The boy forgot the story after a week passed, but the man didn’t. While he was sleeping, Isaac (the elder) dreamed of scenes with details of the exact color of dust that swept about the corners of the man’s house, and the temperature of the beloved woman’s pale, almost-blue skin on her shoulders. It was not sexual: it was sensual, so he didn’t feel bad when he decided to continue sharing with the boy when he might see him next. He wasn’t some pervert on the streets, after all.
The old man stopped walking, and held out his hand for the boy to take, and they shook hands.
“Weird. Isaac’s my name, too.”
“Small world. You know what that means?”
“Yes. Everyone has a name, and people used to be given names with meanings, sometimes as prognostications—you should learn that word, boy. It’s a good one—and sometimes, it was a reminder of their inheritance or beginning. Isaac just so happens to be—”
“I know. It means ‘laughter’. My mom got me this little plaque when I was a little kid and put it above the light switch in my room. She said it makes sense because I’ve always been a jokester.”
The man paused and pushed his long beard aside so he could rest his hands on his stomach.
He would barrel down the side streets, racing home from Middleton Junior High School on his hand-me-down ten-speed, pumping his legs so hard, imagining he was being chased by his classmates. When he tired of imagining outsmarting bad guys and evading cops, he embraced an actual goal: He would race city school bus 9. He remembered its route from when his mother had forced him to ride it right when they moved into the district. That was before he had gotten his bike. Continue reading “The Alleyway Parable, Installment I”