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by Corey Jacobs 9 months ago in humanity

The Man in the Suit & the Little Black Book

He woke up once again today under the overpass. He sometimes wishes he does not wake. He has never found his place in this world. He feels this world just passes him by so fast. Deep down he truly believes he will never be able to catch up.

As he sits up, lifting his stained sweatshirt hood off his head uncovering himself with a dirty blanket someone gave him 5 years prior he, thinks to himself, “I’m tired of the this. It’s the same thing every day. Just another day of my meaningless life”.

He stands up, folds his blanket, and grabs the very limited belongings he owns placing them in a stolen grocery store shopping cart he uses to move around the city. He assumes it’s roughly 9am due to the nearby traffic and people walking in business clothes.

He usually keeps his gaze lowered as well as his head. He’s not embarrassed, it’s more disappointment with himself. He constantly compares himself to the young businesspeople he sees in nice clothes every day. Most of these people are younger than him and just pass him by...just as his life is doing.

He heads towards the restaurant district of downtown. He knows that his best chances of eating early are here in hopes he meets some generous people. He normally goes on this same route every day, but today he does not. It is just that out of nowhere, his disappointment is heavy today. He abnormally veers off his route instead of going to the restaurant district, he heads towards the trendy and techy side of town. He sits at this techy looking campus watching the people go in and out. He is just wallowing in self-pity, and it is filling him up.

He watches as two thirtysomethings pass by him talking about how one of them received a $20,000 commission check this month. He would give anything to have a percentage of that money. He thinks that money is the answer to it all…more than life itself. …He daydreams about finding a briefcase full of money, but that does not exist.

After overhearing about this commission check, coupled with the fact that his emotions are weighing heavy today, he is at a tipping point. He drops to his knees, tipping his cart as his bodyweight clips the side. He yells at the top of his lungs in a gigantic fit of roar. He truly has nothing left in his tank and anger is now replacing his feeling of disappointment.

People turn to look shocked by the yell, but they shrug it off. It is nothing they have not seen before from someone living on the street. No asks what’s wrong, helps, or consoles him. He’s painfully crying as he cups his eyes and forehead in his palms. The tips of his fingers grab the remaining hair he has on his head and he pulls it aggressively. He is sobbing because he has not cried in decades. He has just been bubbling up for that long and suddenly it came out of him on this street corner.

After a solid three minutes of his breakdown, he starts coming back to reality and normalizing himself. He looks around picking up the items that fell out of his cart, as he wipes the tears from his face. He flips his hood back over his head, looks up to the sky with one side of his uncovered face, points his finger aggressively at the sky and yells, “YOU’VE NEVER HELPED ME”! “WHY AM I STILL HERE?!”

He returns to pushing his cart toward the restaurant district. As he approaches the crosswalk, not yet off the sidewalk, the right side of his cart is abruptly stopped. The left side continued to move forward due to inertia of him pushing. Once again, the cart flips over, tipping to the right. He catches the cart on its way down before it fully fell and lifts the cart upright. Nothing falls out other than part of the blanket unfolding over the edge. As he stuffed the blanket back in, he noticed why his cart abruptly stopped. There was something obstructing the front right wheel. He leans down gently moving the cart backwards…A little black book. He picks it up. It looks to be brand new. It is about 7 inches in height and 5 inches in length. It has a black strap connected to the back used for holding the front flap closed.

Suddenly it is as if time stopped. He was no longer in the headspace he was just in, as he is memorized. A sort of awe, bewilderment, and curiosity all at the same time. It is the strangest feeling, because he feels some sort of completeness with it. He is no longer focused on his appetite and no longer aware people are around him, as he in his own world at this very moment

He quickly unstraps it, opens it, and sees pages are ivory-colored and blank. He is bewildered on how clean, new, and strange it was to find this. He slams the book closes with this one hand as the spine is resting in his palm, “I need a pen,” he says. He immediately asks he first person that passed by. In an intrusive and excitable manner, “Do you have a pen I can have?”, he asks. Again, lucky he was in the business district, the person responds, “Yes, here. Keep it”.

He grabs the pen and without hesitation, places in between his teeth to hold. He tucks the little black book under his armpit, wedged to his body by his bicep and pushes this cart. He is headed toward the nearest green space to so he can sit on a bench with his exciting new find.

He cannot recall the last time he has been off his normal route and routine. He knows this is weird and unlike him but, he feels compelled to start writing. He makes it to a bench and sits down manically. He opens his mouth releasing the pen and catches it. Opening the little black book, he starts to touch pen tip to paper.

