Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Waldo

Waldo gets lost a lot, and sometimes I think he doesn't want to be found.

He was my freshmen roommate in college, but I didn't know it for two weeks. I thought that there was some mistake and I was in a single room. It was only when, on a Saturday night, Waldo stumbled home drunk and told me about his childhood, when he hid from his mother, who smoked too much.

We went backpacking in Europe the summer after we graduated, which sucked because I lost him in the airport and then realized he was sitting next to me when I was on the plane home two weeks later. Mysteriously, he knew where I had spent every minute of my vacation, and seemed to think that he was with me the whole time.

When I was in my thirties, he came to visit my family. My wife never saw him. I was experienced at finding him, by this time. I learned to ignore all the little red and white stripes and look for his glasses.

I was thirty-nine when my wife left me and took the kids, and I was thirty-nine and three-quarters when I robbed the convenience store across the street from the bar where I spent all my time. I was sentenced to five-to-ten at a medium security prison.

Waldo came to visit me, but you wouldn't have known it. He didn't show up on the visitors' log or the security cameras.

He broke me out two months later, and I still don't know how he did it. I went to sleep in my cell and woke up nine hours later in a flat in Brooklyn.

He met Julie the same night he met Odlaw. He and Julie would spend many an evening on the roof of some government building or at the most elite of clubs. They weren't really allowed there, but Waldo found a way to sneak in.

Odlaw was the loud, popular one in the corner booth, surrounded by a similar-but-completely-different crowd every night. Julie was drawn to him from the beginning, and when she met him, that was it for her and Waldo.

Waldo was crushed; he just didn't know what he would do. For weeks he walked around like a normal person and people saw him, and every person that saw him broke his spirit a little more, and every little crack made him a little more visible.

He jumped off of the empire state building that year. The police had set up below him, encouraging him not to jump, but he did anyways. The floodlights tried to follow his descent, but for a split second around the sixty-eighth floor, they lost him, and he fell the rest of the way in darkness.

They never did find his body.

3 comments:

a close but unbiased relative said...

This is my favorite story so far

Jedi_Raptor07 said...

Eh... I dunno...

It's a good story, but I liked it when you weren't writing depressing stuff.

hallo again said...

You told me the secret to finding waldo in those books! :)