Chatting up the Little Chinese Man

I hadn't seen him in three months, three weeks and three days, but as I pulled up to the curb in front of my building, there was the Little Chinese Man. All the more terrifying was the sight of Luna following ten feet behind him. Who is Luna, you ask? She's my stalker who moved into my building almost two years ago, where I remain trapped by the real estate market and limited options.

Luna was holding a kitten in her hands, her face in an obvious state of delight. You can't tell she's crazy by looking at her, but she is indeed. I felt sorry for the kitten. I know what happened to the last pet she had and it's not a cuddly tale.

As I took in the spectacle of these twin terrors in front of my home I felt as if I were being consumed by an invisible wave of paranoia, fear and schizophrenia. Though the sky was a gorgeous cerulean, blackness engulfed my being. Well, something like that.

"Hi Tom," I said with a chipper tone in my voice, hoping that Luna would keep moving, quickly going up to her apartment where the kitten was certain to meet an unfortunate end one day, and that if I chatted up the Little Chinese Man I would be buying myself some time to make sure she wasn't around when I entered the building.

The Little Chinese Man looked at me quizzically, his horrible countenance  twisted into a plain state of non-recognition coupled with desire- he looked like he had just tasted something awful and wanted a second bite.

"Do I know you?" he asked.

"Yes, we met three months, three weeks and three days ago in front of your hotel," I replied, doing the math quickly in my head.

A vague look of recognition flashed in his eyes and then they sparked.

"Yes, I remember now. Yes, I do remember. Tell me your name again."


"Yes, that's right," and then he licked his lips, cocking his head to one side.

"Well, it's nice to see you again. Enjoy the afternoon," I said, my mind beginning to splinter under the accumulated weight of years now passing and their constant encounters with doppelgangers and lunatics.

He sized me up. I'm at least three inches taller than he, but I could see his mind working at how he could take me down. I was thinking about taking his picture- I have a new phone with a decent camera. We were at a stand-off.

"Yes, thank you. See you again soon I hope," he said with a lilt. I watched him as he walked down the street, and after he'd gone twenty paces he looked over his shoulder. I waved at him, my hand perfectly executing the slightly-cupped, gently rotating hand motion one does when riding in a convertible during a parade .

I entered the vestibule of the building, warily scanned the lobby keeping an eye out for Luna, and made my way home. Safe again.