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The Mexican Man
It goes like this.
Always, for as long as we’ve lived in this house there was a man next door. The Mexican Man. And when we went out for ice cream there he was.
The Mexican Man.
And if we’d accidentally run into his lawn playing Frisbee there he would be, on his porch, watching us, The Mexican Man.
Sometimes he would pick up the toys we left in his yard and keep them, so we went and kicked his dog, but it turned out the dog wasn’t even his, it was really old Mrs. Wrinkle Rack’s from across the street (xcept our parents told us not to call her that and locked us in the closet when we did), and she got mad at us when we kicked her dog. She told our parents and they spanked us and put us in the closet. And whenever we could finally leave the closet and go outside, there he would be.
The Mexican Man.
He never talked or anything so we threw eggs at his house ‘cause he was a weirdo, but he just stood there and looked at us like we were gonna bring him food or something, but that’s stupid.
His house was even bigger than any of our houses were, but it was ugly and nobody else wanted it no-way xcept for maybe I wanted the tree in the yard to climb on. He was a weirdo, The Mexican Man, my parents said so. And when they would go out, and my grandmother came over and fell asleep we would all go and spy on The Mexican Man xcept it was no fun cuz he just stood there and spy on us right back but he wasn’t as good as us at it cuz we could see him, but he just knew we were in the bushes.
Some days we had to go to school, so we would walk by the big house where The Mexican Man lived and sing really loud to wake him up. He would wave a little bit so we would stick our tongues out at him... cuz he was a weirdo.
On Christmas and stuff our families would get together and decorate stuff and eat and talk a lot. Sometimes they would talk about The Mexican Man. They would talk about how weird he was and how nobody liked him and how he didn’t have any friends and how nobody wanted him. They talked about how weird it was that however long any of them had lived in the neighborhood, he had lived longer. He’d been there forever and ever, but he’d never talked to anyone. He’d always just stood there and looked out at everything, like a weirdo.
That Mexican Man.
He would wobble across the lawn sometimes after a frog or something. He could do that for hours until he noticed we were watching. We didn’t watch that long of course, not usually, cuz it was boring, but we would sometimes come to the window and check if he was still there. He always was.
We went into the house once. He never left. At least we never saw him leave. So we were just camping in the backyard and stuff and we were yelling and not sleeping and eating marshmallows and whatever and we decided to go inside the house. The grass in his yard was tall and gross and it scratched our legs and stuff and it made me itchy . The house was even uglier when you was so close your nose was getting blisters all up in it and you could taste the yuckiness. Inside there was a bunch of stuff all over the place. Crab apples, mostly. Crab apples and apple cores and lots of shoes. The Mexican Man was sitting in the living room on a window seat. He was just sitting there staring out the window like a weirdo. We watched him for a second and kept going. We just walked around the house and left cuz it was boring.
For Summer break my parents went on vacation without me and all my friends went with their parents like a bunch of lamos. My grandma came to watch me but she just slept on the couch with the television on. I didn’t care. I didn’t wanna go on vacation either. So I put dog food up The Mexican Man’s gutters and threw my old shoes up on his roof xcept i only had one pair and one of them got stuck in the big tree in the front yard.
The Mexican Man’s tree.
So I climbed up to get that shoe xcept it was really high and I felt stupid cuz I was too big to be climbing trees. I saw some crab apples on my way so I picked them and tried to throw them all the way to Mrs. Wrinkle Rack’s yard xcept I don’t think I was strong enough cuz it kinda landed in the street so I kept trying harder but I just tore my shirt and made the branches start waving. And the more the branches started waving the harder I had to hold on and then I fell out of the tree.
