The Tall Man

Down in the loop, we saw this tall man walking in the street and man, he was tall. He was so tall, Matthew and Andrew and I stopped talking, all at once, and it was an important conversation too, about metaphysics and bitches, and all our heads swiveled to the street to look at the tall man, and the boys and I said to ourselves, “man, he is tall.”

The Tall Man travels with a small dog that we call the Tiny Dog because the truth is, he is not tiny, only small, and not even outrageously so, but beside the Tall Man, he looks like he is.

The Tall Man scrapes his head on the bottoms of the El tracks and we fear for his safety. We follow the Tall Man to his car and it is a compact. The Tall Man’s credit is bad, but he has no option. Bikes are just not big enough for him, would not be economically intelligent to build. I want to build a bike for him, for his long legs, but it would be expensive. The Tall Man can’t get a taxi in this town for all the striped trousers in the world.

The Tall Man likes to wear striped trousers. Not because they make him look taller, but because he likes the look of them. We say to ourselves and to eachother, “Tall Man, you don’t need to wear those things!” but who are we to deny a person their happiness. The Tall Man wears a hat that would make him look like Uncle Sam if we didn’t know Uncle Sam was a skinny midget with an even shorter cameraman and all about Sam’s fragile ego, and the Tall Man looks good in it. We say, Tall Man, you are already tall, you don’t need to wear that hat! and he doesn’t listen, because he can’t hear us, up there in the atmosphere.

We lose the Tall Man on Wabash. We ride the train back to Logan Square and except for a Filipino woman who plays a twelve-string guitar and a violin and tapshoes, we remain mostly quiet. We pass the Tall Man on the blue line stop, hanging over an upright bass underneath the low ceilings of the subway. We would have waved to him, but his eyes were closed.

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