There is an old man on the side of the street with a tattered old blanket under his feet. On it lays all manner of things, from sewing needles to diamond rings. Battered toys and an old used nail, fingers off boys and the tale of a whale. A lost love note, a piece of string. A tiny toy boat, a castle for a king. A banana peel that's lost it's zeal, a lock of hair that no one would wear. The man's crazy cockeye can see right through you, and he knows just what he should do. You're searching for something you lost long ago, but what it is, you don't quite know. You've counted all your fingers, you've counted all your toes, but still the ache lingers while you hope that it's faux. You think you've got everything you could possibly want, so why does the peddler's gaze still daunt? His leering grin knows what you need but he will wait to take your lead. Suddenly something catches your eye and you tell yourself it must be a lie. Something shriveled and old, retired and cold. Look at the thing, black as coal. Oh what's this, is it your soul? You look up, the man is insane. He smirks so slightly, your smile is feigned. Observe him closely, let him be clear. He nods morosely, and that strengthens your fear. His top hat his lopsided, his teeth aren't straight. His clothes are ripped, his hair is like slate. You stutter and stop, unable to speak. You want to run but your legs have grown weak. This wasn't your goal but it is your fate, you've found your soul far too late.
January 17, 2010