Monday 25 March 2013

Searching for Wally

"Is your name Wally?" she looked at him indirectly, face tilted to the left as if shielding her eyes from a too-bright sun.  "No," he said, and went back to reading the book he had pulled from the sports section.  She shrugged and stumbled out into a driving rain.

"I'm looking for Wally.  Do any of you know where he is?" she said to no one listening waiting for the bus in the crudely constructed shelter which sat out of the rain but out of the reach of cars ripping through puddles.  No one continued smoking and chattering aimlessly as if an icy wind had whipped through along with some garbage.

"Where's Wally?" she demanded of the priest who came to the rectory door one night as dessert was being cleared away.  "Dammit, where is he?"  She went to kick the door in but he was too fast for her, having braced himself for just such an attack.  "Father, forgive her.  For she knows not what she doeth."

"Wally.  Wally," she mumbled at the desk sarge.  "I can't find Wally."  Wearily, he shuffled through some papers.  "When did you see him last, Ma'am?"  He pushed a missing person's report through the small window to her and a pen without a cap.  She took the papers and the pen and left without a word.  She spied a butt can outside the door, set the crumpled up pages on fire on the top with a lighter she had found along with some wire scrub pads back in the park across the street from the police station.  She was seized by a sudden emotion.  "Fuck you Wally and the ho you came out of!" she screamed, the harshness of her voice bouncing off the concrete.  She dropped the pen in as an afterthought.

She ran to the left, away from the station and the park where all of the crack heads hung out making love to their glass dicks.  She ducked into an alley and dropped through a basement window out of sight.

Time passed in spite of herself.  The next morning the sun rose as if she had never lived.  The man at the bookstore continued to peruse the sports section for inspiration, no one started on the last pack of cigarettes at the bus stop, the priest made ready for early morning Mass, the desk sarge poured himself a cup of black coffee.  The papers she had set on fire had long since burned out.  The crack heads resumed their bleary posts in the park.  Everyone forgot her.  No one remembered that she had walked among them searching for Wally.  No one knew who Wally was.  No one really cared.  The world kept it's planetary rotation.  And everything was the same as it was the day before and always.

No comments: