Saturday, 15 July 2017

The Man Who Wore His Coat Indoors

He was a guy. Just a guy.

That was the beginning and end of it. He loved football, drinking, singing, and making a mess of himself on a Saturday night. So why did he end up being this way?
I mean, his only ambition was to get from Monday to Friday in the quickest time possible. 

Okay, he knew that sounded stupid, but that was the kind of guy he was. Stupid.

He was a man. Just a man.

One who loved lots of things and hated some other things. Okay maybe not hated, but he could do without them in his life. Some people he liked instantly, others took a bit longer, and the same went for disliking people. Did he have to say it again? He was just a guy.

When his back started to hurt he thought about going to the doctor, but he knew he’d never go. He was the kind of man whose legs would have to actually fall off before he went near a medical centre. There he was again - being stupid. How could he get to a doctor if he didn’t have any legs? He had a quiet chuckle to himself. That was a laugh he couldn’t be bothered to explain to anyone. No one else would have understood.

When the nodules started growing in his back, he asked his sister to cut both of them off. She thought it might be serious, like cancer, or something. He told her not to be so stupid, however the one thing that cutting them off caused was that they just grew back faster and bigger. His sister was happy enough to do the odd cutting here or there, but this was starting to get really stupid – and anyway, unlike him she had a partner. So, she stopped.

He was a man who now had difficulty sleeping.  He had to lie on his side, or, better still, his stomach.

Then he started wearing a coat to work - actually, in the office. Folks thought he was nuts. If he told them the truth, he would probably have been thought even weirder. That was the source of the problem, he didn’t like standing out from the crowd – he never had. Now he was the Nutter who wore his coat indoors.

It only took two weeks for them to fully grow. He would go into the bathroom and lock the door, then feel the relief as he could give them a shake in the fresh air.

He was a man with a serious problem.

He wasn’t sure if he could fly with them – but wouldn’t that be cool? He started to cut holes in some of his shirts, so that he could give them an exercise, now and again. His sister and mother would knock his bedroom door from time to time to ask if anything was wrong.

Anything wrong? Of course, there was something wrong, I’ve got a pair of wings growing out of my back, he wanted to shout. But he didn’t, he was just a man after all.

Then a thought hit him: what if he was really going around the bend? Stone cold crazy, like.  Perhaps the growth had been something medically wrong with him. Maybe his sister was correct and that it would follow that the wings didn’t exist. All of it was in his head. What then?

He’d stopped going out with his pals to the bar, in fact, to be honest, he had stopped going out anywhere apart from work. He phoned his best pal, and asked him to meet him in the park.

“This is all very weird,” his friend said, “but then I heard you had gone a bit……you know……”
“Nuts?” Said the man.
“Exactly. Are you having a break-down?”
“Don’t think so.”

The man got up, told his friend to close his eyes. That was when his friend said that if he tried to kiss him, he might punch his pal.

The man took off his coat.
“What do you see?”
“What do you mean what do I see?”

And then he saw it and he used a few choice words, to colour what he had seen.
“You’re an………”

His friend got up and started pulling on the wings.

“They’re real….they are actually real. Did you have an operation or something?”
“Of, course I didn’t, they just grew.”
“Just grew? A boil on the tip of your nose, just grows. But this?  So, what do you do now?”
“How should I know.”
“Has God contacted you or anything?”
“Now you’re being stupid.”
“I’m being stupid? You’re standing there with a couple of wings on your back and you’re calling me stupid. Why don’t you just go home and wait for a call or something.”
“Like God is going to call on the telephone?”
“He might.”

So that is indeed what he did. He said goodbye to his pal, put on his coat again and headed home, - and now he is waiting - just waiting - to see if anyone needs an angel in their lives.

bobby stevenson 2017

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