the little man crawls through a hole in the wall.
he stands at the foot of the bed, waiting.
sometimes I can hear him walking. and breathing.
when I switch on the light he vanishes. but if I close my eyes it’s like he’s right next to me.
the hole in the wall is so small not even a mouse could crawl through. but he does.
no one believes me.
one time I covered the hole with some tape and next morning the tape was on the floor. it could’ve fallen off during the night.
but the second piece I put next to the hole was still sticking to the wall.
I don’t think he wants to eat me because he only likes rotten fruit. I know because once I forgot a bowl of cereal under the bed and the banana slices got all slimy like brown slugs.
some of the slices had tiny pieces missing, and with a magnifying glass and a flashlight I followed footprints back to the wall.
later that night I left a fresh banana slice and a bit of turkey. then an apple and some chicken. then a piece of beef. than raw meat.
he never touched any of it.
so I left a strawberry on a plate for a few days. not until it got covered with white mold did I notice any feeding.
we make a good team. little man and me.
we can help each other.
he told me so. one night he crawled in my ear and whispered to me.
I feed him and he does things for me, like when he made Tommy get sick so I could win the science fair.
he wants rotten fruit every night but for favors like that he wants something else.
he wants a part of me. for Tommy it was only a fingernail.
for my new guitar it was a tooth. I let Tommy hit me with a hockey stick.
the tooth had to be fresh.
I leave the offering on a plate under the bed and in the morning it’s gone.
to make me the best football player in school he wants something big.
something to balance the scale.
like a toe. or an ear.
I wonder what he’ll want for Becca.
I’d give just about anything for her to like me.