Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Not Quite Tall Enough Man

     I’ve decided to finally become taller. I’m going to get one of those neck extensions that are all the rage in certain sections of New York and Paris. When I was growing up, everyone in my family promised I’d be tall. I was to be perhaps taller than my grandfather, who was well over six feet. I accepted this, and though I never admitted it aloud, I was excited at the prospect of being taller than everyone around me (except, perhaps, my grandfather). But something happened, and my growth was halted when I was just five feet ten inches tall. I was betrayed.
     I do directly attribute my problems with the police and school officials in my teen years and early twenties to this false promise of height. The world had let me down, and I didn’t trust it or respect it. And I lashed out. Sure, it might seem foolish to you now, but I was full of anger and disappointment.
     Now, after two broken marriages, a little jail time, a series of uninspired jobs, and a severe beating by an irate colleague, it’s time for the world to make good on its promise. I will be tall. Thanks to a slightly unorthodox doctor, who pioneered this new corrective surgery, I will be what I was intended to be. A giant among men. For now, to make up for those lost years, I intend not to add just a few inches, but a full foot. I will be nearly seven feet tall, and I will crush those around me. I will stomp on their faces and kick their ribs. Because finally everything will be as it should be.

(Copyright 2015 by Michael Doherty)

(Note: I wrote this story this morning, when I had no interest yet in getting out of bed. There was paper next to me, as there always is, and so I scribbled this down. I then put it aside, as I wanted to read the other story I’d written last night – “Esperanza’s Trick” – which in the morning still seemed to me to be as good as it was last night. But now a few hours have passed, and I like this one enough to post it here. That’s all for now.)

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