The Thumbless Man, by Manuel on the Street

Editor’s note: We are pleased to debut a new feature from a special correspondent. He writes under a pseudonym to protect his sensitive position as confidant to the dregs of humanity, but should he feel comfortable coming forth to claim his rightful laurels, our staff will vouch for his identity.

Manuel on the Street

Well, I’ve certainly blundered tonight. Seems I fell asleep around 9 p.m. after putting the apartment to rights and will now be hopelessly wide eyed until the early morning hours. The only benefit I can see in this current situation is that it has given me yet another opportunity to witness the nocturnal shenanigans of some of the more degenerate persons that appear to be loosely employed by the landlords of the surrounding buildings.

Just now, while smoking on the porch, I was confronted yet again by The Thumbless Man, whose shadowy visage made its way deliberately shambling towards me through the alleyway. It seems this man recently managed to sever the better part of his right thumb from his hand in some maintenance attempt gone tragically awry. Actually, who knows…perhaps he did it deliberately, solely for the sake of perverse conversation fodder, for an upcoming father/spawn day at the school of one of his unholy offspring.

Anyway, he has proudly shown off his injury to my lady companion in the past while she had the audacity to attempt to have a private phone conversation on the porch. From her description, it seems that “doctors,” or perhaps a gin-felled acquaintance of his, managed to reattach the thing in a makeshift fashion using a handful of pushpins and cellophane tape so that he might proudly display his will to triumph over deformity to all he stumbles upon as they try their best to ensure that he will not, under any circumstance, be allowed to engage them in conversation.

Luckily tonight I spotted him before he could notice me and watched as he staggered determinedly about the various refuse filled alcoves of the adjacent building. I am certain that I heard him urinating at one point and perhaps solitarily throwing dice against a wall at another. Inevitably he detected my presence and made his approach. Pausing very briefly in front of me, he uttered the following undeniable observation whilst wiping some sort of unpleasantness from his wounded appendage.

“Getting late…”

His tone was so fraught with meaning that I was at once filled with horrible imaginings of what he could be preparing to do once it actually fully “got late,” and, flustered by these thoughts, all I could manage was a pathetic “yup” at which point, his mission accomplished, he disappeared around the corner.

This man’s story deserves far more attention than this but I cannot currently bring myself to engage him in a conversation which might allow me to retell it here.

Oh well…I recently saw a documentary on the Food Network about the history of pies. That was pretty good I guess.

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