hum.
The last thing he heard was her high-pitched yell, shrieking “I’m the rabbit!!” over and over and over again…
***Rifling through my old notebooks. Found an old ‘story’ I scribbled. I was probably waiting in line or on the train or maybe while sitting on the grass in a park. And no, I don’t think I saw any rabbits.