Entry #10 - Some Coins In A Fountain
It was quickly growing dark, I was quickly growing tired, and Seymour was quickly growing hair. The hair atop his head and under the hat was getting longer by the second. I suppose that technically happens to most of us, whether we have a hat or not, but his was growing longer fast enough and at such great length as to be visible to the eye. It was so visible to the eye, in fact, that even I could see it happening.
In addition to the hair atop his head and under his hat, the hair on his face was growing at nearly the same rate, albeit a slight bit faster. I wasn’t certain about the hair on the rest of his body, and I wasn’t keen to ask. Hoping he wouldn’t bring it up on his own, I decided the best course of action was to point out the obvious.
“Seymour, your hair seems to be growing at an uncomfortably perceivable rate.”
None of this seemed to phase Seymour enough to reply with much more than a shrug, except that he did reply with more than a shrug. He spoke. “Yeah man, that happens sometimes at nightfall.”
“Nightfall?” asked the girl. “Who says things like that?” She had a point. People don’t often say nightfall. Typically they shorten it to simply “night” or they use the alternate word “nighttime” instead. Once in a while, a person will try to get fancy and say the word “dusk” as if they expect the people around them to be impressed, which they typically aren’t.
“I think he means dusk,” I said to the girl, expecting her and the others around me to be impressed. They weren’t.
“Well is there something you can do about it?” the girl implored. “I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable, what with all this hair spreading up and around my feet.”
His hair was getting very long.
Seymour shrugged again and said, “I suppose we could cut it or something. That’s what I always do.”
I wondered if he meant he always cut his hair, or that he always did whatever that something was. I then began to wonder what that something he spoke of might could be, and if it was something simple, considering he always did whatever it might could possibly could might be. Before long and after short, I found myself thinking of various possible somethings that we might could do that possibly could might deal with this literally growing hair situation.
“Perhaps we might could set it on fire!” I exclaimed in a sudden and extremely loud voice.
Seymour looked terrified, as if I had just set fire to his hair. To be honest, I had thought of doing just that, and I suppose in all technicalities, I had also just stated that it was a possible option, but for the record, in case you or anyone else asks or wants to ask or thinks of asking or knows someone else who just might think of asking someday or nightfall, I did not, nor did I ever, set fire to Seymour’s hair.
It was the boy who set fire to his hair.
Luckily, Seymour saw this coming from a few feet away, because his eyes were better than mine and he had a few feet of hair to act as a sort of fuse… As the fire burned down or up the fuse of hair towards the bomb of his head, he was quick on his feet and slow on his hands and jumped feet first and hands last into the little fountain nearby.
The pool of the fountain proved to be much more shallow than he seemed to expect, because he landed with the water coming up only to his knees. He stood and looked confusedly at the water surrounding him for a brief moment before dropping his entire body and what remained of his hair down into the shallow pool of water and coins.
We stood watching, waiting for him to rise back up, like Lazarus from the tomb… I suppose a better Biblical metaphor would be John the Baptist, but I never was too good at the liturgical stuff. It just wasn’t my cup of tea… or wine… I should give up while I’m ahead.
A head. There’s the John the Baptist reference. That’s a pun, served right up to you on a platter. Look it up. It’s in the Bible. I think.
After a few minutes, Seymour stood back up, his arms full of coins, and his hair as short as it had just been long. The entire weird man was dripping with water from hat to feet, and he had a large stupid grin on his stupid face.
“I’ve found some money,” he said and stepped out of the water. “Let’s find a place to stay for the night.”
This was the best idea I had heard at that moment. We helped Seymour climb out of the fountain, and we agreed to look for somewhere to stay. The kids knew the area better than either Seymour or I did, so we followed them. It felt strange following someone else for once, as opposed to having someone follow me. I suppose I had grown accustomed to it. Nevertheless, we followed them around the neighborhood, and just as I was beginning to wonder if they even had any sense of direction whatsoever, the girl announced that we had arrived.
“We have arrived!” she announced, with a broad grin spread across her face. She seemed confident that we would know where we had just arrived to, and immediately turned to waltz up a pathway of uneven stones. Her brother followed behind her, I followed behind him, and, to my great sense of relief, Seymour followed behind me. They led us up the little path to a dark and seemingly abandoned office building. It was three stories high as the night is long. That’s a phrase I heard somewhere and I thought I might try it out. I didn’t like it.
TO BE CONTINUED...