In his upper peripherals, he sees someone step right in front of him. He notices nice dress shoes, trendy socks, and some sleek trousers. He looks up awkwardly. Before him is a dapper man with a nice royal blue three-piece suit, light brown shoes, and belt to match. He has a very nice watch and a nice patterned tie. His face is trimmed with some subtle beard stubble, semi long, dark brown hair which is combed to the side, and blue eyes.

The man says, “Paul, right?”, as he sits down next to him on the bench. He extends his right hand as he crosses one knee over the other to sit pretentiously. Paul, caught off guard completely, grabs his hand with his right and says, “Yeah, do I know you?”. The man responds, “Yeah we met on the overpass before. Well, that’s a nice little black book. Are you journaling?”.

Paul says, “Well, I just found it. I was going to start writing in it, then you came over. “Look, I’m a little thrown off. Why did you come over here?”. The man answers, “I saw you rush over here and that you were holding that little black book. You seemed to be so antsy, so I figured I would come see what you were writing about”.

Paul says, “Wait! You say you know me, yet no one ever pays attention to me. Why were concerned with what I am writing?”. The man answered, “Well Paul, you know what kind of book you have in your possession right?”. Paul gives a strange look at the book then back at the man. The man says, “Take your pen and write something on the first page. Write something that you want. Then below it, write something you are willing to give up for it”. “What?”, Paul says unbelievably. The man leans in staring right into Paul's eyes intently, deeply, and seriously and says, “Write anything you want to have right now on the first page then below it, write something you will give up for this want”.

He places his hand on Paul’s hand holding the pen. Paul swallows his saliva, furrows his brow, and looks at the man’s attire. Confused, he writes, “I want a brand-new three-piece suit with all the trimmings, and I’ll give up this blanket I have had for so long”. As he takes his pen off the paper, the man, reaches over into Paul’s lap closing the book shut!

Paul, staring at the book closing looks up at the man. The man has a smirking side smile. Paul is just lost at this interaction and is starting to stand up. He is planning on leaving. As he stands up, the little black book falls off his lap. He then he notices on his body, a new bespoke shark skin suit. He has on black loafers, a shiny black timepiece, a crisp white button down, and black tie with a tie bar.

He violently turns his head to investigate his cart and the blanket is gone. He quickly feels a sort of shame for this trade because this blanket has kept him warm many nights, but he's too freaked out to care for long.

Paul cannot believe this is happening. He says dumbfoundedly, “But how? What is this? Who are you?”. The man stands up and says, “I am someone that listens Paul”, nodding his head to the sky with a slight gaze upward.

The man asked him, “What else do you want? What do you really, really want?”. Paul Immediately thinks about the commission he overheard that thirtysomething year old mention earlier in the day. Paul thinks, “I want $20,000”. In his excitement and haste, almost biting at the chomps to write this so he can close the book and watch this materialize, “I would give my entire life to have $20,000 right now!”, he writes.

The man steps in, closes the book, gently takes it from his grip, and turns away. Paul turns to look, and the man has both hands in his trendy trouser pockets, and he is whistling as he walks away. Paul stares until he fades out into the busy sidewalk of people.

Paul hears a thud in his cart, and again, violently turns his head towards the sound. He leans over his cart and there is a briefcase opened showcasing newly wrapped $20 bills. Paul’s eyes open as he is staring in awe. He slams the briefcase shut, grabbing it! He hugged into his chest with his arms crossed over the briefcase in the shape of an X. Leaving his cart and all his belongings, he frantically takes off running in his brand-new bespoke suit and loafers. He is just in pure exhilaration from the dream of money in a briefcase.

At this point, he is not thinking as the adrenaline is just driving him. He is moving fast! He is now out of the park! He is now on sidewalk! He turns on the sidewalk to cross the middle of the busy intersection and BOOM!!!...

...He woke up once again today under the overpass. He sometimes wishes he does not wake. He has never found his place in this world. He feels this world just passes him by so fast. Deep down he truly believes he will never be able to catch up.

As he sits up, lifting his stained sweatshirt hood off his head uncovering himself with a dirty blanket someone gave him 5 years prior he thinks to himself, “I’m tired of the this. It’s the same thing every day. Just another day of my meaningless life"...


Corey Jacobs

I have a zest for philosophical learnings, travel adventures, physical movement, healthy cooking, real experiences, and deep meaningful connections. I express my artistry through writing. My mantra is Life is to Grow, to Inspire, to Play.

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