Masked Man: I saw the devil this morning. Walking through the azaleas, dangling his long fingers, as casual as a green grocer. The small bushes grew along the sidewalk, and bowed towards his feet as he passed. He was wearing corduroy and dark glasses.
He wasn’t in a hurry. I thought to myself, shouldn’t he be in a hurry? The times I’ve thought of him in the past, I always pictured him moving as swiftly as a peregrine falcon — swooping down on empty heads with his talons spread wide. He looked tired, like he’d been out too late and was slumping his way home. He pinched his nose with two long fingers and sighed waiting for the light to turn.
There he was. The devil in the crosswalk.
I should have let him pass, but he seemed tame. So I cleared my throat and inclined my head.
He looked at me. He gave me his full attention.
He stood stock still in the center of the crosswalk. Lines of cars in both directions, not one dared to beep. Tons of metal and plastic holding their breath.
He stood and he stared, The Beast himself looking at me.
He pushed his sunglasses down with one long finger. His eyes were green.
“What.” he said.
I had nothing to say. I shook like a leaf. I realized that I was not speaking to the physical object in front of me, but to something beyond — something that reached through the short gray hair and the green eyes, something beyond. I could almost see the strings.
“I…I just wanted to say ‘hey’.”
“Hey.” he said and pushed his glasses back up. Dark windows walked past, and the horns began to blare.
The devil walked on by. He was in no hurry, but it was not my time to waste.
We all have our part to play.
Minutes like coins to toss where we may.
If string can bind the Morning Star,
what webs hold us, bugs in jar?