I just felt stupid, for a moment. And then it started to hurt. It hurt like there was a cat trying to rip my face off xcept that it was my leg. I didn’t even start screaming. I mean, I was gonna, but I didn’t have time to cuz The Mexican Man musta seen me out his window and he came wobblin’ up to me like all stupid-like. Like I was hurtin’ real bad but I just couldn’t even scream cuz I was too busy watching him. What a weirdo. So he came up to me, The Mexican Man and he started trying to get at me or something and I was like I just fell out of the tree dude go away I didn’t do anything but he started grabbing me and I wanted to kick him but my leg hurt so I just wiggled my arms a lot. I was putting up a good fight xcept he was still draggin’ me towards the house pretty good. And then we got to the stairs and they really hurt cuz they kept bangin’ on my leg and it was all stickin’ out wrong and stuff and it just looked gross so I looked away. I yelled and stuff but no one heard me cuz everyone was on vacation. He dragged me all the way inside and kinda just went away. I looked around and stuff but he wasn’t anywhere. He came back real quick with some ice and he put it on my leg like it was gonna help or something. Then he pulled out a phone out of nowhere. He started dialing numbers and stuff but his hands were shaking too much and he kept dropping it. He finally got something up though, and I heard someone talking and he just shoved the phone at me.
“Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?”
I didn’t really know what to say so I kinda just chocked.
“I fell out of a tree.”
So after the ambulance and the people got there they took me away and my grandmother was still asleep. I didn’t like the hospital cuz all the lights were too bright and they wouldn’t let me run around. Nobody came to visit me. Not my friends, not my parents, my grandmother didn’t count cuz she just slept in the waiting room all the time, and not even The Mexican Man.
When I got back home my friends were back too but I had to be in a cast so all we could really do was squish ants on the sidewalk with our thumbs. It was pretty stupid and I was always kinda sad. I ate a buncha mac and cheese and even made myself toast in the morning. We came inside more cuz the TV was interesting and it was getting kinda cold outside. Plus, if we went outside they would see The Mexican Man standing out there (he still did) and they’d wanna pick on him and I didn’t wanna do that anymore.
I got a cold one day. My parents were at work and my friends were at school so I went over to the house next door with the big tree and I took out the dog food I’d stuffed up his gutter. It was really gross and slimy cuz it had rained and my clothes smelled like rotten teeth but when I looked up he was standing there watching me from his porch.
The Mexican Man.
He never really said anything, and he’d lived in the house forever. And he had a cool tree in the yard and he had a fuzzy black mustache and gray-brown hair and funny eyebrows. He had lots of crab apples in his house and a bunch of stains on his house from where we threw stuff at it and he watched people but he didn’t stare and he waved at you from windows even if you weren’t nice and he never yelled.
And one day when it was Halloween time my parents were at a dinner party and my grandmother was asleep on the couch and my friends were trick-or-treating I went over to the big house. The Mexican Man was sitting in the room right behind his porch so he could watch everybody outside. I climbed in through the window now that my foot was all better and I sat watching everyone with him. He kinda smiled this weird smile at me like he was a kid or something, but not stupid like I’d used to think and then he just went back to watching the people. It was real dark outside and after a while people started going away ‘till there was only a few weirdos out so I smiled at The Mexican Man who was always around and I went home.
I woke up later and my bed was itchy so I walked up to my window. There were lights and stuff flashing outside. I couldn’t really see so I rubbed my eyes xcept I told myself I’d only rub em a minute to see better but it just felt so good I kept rubbin’ em. And then I finally looked outside. There was an ambulance out there just like the one that drove me to the hospital, and it was standing in The Mexican Man’s lawn. Next to his big tree. I stood there for a while watching the lights flashing flashing. They seemed to be going in circles and I couldn’t help trying to follow the pattern, but I wanted it to stop at the same time.
The next day I went to pick crap apples from the big tree. Not to throw at anybody, that was stupid but just to go over there. I looked at the house a long time while I was picking apples but nobody looked back at me. I came back later that day to tear up some weeds from the lawn, but he didn’t come out of the house that time either. I looked around every day and I even got my shoe out of his tree for him, and I quit kicking Mrs. Wrinkly Rack’s dog too just in case it really had been his anyway. And I told my friends to stop coming over and I didn’t watch TV that much and I didn’t even care about throwing eggs anymore.
But The Mexican Man was never there again.