It had to happen. He hasn't been seen in a month and a day and I was actually wondering when he would return. For some reason, I had a weird feeling as I went to meet the Femme Fatale at Union Square so I took my phone out of my pocket and turned on the camera. I knew today would feature a sighting of the Little Chinese Man.
It took him long enough to make his ghastly entrance. We were less than a minute to safety. We were right across the street from where I live, and there he was- walking toward my building. Not in the same direction he was walking the last time, mind you. No, this time he was headed west.
Something was off, though. Yes, he had on a new sweater, but that wasn't it. Then it hit me. The LCM usually walks very fast- as if there is something in his pants that will come loose and fall to the ground if he simply walks fast enough. Today he was moving slowly. Not even ambling, really- more like meandering.
The Femme Fatale marvelled that he does indeed really exist and she was seeing him in the flesh. I looked at her and there was only one thing to do since I was safely in the company of another and really, what terror, what havoc, what torture could he wreak on both of us? We decided to follow him.
He walked, weaved actually, down O'Farrell, casually glancing at the other side of the street as he strolled. I have to admit I thought he was looking for me.
At Hyde he made a left. We followed him, coming up right behind him at Ellis. He didn't turn around at all, but I knew that he knew we were there. He crossed and made his way to Eddy. And stopped. Now we were stuck. There he was, stopped, and we're at Hyde and Eddy- a crappy corner if there ever was one and the FF was starting to attract attention. The light turned and the LCM crossed, heading west again toward Larkin. We waited, then crossed behind him.
At that moment the FF asked aloud if he was a male prostitute cruising for johns. The idea had never crossed my mind before but it made sense because clearly LCM had nowhere particular in mind for a destination. Oh dear, this wasn't a good thought. If this were true, what am I doing running into the same little street cruiser over and over again? I decided against it- for my own sanity this couldn't be the simple explanation behind the LCM. I can't imagine anyone actually paying money to have sex with LCM. Then again, there is that scary, skinny redhead and she's been selling it on the street for more than 10 years now and she still seems to be in business even if her appearances are more infrequent lately. Then there's the one-legged hooker who hangs out at Hyde and O'Farrell. Okay, I guess it is possible, but I never see male hookers in this part of town and I always thought the amputee had a pretty good gimmick with those crutches.
We got to Larkin and slowed down. I expected him to cross back toward Geary, making a little loop, where we could follow him while making our way back to our original destination. I watched for him in the distance. And he disappeared. Just like that. Frightening, isn't it? I'm sure glad the FF was there to experience the horror with me. She'll never be the same.