One day a little girl,
saw something in the street.
A bit of blood, a broken fence,
laying at her feet.
She bent down, jam jar on hand,
and placed in it a tear.
Something to keep and marvel at,
both in awe and fear.
Hanna was sure she was just a big mouth. No body, no face. She would walk using the left and right sides of her bottom lip.
Hanna would mumble softly when she talked to people. A four-foot tall shout might knock them out.
When she saw someone grumpy she would swallow them and sing. In her mind they were standing under hear teeth, hearing her beautiful voice, letting it surround them, consume them, as it drifted out over everything.
That was her party trick.
Other people didn’t see it that way, of course. Hanna’s classmates just thought she was weird.
She would stick out her tongue at them. In her mind it would knock them flat!
One day Hanna met a boy who thought he had wings. He was SO SURE! But shy.
He told Hanna; “If you are just one big mouth, can I be the head?” and stood behind her and whispered his hopes and dreams.
“I can fly…!” he oh so softly spoke. “I have wings, damn it! Wings…”
The words came out of Hanna loud, drifting across the neighbourhood. She was sure everybody would think it was her, but the boy’s voice was so hurting, so proud and true, everybody thought it was their own voice.
“I can fly…” they said to themselves.
Some fell off of walls, but others soared, in their hearts, or through the air, flew in this way or that, drifting past a weird little boy, and a girl who thought she was a big mouth.
Justice had two left feet, when he wanted to dance he’d just stumble sideways. He needed to meet a person with at least one right foot if he wanted to dance. He was , however, very good as soccer! But only if he stayed on the left wing.
One day, he went out on a date with Lucy.
Lucy was always looking back on things. She had eyes in the back of her head. Handy for watching her enemies, but if they simply walked up to her front, she couldn’t see them.
She also had to decide whether to walk into a room backwards, which was awkward, if not rude, or face first, but bumping into things.
Lucy made up her mind to greet Justice face-to-face, even if that meant she had no way of knowing if he was good looking.
Lucy was very nervous. “Hi, how are you?” she said.
When Justice didn’t reply, she got sad, and went home… without realising he had simply tripped over his two left feet and kept stumbling sideways until he fell off the porch.
On it’s right side, of course.
Jube dragged around a led balloon, nobody’s idea of fun. But Jube was stubborn. “This is my toy, and that’s that!” he would huff.
It made birthday parties very awkward for him. “I AM having fun!” he would insist. And swimming at the beach dangerous.
‘At least bullies won’t mess with me,’ he thought.
Then, one day, Jube met Gabby, who painted a peace sign on his led balloon, and followed him everywhere, holding up an empty picture frame. She called Jube: “My piece of modern art.”
Eventually, Jube fell in love with Gabby, and decided to hold her hand. This made dragging his led balloon around even harder, but the art critics loved the way Gabby was interacting with her art.
Gabby was just as stubborn, she never once let go of the picture frame. But between the two of them they still had one pair of hands.
‘This is tough,’ Gabby concluded. ‘But such is love.’
Fred was a circus that thought it was one person. Fred could never figure out why he had so many voices inside his head.
Fred’s friends found him a little weird, but very, very entertaining. “Being in a circus lends itself to that,” Fred said.
None of them wanted to play soccer with Fred, though.
The authorities were never impressed with Fred. They had no idea who to give the parking tickets to.
One day, Fred met a gothic girl who carried the moon around on a piece of string. Every now and then, if while walking with her he positioned himself right, Fred could see a lunar eclipse.
The fact Fred could see something as grand and rare as a lunar eclipse two or three times a day impressed him very much.
Eventually, the magician in Fred fell in love with the girl who had the moon on a string. The rest of Fred took a vote, and decided they were happy with that.
But all had to look away when they kissed.
The magician liked the days when it was the end of the lunar cycle the best. There was no moon. The girl would walk around with a floating piece of string.
“What a great magic trick!” he would say, to anyone who listened.
Louis was sure he was a dinosaur. A pink one with no scales. It was more of an attitude thing. He would bite people’s ankles and roar a lot and tell them: “You know so little about me..”
Sometimes, Louis would visit his relatives at the museum. It always made him sad.
One day he met a girl there who had many jam jars. Sybil asked him what was wrong and he told her: “All my brothers and sisters are extinct.”
When he cried, she picked up his tear and put it in one of her jars, then labelled it. “I collect people’s tears,” she said. “Sometimes I try them on. There are all sorts.”
Louis watched Sybil wear the tears of a garbage man who had lost his job. Then of a lady who was fondly remembering her dead mother. Then of a lonely young boy.
They were other people’s tears, but each time he felt for her. “That’s impressive,” he said.
Louis fell for Sybil, but she didn’t want to date a sooky dinosaur. One day, she told him: “What makes you think there aren’t more pink, scaleless dinosaurs out there?” and gave him a ticket to the local wrestling.
Louis went and watched big, fat creatures roar and bite each other’s ankles a lot. He cried with happiness that he wasn’t alone anymore.
Sybil put her jar to his cheek and wrote, ‘happy tear’ then left, never to be seen again.
Jasper was a snake that lived in a boot. If he wiggled just right, he could make it stomp around. Everybody thought the boot was haunted. “It was on a pirate’s leg that got bitten off by a shark,” they said.
“No, bitten off by a mermaid,” Jasper would correct them. “Mermaids love snacking on pirate limbs, that’s why so many have wooden legs.”
“What about their eye patches?” people would ask the boot.
“Vampire butterflies would eat one of a pirate’s eyes,” the boot lied to them. “And their toothbrushes.”
Jasper knew nothing about pirates.
Then he would stomp off. As a snake, he loved being able to stomp.
One day Jasper decided to stomp across the country. He brought a solar panel for the cold parts of his trip. And four small tires for when he was exhausted.
Jasper was stomping across the desert via the backroads, when a small spider in a rusty tin can told him; “Oh, a boot! Wheels! You’ve sold out.”
“It sure is lonely on the road,” Jasper concluded, and cried a snake tear.
“That’s so rare…” gasped Sybil, the girl who collects tears, scooping it into one of her jam jars.
She had been all around the country, capturing joy and sorrow and frustration, strong emotions. It would have been easy to fall in love, say, with a boy who was sure he was a dinosaur, and settle down, but that just wasn’t her way.
Boys dragging led balloons, girls who had eyes in the back of their head, awkward kids with two left feet, circuses who though their name was Fred – there was so much to see, so many strange yet normal people to meet.
So many tears she might keep.
“In hurt you feel,” she whispered to herself, before pushing on again.