- Vol. 01
- Chapter 12
Image by Rhona Byrne
WaitingThere he is - the man with the coin slot in the top of his head. They said he’d be here, standing tall and proud, camouflaging himself in the rugged terrain and ocean spray crashing its torment against the rocks, except he’s not doing a great job of it. He sticks out like a sore thumb, his heart steadfast despite its lack of inactivity.
He looks like he’s wearing a pomegranate red cape recalling the original caped crusaders, and wonder if he secretly fights crime at night. I doubt he goes anywhere though, what with his concrete exterior and corpse-like rigidity. Perhaps his eyes are covered with fine thread-like cobwebs masking his glazed and far-away stare, sealing the emptiness within.
He is the only reason I have come here; a flesh-made tourist spot and a legitimate pillar of the community. I love the mechanics of him, how he gives himself to the tourists, showing them how he views this spot.
You place a coin in the slot and are then able to see through his eyes, turning his head to get the best possible view. I have heard such wonderful tales from others about what they have seen and the secrets he conceals beneath his eroded exterior; the time is now or never. He is an enigma, this man with no name, no background, and no past.
But everyone has a past, no matter how mundane.
Looking at him, I’m convinced his name is Alan – a good, strong and honest name for a man whose heart is a chip off the mountainside, a slice of the outdoors residing safely inside.
People are gathering now, more tourists I assume on the lookout for stoical Alan, enduring everything the elements can throw at him. Whispers slip from overworked mouths, passed on to listening ears like Chinese Whispers, hoping to unlock his past and gain an identity.
WaitingThere are bodies all around – one long moving mass speaking to their neighbours about Alan’s origins. Some say he loved this spot so much he decided to stand here, look out and never leave; others believe he saw something out in the sea which petrified him, rooting him to the spot where he currently stands.
But I have my own theory.
I like to believe Alan saw a woman who was so beautiful she stopped his heart and stole the last breath from his lungs. And he has stood here, the most devoted human, and waited for his one and only love to return home.