I’m a little in love with this short story! I disregarded it a bit first, and started to scroll down, but then it hit me! I felt my heart fall to my stomach.
I live in Osaka, Japan and often use the subway to go to work in the morning. One day, when I was waiting for the train, I noticed a homeless man standing in a corner of the subway station, muttering to himself as people passed by. He was holding out a cup and seemed to be begging for spare change.
A fat woman passed by the homeless man and I distinctly heard him say, “Pig.”
Wow, I thought to myself. This homeless man is insulting people and he still expects them to give him money?
Then a tall businessman went by and the homeless guy muttered, “Human.”
Human? I can’t argue with that. Obviously, he was human.
The next day, I arrived early at the subway station and had some time to kill, so I decided to stand close to the homeless man and listen to his strange mutterings.
A thin, haggard-looking man passed in front of him and I heard the homeless guy mutter, “Cow.”
Cow? I thought. The man was much too skinny to be a cow. He looked more like a turkey or a chicken to me.
A minute or so later, a fat man went by and the homeless man said, “Potato.”
Potato? I was under the impression that he called all fat people “Pig”.
That day, at work, I couldn’t stop thinking about the homeless man and his puzzling behavior. I kept trying to find some logic or pattern in what he was muttering.
Perhaps he has some kind of psychic ability, I thought. Maybe he knows what these people were in a previous life. In Japan, many people believe in reincarnation.
I observed the homeless man many times and began to think my theory was right. I often heard him calling people things like “Rabbit” or “Onion” or “Sheep” or “Tomato”.
One day, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to ask him what was going on.
As I walked up to him, he looked at me and said “Bread.”
I tossed some money into his cup and asked him if he had some kind of psychic ability.
The homeless man smiled and said, “Yes, indeed. I do have a psychic ability. It is an ability I obtained years ago. But it is not what you might expect. I can’t tell the future or read minds or anything like that.”
“Then what is your ability,” I asked eagerly.
“The ability is merely to know the last thing somebody ate,” he said.
I laughed because I realized he was right. He said “Bread.” The last thing I had eaten for breakfast that day was toast. I walked away shaking my head. Of all the psychic abilities someone could have, that one must be the most useless.
I told my mom about it and she was like, “are they all supposed to be Subway toppings or something?” Oh, mom.
Well, jumping to a completely different topic, the Spelling Bee is tomorrow!!!!!!! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Anyway, do you remember “John” from my last post? He got second place in the school bee so he gets to advance along with me.
I’ve managed to defeat him in two school wide events already, much to my smug delight, but I have the worst feeling about tomorrow! He’ll probably end up advancing to Tristate or something and I’ll be spelling “water” as “watar.”
I despise English! We have too many ridiculous spelling and grammar rules.
There’s languages like Spanish and French, which have set rules for things like “a double l is pronounced like a yuh” or “these words are feminine and these are masculine.”
Then there’s us! “I before e except after c!” Weird, seize, either, protein! GAAAAAAH!!! Why does ‘commission’ have double Ms? Why does delicious end in cious while conscious ends in scious??
Also, I won a free language course, but I lost the paper that granted me it! Why? How will I ever manage in German now?!
These are my woes.